Russell Lewis

Russell Lewis is the Southern Bureau Chief for NPR News, a post he has held since 2006. Lewis focuses on the issues and news central to the Southeast — from Florida to Virginia to Texas, including West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma. In addition to developing and expanding NPR's coverage of the region, Lewis assigns and edits stories from station-based reporters and freelancers alike, working closely with local correspondents and public radio stations. He also spent a year in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, coordinating NPR's coverage of the rebuilding effort. He's currently based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lewis began his public radio career in 1992 at NPR member station WUFT in Gainesville, Florida, where he was an executive news producer. He spent time at WSVH in Savannah, Georgia. Lewis also worked for Kansas Public Radio and reported on the state legislature. He spent six years on the West Coast, working at one of public radio's flagship stations: KPBS in San Diego where he was senior editor and a reporter. He most recently was assistant news director and talk-show host at WGCU in Fort Myers, Florida. He was a frequent contributor to NPR, specializing in military and business issues.

In his spare time, Lewis loves to cook, read, and ride his bicycle.

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7:59am

Tue July 8, 2014
The Two-Way

The One American On The Field At Today's World Cup Semifinal

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:35 am

Referee Mark Geiger will be the U.S. presence at the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday.
Clive Rose Getty Images

The United States will have a presence at today's semifinal World Cup match between Brazil and Germany. It won't be the U.S. National Team on the field, but American referee Mark Geiger. FIFA selected Geiger to be on the officiating crew of the high-stakes match. It's the first time a U.S. referee has been used this late in a World Cup.

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1:08pm

Sat July 5, 2014
The Salt

Want To Eat Brazilian Food At The World Cup? Please Step Outside

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 10:53 am

Acaraje are a regional food in Brazil made from fried balls of mashed-up beans, onions and salt. The balls are sliced in half, slathered with a spicy pepper sauce and cashew paste, and then topped with shrimp.
Russell Lewis NPR

The stadiums of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are all different, constructed to reflect the region. Natal's arena has a wavy beach-dune style, while the stadium in Manaus looks like a woven basket.

Inside those stadiums, however, you'd never know you're in Brazil. Budweiser is an official beer seller, and Coke has the soda market cornered. Other menu items include hot dogs, cheeseburgers and turkey sandwiches. It's almost impossible to find any Brazilian fare on the menu.

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11:06am

Tue July 1, 2014
The Two-Way

U.S.-Belgium Match Could Be A Game Of Goalkeepers

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 1:27 pm

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard pumps his fist after qualifying for the next World Cup round following the team's 1-0 loss to Germany last week.
Ricardo Mazalan AP

Win or go home. Do or die. Lose and you're done. Choose your sports cliche, and for the United States team, it's true. The U.S. takes on Belgium at 4 p.m. EDT today in Salvador, Brazil. It's the Americans' first game in the knockout stage. The victor moves on to the quarterfinals, and the loser books a flight home.

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10:36am

Thu June 26, 2014
The Two-Way

Weather, History Muddy The Field For U.S.-Germany Showdown

Jermaine Jones and other members of the U.S. men's national team train in Manaus, Brazil. Fitness may be a crucial factor in the U.S.-Germany game on Thursday in Recife .
Raphael Alves AFP/Getty Images

It's do or die (or tie) time for the United States today in the World Cup.

The U.S. team plays its final game in group play against world No. 2-ranked Germany at noon EDT in the Brazilian seaside city of Recife. The stakes couldn't be higher, and the intrigue is all here, folks.

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4:15pm

Wed June 25, 2014
Latin America

A World Cup Surprise: Arias In The Heart Of The Amazon

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 9:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Of all the Brazilian cities staging games at the World Cup, none is more exotic than Manaus. It's nestled in the heart of the Amazon jungle. You can only get there by plane or boat - an unlikely place to host soccer games. And there's something else in Manaus that's unexpected - a centuries-old theater and opera house. NPR's Russell Lewis took a break from soccer and paid a visit.

RUSSELL LEWIS, BYLINE: The first thing you notice about the Teatro Amazonas is how lovely it is. Then the beauty melts away and it's what you hear.

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7:27am

Sun June 22, 2014
The Two-Way

U.S. Vs. Portugal: 'Now Is The Moment' To Show American Mettle

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 10:17 am

United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard works out during a training session. "We're going to do our best to bottle him up," Howard said of Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Julio Cortez AP

The World Cup round of 16 in Brazil is taking shape.

Already in: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Netherlands. The big question: Will the United States join that distinguished list today?

The U.S. soccer team has a tough matchup against Portugal. Win, and the Americans are in. Lose or tie, and the road gets a lot tougher with next Thursday's game against Germany.

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4:32pm

Wed June 18, 2014
Sports

In Brazil, Predictions Of Doom And Gloom Give Way To Minor Annoyances

Brazil's World Cup preparation endured some heavy criticism leading up to the games. Stadiums were still under construction, Internet connections were sketchy and transportation faced major challenges. A week into the tournament, NPR's Russell Lewis has traveled to three airports and three cities so far. He talks to Melissa Block about what has worked and what remains a challenge.

8:20pm

Mon June 16, 2014
Sports

With Win Over Ghana, U.S. Is Off On The Right Foot In Brazil

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 11:09 pm

On Monday night, the U.S. soccer team accomplished a feat it failed to achieve in the past two World Cups: beat Ghana. With a 2-1 victory, the Americans position themselves well for the games to come.

12:31pm

Mon June 16, 2014
Sports

Brazil's Opening Victory Gets A Raucous Reception

Brazil kicked off the 2014 World Cup in Sao Paulo with a convincing win over Croatia. NPR's Russell Lewis watched with fans at a samba school, and he tells Melissa Block about the celebrations.

12:08pm

Mon June 16, 2014
The Two-Way

U.S. To Face Ghana As 'Group Of Death' Play Begins

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 1:47 pm

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, members of the U.S. soccer team warm up during a training session the day before their Group G World Cup match with Ghana in Natal, Brazil.
Julio Cortez AP

It's day five of the World Cup in Brazil. But it's the most important day for the U.S. men's soccer team — it's game day.

Tonight at 6 p.m. ET, the U.S. opens World Cup play squaring off against Ghana in the seaside city of Natal. The tiny African country is not particularly a soccer powerhouse. But Ghana has vexed the U.S. — eliminating the team from the past two World Cups.

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