A Last Conversation With Daniel Schorr

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This Thanksgiving, the National Day of Listening encourages you to sit down with a loved one and listen. Today we revisit a portion of Jonathan Schorr's conversation with his father, veteran reporter Dan Schorr, who died earlier this year.


And now we remember an old friend of this program. Dan Schorr joined me here in this studio for many years until he passed away last summer. He'd been explaining the news to us for decades. And this time last year, Dan was interviewed by his son. It was part of the National Day of Listening, a project from StoryCorps encouraging you to sit down with a loved one over Thanksgiving and listen.

Here's a portion of Jonathan Shorr's conversation with his father, as the tenacious newsman's career neared its end.

Mr. JONATHAN SCHORR: Most people retire maybe a quarter century earlier. And you're still going strong at 93.

Mr. DAN SCHORR (NPR): Im going, maybe not strong, but Im going.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. J. SCHORR: Why?

Mr. D. SCHORR: I guess because I would not know what I would do if and when I retire. Im not a golf player and I can't play tennis anymore, because of a bum knee. It's fun here. I mean NPR is a wonderful place in the first place, because they don't require a lot of you physically. I don't have to run around and stand in front of cameras. And it's fun.

I enjoy taking complicated things and trying to reduce them to something a little simpler. I love it when people say I listen to you on the air. I may still have that kind of vanity. And why aren't I retired? Because what's the fun in retiring?

Mr. J. SCHORR: So as anyone who follows your Twitter feed knows, you became a grandfather earlier this year...

Mr. D. SCHORR: Yeah.

Mr. J. SCHORR: ...at the age of 92, when my sister Liza and her husband Alex had their fantastic baby daughter Nora. I imagine that when Nora is a teenager, she is going to go back and she's going to listen to this conversation.

Mr. D. SCHORR: Mm-hmm.

Mr. J. SCHORR: What would you like her to know?

Mr. D. SCHORR: What would I like? First of all, I think she should know - if she doesn't already know - that she is a very lucky girl. We're a couple of generations from the immigrants who came to the United States and sons and daughters of immigrants. You have loving parents and parents who know how to provide for you. And if I may say so, you have loving grandparents as well. So be aware of that. You're a lucky kid.

For the other thing, my advice to you is, would you read now and then and turn off the television set? We've been saying that in my family for a long time. So you now inherit that.

SIMON: Dan Schorr with his son, Jonathan, for StoryCorps National Day of Listing Project. You can find tips on how to interview a loved one at NationalDayOfListing.org.

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