Terry Gross

Host, Fresh Air

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:

'You Better Own This': How Rami Malek Came To Embody Freddie Mercury

Friday, February 22, 2019

"No one can sing like Freddie Mercury," Malek told Fresh Air in November 2018. The actor has been nominated for an Academy Award for playing Queen's lead singer in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.


'Vice' Traces Dick Cheney's Ascent From Yale Dropout To Political Power Player

Friday, February 22, 2019

Filmmaker Adam McKay spoke to Fresh Air in January 2019 about his efforts to bring the former vice president "to the foreground" in Vice. The film is up for eight Academy Awards, including best film.


How 2 Conspiracy Theorists Shaped Trump's Worldview (And Why They Matter To Mueller)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

"If there was contact between the Trump campaign, or even Trump himself, and WikiLeaks, it went through [Jerome] Corsi and [Roger] Stone," says New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin.


'Surviving R. Kelly' Producer Dream Hampton Takes On Ecosystem That Supported The Star

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The activist, filmmaker and writer chronicles sexual abuse allegations against R. Kelly in the six-part docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, even as new allegations against him surface.


Andrew McCabe: FBI Investigations Into Trump 'Were Extraordinary Steps'

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

"We don't have a lot of experience with investigating presidents of the United States," McCabe says. "There is not a standard S.O.P. on the shelf that you pull down to say, 'Here's how it's done.' "


Director Paul Schrader Tests His Faith In 'First Reformed'

Friday, February 15, 2019

First Reformed, which Schrader wrote and directed, is up for an Oscar for best screenplay. It tells the story of a divorced minister experiencing a crisis of faith. Originally broadcast June 12, 2018.


Journalist: Kleptocrats' 'Ill-Gotten Fortunes' Are Being Parked In U.S. Real Estate

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Atlantic journalist Franklin Foer says American real estate became a "giant magnet" for Russia's kleptocratic fortunes after lobbyists pushed to allow anonymous shell companies to buy properties.


A Neuroscientist Explores The Biology Of Addiction In 'Never Enough'

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Growing up, Judith Grisel struggled with alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. Now as a neuroscientist, she's working to understand the biological basis of addiction. Her new book is Never Enough.


The 'Strange Science' Behind The Big Business Of Exercise Recovery

Monday, February 11, 2019

Does exercise recovery work? Science writer Christie Aschwanden examines the physiology and effectiveness of sports drinks, protein powders and other products and services in her new book, Good to Go.


Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen On Singing Cowboys And Working With Oxen

Friday, February 08, 2019

The Coen brothers spoke to Fresh Air in November 2018 about The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a Western that often subverts the expectations of the genre. The film is up for three Academy Awards.


Remembering Baseball Hall Of Famer Frank Robinson

Friday, February 08, 2019

Robinson, who died Thursday, was the first player to win both the American and National League MVP awards. He later became the first black manager of a major league team. Originally broadcast in 1988.


'NYT' Reporter Covering Trump: We've Almost 'Lost The Ability To Be Shocked'

Thursday, February 07, 2019

New York Times journalist Michael Schmidt has helped break major stories concerning special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into connections between President Trump, his associates and Russia.


Random House Copy Chief: Stand Tall, Wordsmiths! (But Choose Your Battles)

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

The subtitle of Benjamin Dreyer's book is An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, but "the last thing that I want to do is to pass myself off as some sort of ferocious gatekeeper," he says.


Daughter Of A Numbers Runner Witnessed An Underground Economy In Action

Monday, February 04, 2019

Growing up, Bridgett M. Davis' mother booked and banked bets from their home in Detroit. She writes about her experience — and the role of "the numbers" in the black community — in her memoir.


Margo Price Sings About The Heartache And Beauty Of Small-Town America

Friday, February 01, 2019

Price is up for the 2019 Grammy Award for best new artist. She spoke to Fresh Air in 2017 about growing up in the small town of Aledo, Ill.: "Now, when I go back, I see the beauty in it."


Remembering Character Actor Dick Miller

Friday, February 01, 2019

"You don't have to be a leading man" to make it in Hollywood, Miller told Fresh Air in 1990. He appeared in more than 100 films, including Gremlins and The Little Shop of Horrors.


Could Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei Put U.S. Cyber-Security At Risk?

Thursday, January 31, 2019

NY Times reporter David Sanger says the world's leading producer of telecom equipment will be central to the spread of a global 5G network — which could pose a major threat to U.S. national security.


'Beale Street' And 'Vice' Composer Isn't Afraid To Play The 'Wrong' Notes

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Oscar-nominated film composer Nicholas Britell seeks out sounds that capture a movie's essence. His process involves many discussions with directors — and a lot of experimenting.


In 'Maid,' A Single Mother Finds 'No Way' To Make It On Minimum Wage

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

While raising her young daughter, Stephanie Land cleaned houses to scrape by. It was back-aching work and the pay — $8.55 an hour to start, $9.25 an hour two years in — just wasn't enough.


Remembering Academy Award-Winning Composer Michel Legrand

Monday, January 28, 2019

The jazz pianist, singer and producer, who died Saturday, won Oscar Awards for his compositions in Yentl, Summer of '42 and The Thomas Crown Affair. Originally broadcast in 1996.