Scott Simon

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.

Simon's weekly show, Weekend Edition Saturday, has been called by the Washington Post, "the most literate, witty, moving, and just plain interesting news show on any dial," and by Brett Martin of Time Out New York, "the most eclectic, intelligent two hours of broadcasting on the airwaves." He has won every major award in broadcasting, including the Peabody, the Emmy, the Columbia-DuPont, the Ohio State Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the Sidney Hillman Award. Simon received the Presidential End Hunger Award for his coverage of the Ethiopian civil war and famine, and a special citation from the Peabody Awards for his weekly essays, which were cited as "consistently thoughtful, graceful, and challenging." He has also received the Barry M. Goldwater Award from the Human Rights Fund. Recently, he was awarded the Studs Terkel Award.

Simon has hosted many television specials, including the PBS's "State of Mind," "Voices of Vision," and "Need to Know." "The Paterson Project" won a national Emmy, as did his two-hour special from the Rio Earth Summit meeting. He co-anchored PBS's "Millennium 2000" coverage in concert with the BBC, and has co-hosted the televised Columbia-DuPont Awards. He also became familiar to viewers in Great Britain as host of the continuing BBC series, "Eyewitness," and a special on the White House press corps. He has appeared as a guest and commentator on all major networks, including BBC, NBC, CNN, and ESPN.

Simon has contributed articles to The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Times of London, The Guardian, and Gourmet among other publications, and won a James Beard Award for his story, "Conflict Cuisine" in Gourmet. He has received numerous honorary degrees.

Sports Illustrated called his book Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan "extraordinary...uniformly superb...a memoir of such breadth and reach that it compares favorably with Fredrick Exley's A Fan's Notes." It was at the top of several non-fiction bestseller lists. His book, and Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball, was Barnes and Noble's Sports Book of the Year. His novel, Pretty Birds, the story of two teenage girls in Sarajevo during the siege, received rave reviews, with Scott Turow calling it, "the most auspicious fiction debut by a journalist of note since Tom Wolfe's. . . always gripping, always tender, and often painfully funny. It is a marvel of technical finesse, close observation, and a perfectly pitched heart." Windy City, Simon's second novel, is a political comedy set in the Chicago City Council. Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other, an essay about the joys of adoption, was published in August 2010.

Simon's tweets to his 1.25 million Twitter followers from his mother's bedside in the summer of 2013 gathered major media attention around the world. They inspired his New York Times bestseller book Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime. Laura Hillenbrand, the author of Unbroken and Seabiscuit, called the book "poignant, funny, intimate, and unforgettable." Scott Turow called it "a treasure. It is as poignant and tender and wise as Tuesdays with Morrie, with the added virtues of being unflinching and, quite often, very funny." Laurie Halse Anderson just called the book, "Amazing. Breathtaking. Affirming. This book will change lives, restore hopes to the brokenhearted, and remind the rest of us what is truly important." Carlos Lozado of The Washington Post called it, in a rave review, "a book that easily matches its title."

Simon also wrote the book Just Getting Started with Tony Bennett. His latest books is My Cubs: A Love Story about his lifelong fandom of the Chicago Cubs, and their historic World Series victory.

Simon is a native of Chicago and the son of comedian Ernie Simon and Patricia Lyons Simon. He is married to Caroline Richard Simon, and their daughters are Elise and Paulina. His hobbies are books, theater, ballet, British comedy, Mexican cooking, and "bleeding for the Chicago Cubs." He has thrown out the first pitch at Wrigley Field (low and outside) and appeared as Mother Ginger in the Ballet Austin production of The Nutcracker. Scott received the Order of Lincoln from the State of Illinois in 2016, the state's highest honor. He adds, "If you prick me, I'll bleed Chicago Cubs blue."

South African author, actor and musician Nakhane creates art that reveals. He came out with his first album, Brave Confusion, in 2013, and now he's back with a powerful testimony of trial and redemption set to the sounds of electronic dance music from his home country. The 30-year-old singer addresses the intersectionality of queerness, blackness and survival in his latest album, You Will Not Die.

As birds flitted on and off colorful feeders in a flicker of flapping feathers, and chattered in chirps — punctuated by the occasional trill — a band of birdwatchers offered a cacophony of their own.

"I heard a red-winged blackbird!"

"There's a blue jay!"

"Is that a downy woodpecker?"

Don't have a backyard? No problem. The Great Backyard Bird Count can be done anywhere, whether that's standing on a street outside an apartment, looking out a window at the office, or wandering around a park.

You might be surprised at what you find.

We probably should not project human traits onto machines. But if you spend a lot of time with a mechanism — talk to it, wait to hear from it and worry about it — even scientists begin to see personality in machinery.

When the Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover ended its mission this week, after more than 5,000 Martian days, NASA scientists mourned.

It's a reminder not to judge too much by appearances. Planets, and people, have histories.

It's not just the finger of fate that brings Ren and Ji Lin together. It's a finger.

