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 Nobles' Sports Book of the Year. His novel, Pretty Birds, the story of two teenage girls in Sarajevo during the siege, received rave reviews, 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. He is completing a book on their last week together that will appear in time for Mother's Day 2015.

Simon is a native of Chicago and the son of comedian Ernie Simon and Patricia Lyons Simon. His hobbies are books, theater, ballet, British comedy, Mexican cooking and "bleeding for the Chicago Cubs." He appeared as Mother Ginger in the Ballet Austin production of The Nutcracker.

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Art & Design
8:11 am
Sat June 27, 2015

Queen Elizabeth, The Art Critic

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 10:30 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Simon Says
7:23 am
Sat June 27, 2015

Little Baggies Of Bigotry Broadcast A Hateful Message — Paired With Candy

In the week since the Charleston church shooting, fliers advocating for the Ku Klux Klan, paired with candy and bigoted screeds, have turned up on lawns throughout the U.S., including this one in Rockdale County, Ga.
Rockdale County Sheriff's Department

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 10:30 am

There has been an outpouring of grief and sympathy since the shootings in Charleston, S.C., and calls for Americans to examine our minds and hearts.

But this week, in several spots around the country, little bags of candy have been left with harsh and hateful messages.

In Orange County, Calif., Tuscaloosa County, Ala., Rockdale County, Ga., and several other places — including, reportedly, Texas and New York state — someone, some group or groups of people, have left Ku Klux Klan fliers folded into small plastic baggies with candy.

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Simon Says
5:49 am
Sat June 20, 2015

What Do You Think Of When You Hear The Word 'Refugee'?

Syrian refugees wait to be registered at the port of Mytilini in Greece following a 6km-long march.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 10:40 am

Many refugees around the world have to make a grim decision: what few things can they carry in their arms and on their backs as they try to run for safety and freedom?

This week the United Nations refugee agency said the number of people forced to flee their homes by war and oppression is now as large as a major nation: nearly 60 million people, or a little larger than the population of Italy. It may be the largest number of refugees ever recorded.

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Simon Says
7:28 am
Sat June 13, 2015

Remembering 'Headless Body' Headline Writer Vincent Musetto

NYPost.com

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 11:46 am

Vincent Musetto wrote some of the most widely quoted words in the history of journalism:

"Headless Body in Topless Bar."

Vinnie Musetto — I'm told no one called him Vincent — died this week of pancreatic cancer at the age of 74.

He was a managing editor of the New York Post on April 13, 1983, when crime raged, New York seethed, Ed Koch cracked wise, Brooklyn was a bargain, and a bagel and a schmear cost $1.50.

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Simon Says
5:25 am
Sat June 6, 2015

Lunch Lady Knows There's No Quick Fix For Feeding Hungry Kids

Dakota Valley Elementary School kitchen manager Della Curry said she "knew the whole time it was a firing offense" to give out free lunches.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 11:25 am

Della Curry gave a free lunch to a hungry child that may be costly.

Curry is the kitchen manager — the lunch lady — at the Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Colo. She set off a national debate this week when she said that last Friday, "I had a first-grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn't have enough money for lunch," Curry told Denver's KCNC TV. "Yes, I gave her a lunch."

And shortly thereafter, Curry was fired.

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Europe
8:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Historian May Have Discovered Henry I's Final Resting Place

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:48 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Humans
8:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

At Day Center For The Elderly, 'They Have Everything'

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:48 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: How are you this morning?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: Fine. Holding up.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Holding up?

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Simon Says
6:45 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Remembering Marines Who Died On A Mission Of Mercy In Nepal

Nepalese villagers wave after collecting aid dropped by an Indian helicopter in Khanigaun, Nepal.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:48 pm

What kind of man or woman risks their lives for strangers?

Eric Seaman of Murrieta, Calif., was 30. He had two children, and was a U.S. Marine sergeant. His wife, Samantha Seaman, told CNN, "Last week I got an email telling me that he felt purpose and that he delivered 10,000 pounds of rice ... and I know that right before he passed away, I know that he helped somebody."

Sara Medina was 23. She enlisted in the Marines just out of high school in Aurora, Illinois, and served in South Korea, South America and Okinawa.

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Simon Says
5:18 am
Sat May 9, 2015

New Yorkers To Mayor De Blasio: 'Get Used To It'

Per the New York Daily News, on weekdays, only 74% of trains arrive on time at terminals.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 6:29 am

Big city mayors love to ride subways, after they're elected. Their iron-clad official automobiles may be comfortable, efficient, and wi-fi'd, but a politician who rides the subway now and then is better optics, as political consultants put it: a mayor standing, sweating and bouncing between stops with his or her constituents.

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Commentary
5:58 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Can You Spot The Fake Fragonard?

A visitor views a replica of Jean-Honore Fragonard's 18th century painting, Young Woman (right) as the original hangs to its left.
Carl Court Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 10:26 am

I'm not sure a picture is worth a thousand words. But why do some pictures sell for millions and others that seem identical go for just a few dollars?

