Susan Stamberg

Nationally renowned broadcast journalist Susan Stamberg is special correspondent for NPR.

Stamberg is the first woman to anchor a national nightly news program, and has won every major award in broadcasting. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Radio Hall of Fame. An NPR "founding mother," Stamberg has been on staff since the network began in 1971.

Beginning in 1972, Stamberg served as co-host of NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered for 14 years. She then hosted Weekend Edition Sunday, and now serves as guest host of NPR's Morning Edition and Weekend Edition Saturday, in addition to reporting on cultural issues for Morning Edition.

One of the most popular broadcasters in public radio, Stamberg is well known for her conversational style, intelligence, and knack for finding an interesting story. Her interviewing has been called "fresh," "friendly, down-to-earth," and (by novelist E.L. Doctorow) "the closest thing to an enlightened humanist on the radio." Her thousands of interviews include conversations with Laura Bush, Billy Crystal, Rosa Parks, Dave Brubeck, and Luciano Pavarotti.

Prior to joining NPR, she served as producer, program director, and general manager of NPR Member Station WAMU-FM/Washington, DC. Stamberg is the author of two books, and co-editor of a third. Talk: NPR's Susan Stamberg Considers All Things, chronicles her two decades with NPR. Her first book, Every Night at Five: Susan Stamberg's All Things Considered Book, was published in 1982 by Pantheon. Stamberg also co-edited The Wedding Cake in the Middle of the Road, published in 1992 by W. W. Norton. That collection grew out of a series of stories Stamberg commissioned for Weekend Edition Sunday.

In addition to her Hall of Fame inductions, other recognitions include the Armstrong and duPont Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Ohio State University's Golden Anniversary Director's Award, and the Distinguished Broadcaster Award from the American Women in Radio and Television.

A native of New York City, Stamberg earned a bachelor's degree from Barnard College, and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees including a Doctor of Humane Letters from Dartmouth College. She is a Fellow of Silliman College, Yale University, and has served on the boards of the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Award Foundation and the National Arts Journalism Program based at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Stamberg has hosted a number of series on PBS, moderated three Fred Rogers television specials for adults, served as commentator, guest or co-host on various commercial TV programs, and appeared as a narrator in performance with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. Her voice appeared on Broadway in the Wendy Wasserstein play An American Daughter.

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Arts + Life
10:50 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Painting Or Photograph? With Richard Estes, It's Hard To Tell

Richard Estes, Jone's Diner, 1979, oil on canvas. (Private collection.) Click here for a closer look.
Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:33 am

American painter Richard Estes has made a career out of fooling the eye. His canvases look like photographs — but they're not.

"You can't see my paintings in reproduction," the 82-year-old artist says. That's because, in reproduction, the paintings — especially his New York cityscapes from the late 1960s — look like photos. He's called a photo-realist, or hyper-realist — an intense observer of the built environment. But he doesn't paint the view from his apartment window.

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Art & Design
4:00 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Gold-Plated Gowns And 8-inch Pumps: The Stuff That Made Starlets Shimmer

Mae West is said to have worn these super platform shoes both on screen and off.
Brian Sanderson Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 7:16 am

Dripping in diamonds and shimmering in silks, the movie stars of the 1930s and '40s dazzled on the silver screen. Now, some of their costumes and jewels are on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. There, a film clip runs on a wall behind gorgeously gowned mannequins lit by sconces and chandeliers. The clip is from 1932's No Man of Her Own, starring Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. Nearby, co-curator Michelle Finamore points to the actual gown Lombard wore. It's long, made of slinky silk crepe and covered in teeny gold-colored glass beads.

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The Salt
4:18 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Put To The Test At Amish Market

A tub of Susan Stamberg's mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish made by Beth Hansen of Easton, Md.
Jackie Judd NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 1:42 pm

The request was forwarded to me from a distant (fifth floor — I'm on the fourth) division of NPR.

It came from Justin Lucas, the head of NPR's Audience and Community Relations team. He's the go-to person here for requests from listeners, for information or permissions.

He'd gotten a letter from Beth Hansen, owner of Soup and Salad, a small sandwich shop in Easton, Md., a charming old town on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

Justin read me an excerpt of the request: "I'd love to make and sell Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Chutney. A portion of the proceeds ... "

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Literature
7:36 am
Thu August 14, 2014

For Would-Be Screenwriter, Enough False Starts To Fill A Book

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 9:25 am

There's a running joke in Los Angeles that everybody — from your dog walker to your dry cleaner — is writing a screenplay. Curt Neill is one of those aspiring screenwriters — a sketch comedian who has tried to write screenplays, but never finished one. "I've never even gotten close," he admits in Caffe Vita, an LA coffee shop where he writes.

