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.

Shows:

Terry Gross appears in the following:

'Just Mercy' Attorney Asks U.S. To Reckon With Its Racist Past And Present

Monday, January 20, 2020

Stevenson built a museum and monument in Alabama dedicated to slavery and its legacy. "We need to create institutions in this country that motivate more people to say 'Never again,' " he says.

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Remembering Spiritual Leader Ram Dass

Friday, January 17, 2020

Dass, who died Dec. 22, was a practitioner of Eastern-inspired philosophy who became interested in the religious potential of LSD in the '60s and '70s. Originally broadcast in 1990.

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'Why Religion?' Asks 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy

Friday, January 17, 2020

Religion scholar Elaine Pagels lost her young son to terminal illness and her husband a year later in an accident. She spoke to Fresh Air in November 2018 about loss and faith.

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Leaked Intelligence Reports Reveal The Vast Power Iran Wields In Iraq

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Intercept journalist James Risen says new documents show how Iran has embedded itself in the politics of its neighbor — and that the late Gen. Soleimani oversaw Iran's proxy wars in Iraq and Syria.

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'Can A Person Change?': Martin Scorsese On Gangsters, Death And Redemption

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Scorsese's latest film, The Irishman, is up for 10 Academy Awards, including best picture and best director. Scorsese talks about his previous mob movies — and explains how this one is different.

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Book Details The 'Bottom-Feeders' And 'Fixers' Who Enabled Trump's Election

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Reporters Joe Palazzolo and Michael Rothfeld won a Pulitzer for their investigation of Trump's 2016 hush money payments to Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels. Their new book is The Fixers.

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Remembering 'Graduate' Screenwriter Buck Henry

Friday, January 10, 2020

Henry, who died Jan. 8, co-created the film Get Smart with Mel Brooks and made regular appearances as a guest host on Saturday Night Live in the show's early years. Originally broadcast in 1997.

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Remembering Jazz Trumpeter, Singer And Actor Jack Sheldon

Friday, January 10, 2020

Sheldon, who died Dec. 27, sang with Benny Goodman and was bandleader and sidekick for Merv Griffin's talk show for many years. Originally broadcast in 1993.

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Journalist Details 'Dangerously Unstable' Relationship Between The U.S. And China

Thursday, January 09, 2020

New Yorker writer Evan Osnos says that China is building up its military and Pentagon analysts now believe it could defeat U.S. forces in a confrontation along its borders.

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'American Oligarchs' Reveals How Trump, Kushner Families Learned To Work The System

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Author Andrea Bernstein says Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have benefited from family connections — and the influence of money in politics.

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'Boys & Sex' Reveals That Young Men Feel 'Cut Off From Their Hearts'

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Author Peggy Orenstein spoke to more than 100 young men of diverse backgrounds about sex, porn, gender and intimacy. Boys, she found, often lack "permission or space" to discuss their interior lives.

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'The System's Broken' And 'Joker' Director Aimed To Explore That On Screen

Monday, January 06, 2020

Todd Phillips explores mental health and the lack of social services in his Batman villain origin story (of sorts). "The system's broken, and why not use a film to make a comment on that?" he says.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Jordan Peele; Francis Ford Coppola

Saturday, January 04, 2020

We continue our Best of the Decade series with archival interviews with two directors. Peele talked about Get Out in 2017. In 2016, Coppola described the studio battles he faced filming The Godfather.

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'Fresh Air' Favorites: Bruce Springsteen

Friday, January 03, 2020

This week, we're listening back to some favorite Fresh Air interviews from the past decade. In 2016, Springsteen reflected on how he and his music were shaped by home, roots, family and community.

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'Fresh Air' Favorites: Patti Smith

Friday, January 03, 2020

This week, we're listening back to some favorite Fresh Air interviews from the past decade. The punk icon reflected on her career and her 22-year friendship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe in 2010.

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'Fresh Air' Favorites: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Thursday, January 02, 2020

This week, we're listening back to some favorite Fresh Air interviews from the past decade. In 2015 Coates spoke about growing up in Baltimore and facing threats from both the streets and the police.

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'Fresh Air' Favorites: Toni Morrison

Thursday, January 02, 2020

This week, we're listening back to some favorite Fresh Air interviews from the past decade. The Nobel Prize winner, who died in 2019, spoke about aging and regret in this 2015 interview.

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'Fresh Air' Favorites: Catherine Russell

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

This week, we're listening back to some favorite Fresh Air interviews from the past decade. Russell sang tracks from her solo album, Strictly Romancin', during this 2012 interview and performance.

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'Fresh Air' Favorites: Bandleader Jon Batiste

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

This week, we're listening back to some favorite Fresh Air interviews from the past decade. The bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert let loose at the piano during this 2018 interview.

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'Fresh Air' Favorites: Carolina Chocolate Drops

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

This week, we're listening back to some favorite Fresh Air interviews from the past decade. The Durham, N.C.-based trio showcased their African American string music — with a modern twist — in '10.

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