Ren is an 11-year-old houseboy at the deathbed of his master, Dr. MacFarland, who takes a last breath to ask the boy to find the finger amputated from the doctor years before, and to return it to him in his grave within 49 days before his soul disappears.

Ji Lin is a dancehall girl and dressmaker's assistant in 1930s Malaya who has a sudden gift pressed into her hand during a dance: a severed finger in a glass tube.

Back in 1967, Bobbie Gentry sang a haunting ode to young love and sad endings in the deep South called "Ode to Billie Joe." That song, about a mysterious occurrence on the Tallahatchie Bridge, was the No. 1 song in America for several weeks. A year later, Gentry released a country-rock opera, The Delta Sweete. It hardly sold at all — but has since become a favorite of collectors and musicians.

If you saw some of these paintings — of flowers, fields and foggy townscapes — for sale at a summer art fair, you might point at one to say, "Well, maybe for the guest bathroom."

Five pictures allegedly painted by Adolf Hitler are scheduled for auction at an art house in Nuremberg Saturday. Two dozen more were pulled after German police raided the place on Thursday, on suspicion that a number of the paintings signed, "A. Hitler," are forgeries.

I bought a burqa in a market when I covered the war in Afghanistan in 2002. I showed it to my wife when I got home, and pulled the blue garment over my head to look through the single thin eye slit that allowed an Afghan woman's only view of the world.

That's when I truly understood why the Taliban had forced all women in Afghanistan to wear the burqa. It disguised, depersonalized, and confined them.

This week it was reported that the U.S. and the Taliban have agreed in principle to a plan that could end the war and bring home U.S. troops.

High Flying Bird is a basketball movie, but you rarely see a basketball. It's a film about, as one character says, "the game on top of the game": the ways that NBA owners, broadcasters and advertisers profit from the sport.

André Holland plays Ray, a sports agent, who finds his company credit cards suspended and his wallet low on cash in the 25th week of an NBA lockout. The players want to play — but the players also want to get paid for playing before the millions of fans who want to see them play.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In Holy Lands, Harry Rosenmerck, an aging cardiologist, has left New York and his medical practice to move to Israel — to raise pigs.

His ex-wife, Monique, is battling illness. Their son David has been estranged from Harry since he came out. Their daughter Annabelle is heartsick in Paris. And his rabbi is appalled.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Government employees are often the targets of jokes and wisecracks. But a lot of Americans have now stepped up to help furloughed government workers get through these weeks of enforced idleness or compulsory work for no pay.

Chef Jose Andres, who has provided so much food aid to victims of hurricanes and wildfires, opened a kitchen right on Pennsylvania Avenue — yes, not far from the Trump Hotel — to give free meals to furloughed federal workers, and food to bring home for their families.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

NPR's Scott Simon asks former prosecutor Solomon Wisenberg about BuzzFeed's report that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump tower in Moscow.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The newest novel by celebrated Chinese novelist Yan Lianke is a poetic nightmare that's being compared with James Joyce's Ulysses.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Mesha Maren's novel Sugar Run opens as Jodi McCarty is getting turned out of prison on parole after serving 18 years for manslaughter.

She shot her girlfriend when she was 17, so Jodi has lived most of her life in prison, and now must make a new life in the real world that she has never known. Soon, she'll meet someone, and they'll try to make a life together in a small West Virginia town where they are outsiders in every way.

Chigozie Obioma's latest novel has an unusual narrator.

Chinonso raises chickens and is profoundly alone in life — until he helps sees a young woman about to hurl herself from a bridge. She is Ndali, who is despondent from a broken engagement. She is drawn to his tenderness and protectiveness; he is drawn to her openness and vulnerability. They become involved.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This summer, NPR launched a series on songs we know that have become American anthems.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAR HONKING)

I don't think Louis C.K. is funny. That's the worst that can be said about a comedian. Not that they're offensive or outrageous. Great comics can offend and outrage people. But a comic who dares to be offensive, but isn't funny, is just a lout.

Louis C.K., who has been on NPR many times, and often extolled as edgy and unafraid, apologized in late 2017 for sexual misconduct with women.

"There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for," he said then. "I will now step back and take a long time to listen."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONE LAST TIME (44 REMIX)")

CHRISTOPHER JACKSON: (As George Washington, vocalizing).

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" helped make a lot of stars, including, of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Three remarkable musical artists will share a stage in Detroit tomorrow night.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M DEAF")

SEAN FORBES: (Rapping) My name is Sean, but they call me Seen. Got a message here I'm deliverin'.

Karim Wasfi became famous around the world because of misfortune. The renowned performer and conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra played cello at the scenes of suicide attacks in Baghdad in 2015. He was the man who made beautiful music among the wreckage of a great city.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF ORQUESTA LIRICA BELLATERRA PERFORMANCE OF TCHAIKOVSKY'S "THE NUTCRACKER, BALLET SUITE, OP. 71A: MINIATURE OVERTURE")

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

'Tis the season to just, you know, stay put. Maybe watch your favorite TV show, a series, a podcast. Curl up with a book or a game. Last week we asked you, what's your pop culture comfort food?

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Pages