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Arts + Life
8:54 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Best Seat In The House Of Worship: The Temple Hollywood Built

The Wilshire Boulevard Temple (pictured above circa 1939) was dedicated 85 years ago in 1929. Rabbi Steve Leder says, "This was the Los Angeles Jewish community's statement to itself — and to the majoritarian culture that surrounded it — that 'We are here, and we are prepared to be a great cultural and religious and civic force in our community.' "
Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 1:43 pm

There's an 85-year-old building on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles that has been a venue for the Dalai Lama, the LA Philharmonic and even scenes in Entourage and The West Wing. But extracurricular activities aside, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple is a house of worship. Recently refurbished, and given a preservation award by the Los Angeles Conservancy, the temple has a special place in the history of Hollywood.

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Arts + Life
6:56 am
Tue July 22, 2014

With Swirls Of Steel, These Sculptures Mark The Passage Of People And Time

Albert Paley's iron and steel gates, archways and free-standing sculptures are eye-catching landmarks. His 2010 steel work Evanesce stands in Monterrey, Mexico. "American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley" is on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art until September.
Agencia para la Planeacióndel Desarrollo Urbano de Nuevo León Courtesy Paley Studios

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:13 pm

Growing up in Philadelphia in the 1940s, Albert Paley played with blocks and Legos. And he loved wandering the streets, scavenging bottle caps, matchbook covers, cigar bands and "picking up pebbles that I thought were interesting," he recalls.

Now 70, the American sculptor has moved from pebbles to monumental gates. His iron and steel works adorn Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, St. Louis, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Rochester, N.Y. His gates, archways and free-standing sculptures are eye-catching landmarks.

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Arts + Life
9:44 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Impressionists With Benefits? The Painting Partnership Of Degas And Cassatt

In a letter, Mary Cassatt describes working on Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (1878) with Edward Degas. An X-ray of the painting reveals brush strokes unlike Cassatt's regular strokes.
National Gallery of Art

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 9:50 am

In her novel I Always Loved You, author Robin Oliveira imagines a passionate scene between Edgar Degas — a French artist known for his paintings of dancers — and Mary Cassatt — an American painter known for her scenes of family life. The kiss in the novel is pure fiction, but then again, "nobody knows what goes on in their neighbor's house, let alone what happened between two artists 130 years ago," Oliveira says.

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Remembrances
5:39 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Sid Caesar, Who Got Laughs Without Politics Or Putdowns, Dies At 91

Actor/comedian Sid Caesar
NBC NBC via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:00 pm

Comedian Sid Caesar, one of early network TV's biggest stars, died Wednesday morning at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 91.

Caesar didn't do smut, putdowns or smarmy remarks. Instead, he did skits: grown-up, gentle comedy for the whole family.

In one skit, Caesar was the smarter-than-anyone German "professor." Carl Reiner played a movie executive with money problems. The professor's solution? Make a musical — and get the greatest composer in the world. He is shocked to discover that his top choice won't be available.

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Remembrances
4:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Sid Caesar, One Of TV's Earliest Stars, Dies At The Age Of 91

The comic actor Sid Caesar died on Wednesday at the age of 91. He starred in the popular 1950s program, Your Show of Shows, television's first live comedy show, featuring skits and musical numbers.

The Picture Show
3:24 am
Mon February 10, 2014

'Life' Photographer Showed Africa Through A New Lens

Fon appliqué workers in 1971, Abomey, Republic of Benin.
Eliot Elisofon National Museum of African Art

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:05 pm

Before World War II, many Americans got exaggerated ideas about Africa from movies like Tarzan the Ape Man — movies that were filmed on Hollywood sound stages.

It took time to change that view. But after the war, Life magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon sought to shed a new light on the vast and variegated continent.

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The Salt
2:57 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Thanksgivukkah: A Mash Of Two Holidays That's Easy To Relish

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish is delicious over latkes.
Selena N.B.H. Flikr

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 2:35 pm

It's that time of year again. Time for Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish. Every year since 1972, around Thanksgiving, I've shared my mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish recipe on the radio. It's appallingly pink, like Pepto Bismol — but it tastes terrific.

This year, I bring my relish recipe to Thanksgivukkah. Next week, Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah fall on the same day. It's a rare convergence.

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Arts + Life
3:22 am
Mon November 11, 2013

In 1913, A New York Armory Filled With Art Stunned The Nation

Robert Henri's 1913 Figure in Motion was a realistic, but bold response to Matisse's and Duchamp's nudes.
Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Ill.

