Doby Photography/NPR
Steve Inskeep 2010
Doby Photography/NPR

Steve Inskeep

Host, Morning Edition and Up First

Steve Inskeep is host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First, with Renee Montagne and David Greene.

Known for probing questions to everyone from presidents to warlords to musicians, Inskeep has a passion for stories of the less famous—like an American soldier who lost both feet in Afghanistan, or an Ethiopian woman's extraordinary journey to the United States.

Since joining Morning Edition in 2004, Inskeep has hosted the program from New Orleans, Detroit, Karachi, Cairo, Houston and Tehran; investigated Iraqi police in Baghdad; and received a 2006 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for "The Price of African Oil," on conflict in Nigeria. In 2012 he traveled 2,700 miles across North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring. In 2013 he reported from war-torn Syria, and on Iran's historic election. In 2014 he drove with colleagues 2,428 miles along the entire U.S.-Mexico border; the resulting radio series, "Borderland," won widespread attention, as did the acclaimed NPR online magazine of the same name.

Inskeep says Morning Edition works to "slow down the news," making sense of fast-moving events. A prime example came during the 2008 Presidential campaign, when Inskeep and NPR's Michele Norris conducted "The York Project," groundbreaking conversations about race, which received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence.

Inskeep was hired by NPR in 1996. His first full-time assignment was the 1996 presidential primary in New Hampshire. He went on to cover the Pentagon, the Senate, and the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush. After the September 11, 2001, attacks, he covered the war in Afghanistan, turmoil in Pakistan, and the war in Iraq. In 2003, he received a National Headliner Award for investigating a military raid gone wrong in Afghanistan. He has twice been part of NPR News teams awarded the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for coverage of Iraq.

On days of bad news, Inskeep is inspired by the Langston Hughes book, Laughing to Keep From Crying. Of hosting Morning Edition during the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession, he told Nuvo magazine when "the whole world seemed to be falling apart, it was especially important for me ... to be amused, even if I had to be cynically amused, about the things that were going wrong. Laughter is a sign that you're not defeated."

Inskeep is the author of Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi, a 2011 book on one of the world's great megacities. He is also author of Jacksonland, a forthcoming history of President Andrew Jackson's long-running conflict with John Ross, a Cherokee chief who resisted the removal of Indians from the eastern United States in the 1830's.

He has been a guest on numerous TV programs including ABC's This Week, NBC's Meet the Press, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, CNN's Inside Politics and the PBS Newshour. He has written for publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

A native of Carmel, Indiana, Inskeep is a graduate of Morehead State University in Kentucky.

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Story Archive

Iran Prison Atlas' Database Keeps Track Of Iranian Political Prisoners

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Iranian women cast their ballots for the presidential elections at a polling station at the Lorzadeh mosque in southern Tehran on Friday. Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Iranian Vote On Friday Will Decide If Rouhani Gets A Second Term

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On Election Day, Taking Stock Of Free Expression In Iran

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Morning News Brief: Rosenstein Briefs Senators, Trump In Saudi Arabia, Iran Election

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Voters Divided On The Final Day Of Campaigning In Iran

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The Rise Of The Internet-Based Economy Shows What's Changed In Iran

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News Brief: Trump Accused Of Sharing Classified Data, Iran Election Preview

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Sen. Ben Sasse (left) is sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden in 2015, with Sasse's wife Melissa and his son and daughter. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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No More Neverland: A Senator's Guide To Raising American Adults

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Senate Judiciary Committee member Ben Sasse, a Republican, listens to witnesses Monday during a subcommittee hearing on Russian interference. Eric Thayer/Getty Images hide caption

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Sen. Sasse: Comey Firing 'Troubling' Amid 'Crisis Of Public Trust'

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House Republicans To Bring Healthcare Overhaul Bill Back To The Floor

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Hala Alyan is the author of three poetry collections. Salt Houses is her first novel. Beowulf Sheehan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hide caption

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Beowulf Sheehan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

'I Belonged Nowhere': A Story Of Displacement, From A Novelist Who Knows

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Social scientist Francis Fukuyama (from left), presidential adviser Michael Anton and former Ireland President Mary Robinson are some of the people NPR has interviewed in an exploration of how we got to this point in history and where we're headed. Larry Downing/Reuters; Ariel Zambelich/NPR; Jason DeCrow/AP hide caption

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Larry Downing/Reuters; Ariel Zambelich/NPR; Jason DeCrow/AP

Listen: NPR's interview with Michael Anton

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