Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air's interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by host and executive producer Terry Gross' unique approach. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says The San Francisco Chronicle.
Gross isn't afraid to ask tough questions, but she sets an atmosphere in which her guests volunteer the answers rather than surrender them. What often puts those guests at ease is Gross' understanding of their work. "Anyone who agrees to be interviewed must decide where to draw the line between what is public and what is private. But the line can shift, depending on who is asking the questions," observes Gross. "What puts someone on guard isn't necessarily the fear of being 'found out.' It sometimes is just the fear of being misunderstood."
Gross began her radio career in 1973 at public radio station WBFO in Buffalo, New York. There she hosted and produced several arts, women's and public affairs programs, including This Is Radio, a live, three-hour magazine program that aired daily. Two years later, she joined the staff of WHYY-FM in Philadelphia as producer and host of Fresh Air, then a local, daily interview and music program. In 1985, WHYY-FM launched a weekly half-hour edition of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, which was distributed nationally by NPR. Since 1987, a daily, one-hour national edition of Fresh Airhas been produced by WHYY-FM; it now airs on more than 450 stations. Compilation CDs of Fresh Air are available in the NPR Shop.
Gross's book All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists was published by Hyperion in 2004.
In addition to her work on Fresh Air, Gross has served as guest host for the weekday and weekend editions of NPR's All Things Considered. Her appearances include a spot as co-anchor of the PBS show, The Great Comet Crash, produced by WHYY-TV, a short series of interviews for WGBH-TV/Boston, and an appearance as guest-host for CBS Nightwatch.
In 1994, Fresh Air received a Peabody Award, which cited Gross for her "probing questions and unusual insights." In 1999, America Women in Radio and Television gave Gross a Gracie Award in the category of National Network Radio Personality. In 2003, Gross received the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, for advancing the "growth, quality and positive image of radio." She has received honorary degrees from Princeton University, Haverford College and Drexel University. She received a bachelor's degree in English and an M. ED. in Communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her alma mater awarded her an honorary degree in 2007 and a 1993 Distinguished Alumni Award. Gross was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.
Terry Gross appears in the following:
Thursday, November 16, 2017
"I don't know any woman who has a simple relationship with their mother or with their daughter," Gerwig says. Her new film tells the story of a teenager preparing to leave home for the first time.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Investigative reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey say they used legal and financial records to build a timeline of settlements with Harvey Weinstein's accusers.
Thursday, November 09, 2017
The digital currency's value has gone from zero to $120 billion in nine years. Digital Gold author Nathaniel Popper says major banks are looking into the possibilities of its decentralized network.
Wednesday, November 08, 2017
"It wasn't like I had to go looking for the drugs and the sex," Anthony DeCurtis says. "Lou wrote about it ... so I felt it was fair game." DeCurtis' new book is Lou Reed: A Life.
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
As the chief official White House photographer for President Obama, Souza sometimes shot more than 2,000 photos a day. "I was there all the time," he says. His new book is Obama: An Intimate Portrait.
Thursday, November 02, 2017
In her new book, health journalist Maryn McKenna explores how many of the chickens consumed in the U.S. have been fed antibiotics, which can lead to serious infections in humans.
Wednesday, November 01, 2017
The New York Times columnist knows what it's like to encounter a barrage of hate from Internet trolls. She says she heard many of their messages repeated by Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Groff says his work on HBO's Looking changed his life: "It's one of my favorite things I've worked on, the most personal thing I've worked on." He now stars in the Netflix series Mindhunter.
Monday, October 30, 2017
Hodgman says, "The biggest privilege of white privilege is the ability to turn off race and pretend that it is not an issue." His new book is called Vacationland.
Monday, October 23, 2017
"The reality is that Eric Garner died at the hands of a police force and a criminal justice system that were designed entirely by white people, for the most part," says journalist Matt Taibbi.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
"It starts out with one little thought, and then slowly that becomes the only thought that you're able to have," Green says. His new novel, Turtles All The Way Down, is about a teenage girl with OCD.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
In Where the Past Begins, Tan connects her experience with spirituality to that of her parents and grandmother. "I don't consider myself any religion," she says. " ... I have an amalgam of beliefs."
Monday, October 16, 2017
"Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent gain," says sleep scientist Matthew Walker. His new book is Why We Sleep.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
"There was a report card from kindergarten and the comment from the teacher was, 'Jimmy smiles too much,' " Fallon says. "I think I would smile even when I was getting yelled at."
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Baumbach's new film mixes comedy with deep emotional pain. It revolves around three adult siblings whose father is a self-absorbed sculptor. Baumbach's previous films include The Squid and the Whale.
Tuesday, October 03, 2017
Petty, who died Monday night, spoke with Terry Gross in 2006 about the seeds of his Hall Of Fame career: "We always wanted very much to create our own sound."
Monday, October 02, 2017
The New Yorker cartoonist channels her affection for the city into a new tongue-in-cheek guidebook, Going Into Town. "It's just fun," Chast says of New York. "Everything seems to suggest stories."
Thursday, September 28, 2017
In 1999, Hefner told Fresh Air that his magazine was a reaction to his own upbringing. "I believe and hope that Playboy [has] played some small part in changing the values ... of our time," he said.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
David Simon and George Pelecanos' new show depicts the growth of porn from illegal enterprise to full-fledged industry. Since then, Simon says, "the 'pornographication' of America has been profound."
Monday, September 25, 2017
David Litt says writing speeches and jokes for former President Obama was often a delicate task: "There's a whole industry of people trying to take your words out of context."