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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8:47am

Sat March 7, 2015
Simon Says

High School Coach Takes The Heat, And Teaches Her Team About Character

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 10:29 am

Narbonne takes on View Parkin in the L.A. City Section Girls Basketball Open Division Quarterfinal in Los Angeles, CA.
Thomas R. Cordova Courtesy of Daily Breeze

Gauchos don't wear pink.

The Narbonne Gauchos high school girls' basketball team in southern California will play for the section championship against the Palisades High School Dolphins tonight.

But they began the week on the bench, tossed from the championships because in their slender victory last Saturday over the View Park High School Knights, the Gauchos wore pink.

They put pink letters and numerals on their uniforms, as part of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association "Play 4 Kay" cancer awareness program.

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7:37am

Sat January 31, 2015
Remembrances

Rod McKuen, The Cheeseburger To Poetry's Haute Cuisine

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 1:14 pm

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

9:05am

Sat January 24, 2015
Simon Says

Let's Play Two! Remembering Chicago Cub Ernie Banks

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 12:00 pm

Chicago Cub Ernie Banks, right, told NPR's Scott Simon, left, in 2014 that he had a lot of fun winning games, but the main thing in his life was "making friends."
Peter Breslow NPR

Every Saturday just before our show begins I get on the public address system here to announce to our crew, "It's a beautiful day for a radio show. Let's do two today!"

It's an admiring imitation of Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame baseball player who died last night at the age of 83. Ernie used to say, especially in the long years of hot summers — including this last one, when the Cubs were stuck in last place — "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame. Let's play two today!"

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8:44am

Sat January 24, 2015
Media

From A Frequent Flier To SkyMall, Thanks For The Memory Foams

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 12:08 pm

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

7:41am

Sat January 17, 2015
Animals

Are Stripes A Zebra's Cooling System?

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 11:57 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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5:42am

Sat November 29, 2014
Simon Says

Helmets Aren't Always Enough To Keep Players Safe

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 12:05 pm

Cricketer Phillip Hughes celebrates a score in 2011. Hughes was wearing a helmet this week when a ball struck him on the neck and killed him.
Eranga Jayawardena AP

Australian cricket player Phillip Hughes died this week in Sydney after he was struck on the back of the neck by a bounced pitch that's an ordinary and routine part of cricket.

Mr. Hughes was 25, an accomplished and admired player. There's been an outpouring of grief in Australia and around the world over his death. Cricket fans from India and Pakistan to New Zealand have observed a minute of silence before a match, and worn black armbands. Cricket fans have put out cricket bats in tribute. Rory McIlroy, the great Irish golfer, played with a black ribbon in his cap.

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8:42am

Sat October 18, 2014
Simon Says

A Candidate With Low Poll Numbers, But High Hopes

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 3:46 pm

Dr. Doug Butzier died on duty this week. He was 59 and crashed in his own small plane flying home to Dubuque, Iowa.

Doug Butzier was a former paramedic who put himself through medical school and became chief of the emergency room and medical staff at Mercy Medical Center and the Dubuque Fire Department. An EMS supervisor named Wayne Dow told the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, "We adored him ... He appreciated what we did, and he never forgot where he came from."

Dr. Butzier leaves behind his wife, two sons, and three step-children.

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7:46am

Sat October 18, 2014
Technology

Robot Bees Could Assist With Tricky Rescue Operations

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 7:37 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

When you think about robots, if you do, you might think of famous images from science fiction, some kind of tin can built to vaguely resemble a human being.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 - THE PHANTOM MENACE")

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10:16am

Sat October 4, 2014
Around the Nation

Atlantic City Falls From Glittering Resort To Bargain Basement

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 1:36 pm

The Revel was one of four Atlantic City casinos to shut down this year.
Mel Evans AP

The U.S. may have added jobs to its payroll last month, but the losses are still huge in Atlantic City, N.J., where four casinos have closed this year. A fifth teeters, and more than 7,000 people — dealers, greeters, cooks and maids — have been laid off.

The job losses could mean a future of boarded windows and abandoned buildings.

In the 1970s, Atlantic City had lost the glitter of its golden years — the 1940s and '50s, when it was a favored summer spot with a broad beach, the Boardwalk, pastel resort hotels and the home of the Miss America Pageant.

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8:08am

Sat August 30, 2014
Simon Says

Syrian Artists Denied Visas, And A Voice In The U.S.

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 12:31 am

Syria: The Trojan Women inserts current events into an ancient Greek tragedy, performed here in Amman, Jordan, in 2013.
Lynn Alleva Lilley Lynn Alleva Lilley

The Trojan Women, by Euripides, is a Greek tragedy written 2,500 years ago that war keeps timely.

It's about a group of women who struggle to survive in Troy after the town has been sacked. When one of the women cries out, "Our country, our conquered country, perishes ... O land that reared my children!" it's hard not to hear those words echo today, through Syria, in Iraq and in Ukraine.

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