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 3:08 pm

One hundred years ago in New York City, nearly 90,000 people came to see the future of art. The 1913 Armory Show gave America its first look at what avant-garde artists in Europe were doing. Today these artists are in major museums around the world, but in 1913, they were mostly unknown in America.

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Books News & Features
3:17 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Pen Pal Of Young 'Jerry' Salinger May Have Been First To Meet Holden

J.D. Salinger wrote nine letters and postcards to aspiring Canadian writer Marjorie Sheard.
Graham Haber The Morgan Library & Museum

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 9:47 am

Fans of the reclusive J.D. Salinger are in their element these days.

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Art & Design
3:18 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Exhibit Explores How Dior's Designs Echo Impressionist Paintings

Laziz Hamani

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 9:44 am

When it was time to create a new collection, Christian Dior had a ritual: He went to his garden and sat down among the flowers.

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Books
3:01 am
Tue September 3, 2013

For F. Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald, A Dark Chapter In Asheville, N.C.

Zelda Sayre and F. Scott Fitzgerald pose for a photo at the Sayre home in Montgomery, Ala., in 1919, the year before they married.
Bettmann Corbis

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 3:30 pm

Asheville, a mountain town in North Carolina, is known for at least two important native sons: writers Thomas Wolfe, whose 1929 novel Look Homeward, Angel eviscerated some locals, and Charles Frazier, whose 1997 civil war novel Cold Mountain is set in the nearby hills. But there is also a little-known story of another writer — F. Scott Fitzgerald — who, along with his wife Zelda, had devastating connections to the town.

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Arts + Life
9:29 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Haunting Images Chronicle 165 Years Of A World At War

An American soldier reads a letter from home, while taking a break from repairing a tank tread in Lang Vei, Vietnam, in March 1971.
David Burnett/Contact Press Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 9:46 am

D-Day soldiers landing on Omaha Beach. A naked Vietnamese girl running from napalm. A Spanish loyalist, collapsing to the ground in death. These images of war, and some 300 others, are on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in an exhibition called WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath. Pictures from the mid-19th century to today, taken by commercial photographers, military photographers, amateurs and artists capture 165 years of conflict.

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Literature
9:51 am
Thu August 1, 2013

How Andrew Carnegie Turned His Fortune Into A Library Legacy

Carnegie ultimately gave away $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country. "In bestowing charity the main consideration should be to help those who help themselves," he wrote.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Andrew Carnegie was once the richest man in the world. Coming as a dirt poor kid from Scotland to the U.S., by the 1880s he'd built an empire in steel — and then gave it all away: $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country.

Carnegie donated $300,000 to build Washington, D.C.'s oldest library — a beautiful beaux arts building that dates back to 1903. Inscribed above the doorway are the words: Science, Poetry, History. The building was "dedicated to the diffusion of knowledge."

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News
7:07 am
Sun July 28, 2013

This Fountain Of Youth Has A Little Extra Zing

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

ORSON WELLES: Of course, there are all sorts of fountains. Some are beautiful, some are purely mythological. Some are silly fountains. Of course, the silliest of all, is the fountain of youth. Old Ponce de Leon thought that one was somewhere down in Florida.

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

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Fine Art
2:59 am
Thu July 11, 2013

At 90, Ellsworth Kelly Brings Joy With Colorful Canvases

In this 2007 Ellsworth Kelly piece, four separate oil-painted canvases combine to form a single work, Green Blue Black Red.
Jerry L. Thompson Courtesy of Ellsworth Kelly

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:52 pm

American artist Ellsworth Kelly turned 90 in May, and there's been much celebration. On Wednesday, President Obama presented Kelly with the National Medal of Arts. Meanwhile, museums around the country are showing his work: Kelly sculptures, prints and paintings are on view in New York, Philadelphia and Detroit. In Washington, D.C., the Phillips Collection is featuring his flat geometric canvases, layered to create wall sculptures.

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Fine Art
2:54 am
Thu June 27, 2013

A Paris Vacation For Nashville Millionaires' French Art

A table (Le Dejeuner), an 1892 oil painting by Edouard Vuillard, appears to show a quiet domestic scene. But Isabelle Cahn, the curator of a new show at the Musee d'Orsay, says this painting actually depicts a scandal-ridden household.
Courtesy Musee d'Orsay

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:05 pm

To say that Nashvillean Spencer Hays is crazy for French art is an understatement. "French art just quickens our step, fires our spirit and touches our heart," he says.

Hays' passion began when he was in his 30s. By then he was already a millionaire; Forbes estimated his worth at $400 million in 1997, money earned from book-selling and clothing businesses. Hays had humble beginnings.

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