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, January 11, 2018
Waithe made history in 2017 as the first black woman to win an Emmy for outstanding comedy writing. Now she's lending her voice to a new Showtime series set in the South Side of Chicago.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Co-writers and co-directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina spent six years creating their animated film about the Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday Unkrich calls a time of "joyously remembering."
Tuesday, January 09, 2018
There was a time when Patrice Banks avoided taking her car in for routine maintenance. Now, she's a trained mechanic, and the owner of a garage that caters to women.
Tuesday, January 02, 2018
"Just the last few years alone have seen some serious breakthroughs in Alzheimer's research," Joseph Jebelli says. His new book is The Pursuit of Memory.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
In a new 10-part Netflix series, Lee revisits his story of a young black artist who loves sex but isn't interested in a committed relationship.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Esther Perel has spent the past six years focusing on couples who are dealing with infidelity. "It's never been easier to cheat — and it's never been more difficult to keep a secret," she says.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Three members of Ranky Tanky perform songs from their self-titled debut. The band's name and music derive from the tradition of the Gullah, slave descendants from the Georgia and South Carolina coast.
Monday, December 11, 2017
Scott Frank packed his Netflix miniseries with train robberies and shootouts, but Godless isn't exactly a typical Western. For one thing, the town at the center of the story is run by women.
Wednesday, December 06, 2017
Franco's new film is a behind-the-scenes take on the making of the 2003 cult classic The Room. "It was made for $6 million," he says. "It looks like it was made for about $60."
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Journalists Jane Mayer and Rebecca Traister say Hill's harsh treatment during Clarence Thomas' 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings served as a warning to other women.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Anthony Atamanuik and Peter Grosz's new Comedy Central series is set up like a late night talk show, hosted by President Trump with Vice President Pence as his sidekick.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Dr. Henry Jay Przybylo specializes in pediatric anesthesiology and treats about 1,000 children a year, including premature babies. His new memoir is called Counting Backwards.
Monday, November 27, 2017
After the sudden death of his first wife in April 2016, Oswalt felt his life slipping away. But over the past year, things took a turn: He fell in love again, and now he has a new Netflix special.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Growing up in Aledo, Ill., the singer-songwriter longed to live somewhere "more romantic." Then she moved away and her outlook changed: "Now, when I go back, I see the beauty in it."
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.