Susan Stamberg

Nationally renowned broadcast journalist Susan Stamberg is special correspondent for NPR.

Stamberg is the first woman to anchor a national nightly news program, and has won every major award in broadcasting. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Radio Hall of Fame. An NPR "founding mother," Stamberg has been on staff since the network began in 1971.

Beginning in 1972, Stamberg served as co-host of NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered for 14 years. She then hosted Weekend Edition Sunday, and now serves as guest host of NPR's Morning Edition and Weekend Edition Saturday, in addition to reporting on cultural issues for Morning Edition.

One of the most popular broadcasters in public radio, Stamberg is well known for her conversational style, intelligence, and knack for finding an interesting story. Her interviewing has been called "fresh," "friendly, down-to-earth," and (by novelist E.L. Doctorow) "the closest thing to an enlightened humanist on the radio." Her thousands of interviews include conversations with Laura Bush, Billy Crystal, Rosa Parks, Dave Brubeck, and Luciano Pavarotti.

Prior to joining NPR, she served as producer, program director, and general manager of NPR Member Station WAMU-FM/Washington, DC. Stamberg is the author of two books, and co-editor of a third. Talk: NPR's Susan Stamberg Considers All Things, chronicles her two decades with NPR. Her first book, Every Night at Five: Susan Stamberg's All Things Considered Book, was published in 1982 by Pantheon. Stamberg also co-edited The Wedding Cake in the Middle of the Road, published in 1992 by W. W. Norton. That collection grew out of a series of stories Stamberg commissioned for Weekend Edition Sunday.

In addition to her Hall of Fame inductions, other recognitions include the Armstrong and duPont Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Ohio State University's Golden Anniversary Director's Award, and the Distinguished Broadcaster Award from the American Women in Radio and Television.

A native of New York City, Stamberg earned a bachelor's degree from Barnard College, and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees including a Doctor of Humane Letters from Dartmouth College. She is a Fellow of Silliman College, Yale University, and has served on the boards of the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Award Foundation and the National Arts Journalism Program based at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Stamberg has hosted a number of series on PBS, moderated three Fred Rogers television specials for adults, served as commentator, guest or co-host on various commercial TV programs, and appeared as a narrator in performance with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. Her voice appeared on Broadway in the Wendy Wasserstein play An American Daughter.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Tue January 17, 2012

The Charmed and Charming Life of Rosamond Bernier

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 10:48 am

In 1947, Vogue magazine sent Rosamond Bernier to Paris to cover European cultural life as it recovered after World War II. She met everyone who was anybody — Pablo Picasso befriended her, Henri Matisse gave her fashion tips, Alice B. Toklas baked for her. Bernier's memoir Some of My Lives is a lively compendium of this movable feast of art and genius — and of the author's own considerable charm.

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Music Interviews
8:52 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

What Makes Newton-John Get 'Physical' At The Gym

Olivia Newton-John on the cover of Physical.
Courtesy of the artist

Aside from watching all the new shows on TV, many people in the New Year will hit the gym, and we're doing our part to help. For the next couple weeks, we're asking athletes, actors and others what music gets them moving.

"Physical" has been a gym-goer's favorite for decades, but Olivia Newton-John says it didn't start out that way.

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History
12:01 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Dancing Through History With First Ladies' Gowns

First lady Michelle Obama's inaugural gown.
Hugh Talman Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:09 am

Every four years in January, Washington, D.C., plays host to the country's biggest "prom." Inaugural balls bring out happy winners, administration bigwigs and a gown — on the first lady — that will become a part of history.

An exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History displays some of those gowns. NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg took her dance card to the show.

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Photography
3:26 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Powerful Portraits Capture China's Empress Dowager

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery SC-GR-254

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 7:20 am

Intrigue! Riches! Sex! Some violence! Not the latest movie plot, but a story that lurks in the background of some 100-year-old photographs of The Empress Dowager — once the most powerful woman in Asia. The mostly black-and-white photos languished for decades in the archives of the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Now, they are on display and give a glimpse of Old China at a time when today's China is the picture of modern power.

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Best Books Of 2011
3:09 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Booksellers' Picks: Catch The Year's Freshest Reads

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

This winter, our independent booksellers have selected books that range in subject from toasters to typeface, odd bookmarks to old Volkswagons, department stores to pasta design. Whether you need a picture book for a toddler, kid lit for a young reader, or quirky non-fiction for the grown-up set, these booksellers have just the thing on their shelves.

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Movies
12:01 am
Mon November 21, 2011

For Muppeteers, It Isn't Easy Being Invisible

Anchorphibian: Kermit the Frog does the backstage-chat thing with Amy Adams and Jason Segel in The Muppets.
Scott Garfield Disney

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 8:51 am

Sound Stage 28 at Universal Studios in Burbank, Calif., looks like any other Hollywood set — littered with wires, crew members everywhere. We pick our way through cables and cameras and stuff that would make Oscar the Grouch's trash can look tidy.

But then we head up — up a flight of wooden stairs that leads to the old set of the 1925 Lon Chaney silent film The Phantom of the Opera. It's draped with dusty red-velvet swags, and it looks like it might still harbor a ghost or two.

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Food
12:01 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Mrs. Stamberg's Relish Goes To Washington

Thanksgiving At The White House: First families have a lot to be thankful for — including the world-class chefs who make their food. Susan Stamberg shares her mother-in-law's cranberry relish recipe with two veteran presidential chefs. They say it reminds them of the infamous "cheddar cheese ring" from the Carter administration.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:16 am

All families have Thanksgiving traditions, and longtime NPR listeners know that Susan Stamberg is always willing to divulge her own. Every year since 1972, Stamberg has shared her mother-in-law's now famous cranberry relish recipe on the radio. Stamberg says the relish — a shocking pink, like Pepto-Bismol — sounds terrible, but tastes terrific.

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Fine Art
12:01 am
Thu November 10, 2011

For Gertrude Stein, Collecting Art Was A Family Affair

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:20 am

A reunion of art is taking place in Paris right now. Works that haven't been there together in almost a century are reunited once again. The art was collected by writer Gertrude Stein and her brothers starting in the early 1900s. The Steins bought paintings right out of the studios of young avant-garde artists — Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and others who would become masters as the 20th century progressed.

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Author Interviews
4:46 am
Tue November 1, 2011

Sorrowful 'Blue Nights': Didion Mourns Her Daughter

Quintana Roo Dunne takes in the ocean view with her parents, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion in Malibu in 1976. Quintana Roo fell ill in 2003, and her father had a fatal heart attack several days later. Blue Nights is Didion's elegy for her daughter who died in 2005 at age 39.

John Bryson Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

In The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion wrestled with the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne. The book was published in 2005, months after their daughter Quintana Roo Dunne — their only child — died at age 39. In her new book, Blue Nights, the 76-year-old author has pieced together literary snapshots, retrieved memories and unanswered queries about her daughter's life and death.

"It has not left my mind since it happened," Didion says. "I live with it, so naturally I can talk about it. ... I couldn't talk about it at first, but I can now."

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