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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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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8:08am

Sat August 2, 2014
Simon Says

M. Caldwell Butler, A True Bipartisan Politician

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:24 am

Rep. M. Caldwell Butler (right) listens to debate over the Nixon impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee in July 1974.
AP

M. Caldwell Butler died this week, at the age of 89, just a few days short of another anniversary of the event that etched his name into history.

Butler was a first-term representative from Virginia in 1974, serving on the House Judiciary Committee, which was spending a steamy summer under scorching TV lights to consider the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

Butler was from a proud old Virginia family. He admired Chief Justice John Marshall, of whom he was a descendant, Robert E. Lee, and Richard M. Nixon.

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10:33am

Sat July 26, 2014
Remembrances

Bel Kaufman Took Us 'Up The Down Staircase'

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 1:32 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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8:35am

Sat July 26, 2014
Simon Says

Happy Birthday To Amazon, And Its Data Mining

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:15 pm

Amazon celebrates 20 years of selling everything from A to Z...and 20 years of mining customer data.
istockphoto.com

Amazon is now 20 years old!

In 1994, Jeff Bezos walked out of the Wall Street hedge fund where he worked after they declined to invest in his idea, and began to sell books out of his garage.

Today, Amazon is a retail and entertainment empire, selling books and shoes, computers, overcoats, band saws, sofa beds, kimchi, canned beans, artwork, wine, grills, generators, drones, kitty litter, pool filter pumps and garden gnomes, etc., etc., and more.

Type in "kitchen sink"- you'll find dozens.

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9:34am

Sat June 21, 2014
Simon Says

Buried By Picasso, The Man Beneath 'The Blue Room' Tells A Story

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 2:45 pm

Picasso's The Blue Room, painted in 1901, hung in the Phillips Collection for decades.
AP

What's behind the man who is below The Blue Room?

This week, conservators at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., revealed that underneath Pablo Picasso's noted 1901 painting The Blue Room is another painting of a mustachioed man in a jacket and bow tie, resting his face on his hand.

Experts have long suspected something more must be below, as there were brushstrokes that didn't match the composition of the nude, bluish woman. Now, advanced infrared technology has revealed the man with the mustache, who also wears three rings on his fingers.

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7:54am

Sat June 7, 2014
Sports

N.J. Nets, Devils Owner Gave Millions To Local Causes

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 12:41 pm

We remember Lewis Katz, who once said, "Life is meant to have as much fun as you can conjure up." Katz made a fortune as a sports team owner and gave millions of it away.

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