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:
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Now that the second season of his Netflix series is out, the comic is looking forward to some down time. "Forget season three of Master of None," he says. "I'm ... doing season 34 of Aziz Ansari."
Thursday, May 18, 2017
"I'm an Indian-American-Muslim kid," Minhaj says, "but am I more Indian or am I more American? What part of my identity am I?" His new Netflix special is called Homecoming King.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
For Susan Burton, getting on track after being released from prison was a daunting experience. Now she's determined to help other women follow in her footsteps. Her new memoir is Becoming Ms. Burton.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Giddens' Freedom Highway is an exploration of African-American experiences accompanied by the banjo, with "a sound, that deepness, that quality is what people associated with American music."
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
I Love Dick tackles themes of gender, sexual obsession and artistic insecurity, all through a humorous lens. "Transparent was my origin story," Soloway says. "This is my story about finding my voice."
Monday, May 08, 2017
As a young woman, Sidibe struggled to find work before landing the film role that would change her life. "This is my path, and I'm really grateful that I'm on it," Sidibe says of her acting career.
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Author Richard Rothstein says the housing programs begun under the New Deal were tantamount to a "state-sponsored system of segregation," in which people of color were purposely excluded from suburbs.
Monday, May 01, 2017
Feeling out of place is a fact of life for Bell, who describes himself as a "black and proud ... mama's boy." He celebrates his outsider status in the new memoir The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Dr. Elizabeth Ford treated mentally ill inmates in New York City for more than a decade. It was almost universal, she says, that they had suffered abuse or significant neglect as children.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
As President Trump approaches his 100th day in office, White House correspondent Maggie Haberman of The New York Times says "the magnitude of the job is sinking in for him."
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
For a new word to enter the dictionary, it must meet three criteria: widespread use, sustained use and meaningful use. Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper explains the process in Word by Word.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Alyssa Mastromonaco worked in the West Wing for six exhilarating and exhausting years. She describes that era in her new memoir, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?
Friday, April 14, 2017
The British actor plays a reverend in The Leftovers, the HBO series about what happens after 2 percent of the world's population vanishes in a mysterious event. Originally broadcast July 11, 2016.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
New Yorker staff writer David Owen says that convoluted legal agreements and a patchwork of infrastructure determine how water from the Colorado is allocated. His new book is Where The Water Goes.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Toobin discusses Leonard Leo, the conservative lawyer who is responsible, to a considerable extent, for one third of the justices on the Supreme Court.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
In 1978, more than 900 followers of the Rev. Jim Jones committed mass suicide in Guyana. In his new book, The Road to Jonestown, journalist Jeff Guinn details how Jones captivated so many.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Writer Elisabeth Rosenthal has worked as a physician and says it's far more lucrative in the U.S. health system to provide a lifetime of treatments than a cure. Her new book is An American Sickness.
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Fresh Air host Terry Gross remembers David Karpoff, the man who created the show and came up with its name. Karpoff died Oct. 27.