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Race
7:34 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Protesters Plan To 'Shut Down' Baltimore Saturday

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 12:36 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Simon Says
5:22 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Pick The Perfect Profanity To Season Your Message

Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price did not raise his voice as he delivered 77 profanities in response to a reporter's question.
Joe Robbins Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 2:02 pm

A word now about profanity. I'm in favor. Not on this show, or around children and grandparents. But I think an occasional profanity can remind us of the power of words to convey intense emotion.

This week Bryan Price, the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, who had just lost four straight games, answered a reporter's question with a 5 1/2-minute reply — a lot of people called it a rant — that featured what the Associated Press called a "common vulgarity" that begins with F.

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Simon Says
5:56 am
Sat March 28, 2015

At Last, A Fitting Farewell For Richard III

White roses adorn the statue of Richard III outside Leicester Cathedral before the reinterment ceremony of King Richard III.
WPA Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 10:56 am

Richard III was buried this week, two years after his abandoned bones were certified to be under a modern-day car park, and 530 years after he was the last English king to die in battle on English soil.

If you look past all the dukedoms and earldoms, the dust-up between the Houses of York and Lancaster called the War of the Roses doesn't sound dramatically different from a mob movie: thwacks, whacks, hanky-panky and blood.

Shakespeare just put that with more elegance.

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Simon Says
5:35 am
Sat March 21, 2015

Might A Brush With Death Set The Stage For Greatness?

Martin Luther King Jr., with his wife, Coretta, at a Harlem hospital after he was stabbed by Izola Ware Curry in 1958.
AP

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 10:56 am

A name from the small print of history died this week.

Izola Ware Curry was 98. She died in a nursing home in Queens in New York City. In September 1958, Dr. Martin Luther King was signing books in a Harlem department store when Izola Curry stabbed him with a letter opener.

The tip of the blade touched his aorta. A surgeon later told Dr. King that he would have died if he had sneezed before they could operate.

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Simon Says
5:30 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Seven Decades On, Anne Frank's Words Still Comfort

Anne Frank poses in 1941.
Frans Dupont AP

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 5:20 pm

A 15-year-old girl named Anne Frank died 70 years ago this week; the exact day is unknown. She died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, not long after her sister Margot, who was 19.

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Simon Says
6:10 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Rats Blamed For Bubonic Plague, But Gerbils May Be The Real Villains

Gerbils are harmless... Right?
Peter Knight Flickr

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 10:40 am

Rats have a bad rap. They have for centuries. Ever since the middle of the 14th century when the Black Plague descended over Europe.

Rats took the rap for spreading the bubonic plague, which killed millions of people over the next 400 years. It has long been believed that swarms of rats spread the disease when fleas flew from their feverish, infected, furry little bodies and bit into thin-skinned humans.

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Simon Says
8:56 am
Sat February 21, 2015

The Heavy Moral Weight Of Carnegie Mellon's 800 Botched Acceptances

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 9:20 am

A lot of people saw their hopes and dreams fulfilled this week — for just a few hours.

Carnegie Mellon University emailed about 800 people who had applied to graduate school to say, 'Congratulations, you're in.' They were — to quote the message of acceptance — "one of the select few" to be accepted into Carnegie Mellon's prestigious Master of Science in Computer Science program.

A young woman in India who was accepted wrote on Facebook that she quit her job, bolstered by this act of faith in her future. Her boyfriend proposed marriage.

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Simon Says
7:12 am
Sat February 14, 2015

'Do Not Fear For Me': Remembering Kayla Mueller With Her Own Words

A woman kneels near a makeshift memorial for Kayla Mueller in Prescott, Ariz.
Brian Skoloff AP

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 10:15 am

It has been wrenching these last few weeks to hear about the hostages killed by the group that calls itself the Islamic State, and learn about the extraordinary people we have lost: humanitarian workers, independent journalists, people who chose to put themselves in one of the most dangerous spots on earth in hope that they might do something needed and good.

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Simon Says
7:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Oscar Romero, The Murdered Archbishop Who Inspires The Pope

People look at a portrait of Oscar Romero at the cathedral of San Salvador, where as archbishop he resisted a brutal regime. He was murdered and the Vatican has declared him a martyr.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 11:19 am

Pope Francis and the Vatican have recognized Oscar Romero as a martyr. This may move the name of the late archbishop of San Salvador a little further in the process that could one day make him a saint.

But being deemed a martyr is also holy. It means the church believes his life can inspire people; Pope Francis has said Romero inspires him.

Romero was considered a kindly, orthodox conservative parish priest when Pope Paul appointed him archbishop in 1977. He did not question El Salvador's ruling regime.

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Simon Says
7:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

It May Take A British Actor To Make An American Story Sing

British actor Idris Elba played Stringer Bell, second-in-command to Baltimore drug kingpin Avon Barksdale, in HBO's The Wire.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 1:20 pm

Martin Luther King Jr. is British. Coretta Scott King, too. So is Lyndon Baines Johnson, Superman, Batman, the last Abraham Lincoln, the ramrod U.S. Marine, and the chisel-chested CIA operative in Homeland, and many of the B'almer cops and hoods on The Wire. So are Philip on The Americans, Eli on The Good Wife, and both of those stealthily adulterous Americans on The Affair.

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