Melissa Block Melissa Block is a special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs.
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Melissa Block

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Melissa Block at NPR- Vertical
Allison Shelley/NPR

Melissa Block

Special Correspondent and Host

As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.

As co-host of All Things Considered from 2003 to 2015, Block's reporting took her everywhere from the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to the heart of Rio de Janeiro; from rural Mozambique to the farthest reaches of Alaska.

Her riveting reporting from Sichuan, China, during and after the massive earthquake in 2008 brought the tragedy home to millions of listeners around the world. At the moment the earthquake hit, Block had the presence of mind to record a gripping, real-time narration of the seismic upheaval she was witnessing. Her long-form story about a desperate couple searching in the rubble for their toddler son was singled out by judges who awarded NPR's earthquake coverage the top honors in broadcast journalism: the George Foster Peabody Award, duPont-Columbia Award, Edward R. Murrow Award, National Headliner Award, and the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award.

Now, as special correspondent, Block continues to engage both the heart and the mind with her reporting on issues from gun violence to adult illiteracy to opioid addiction.

In 2017, she traveled the country for the series "Our Land," visiting a wide range of communities to explore how our identity is shaped by where we live. For that series, she paddled along the Mississippi River, went in search of salmon off the Alaska coast, and accompanied an immigrant family as they became U.S. citizens. Her story about the legacy of the Chinese community in the Mississippi Delta earned her a James Beard Award in 2018.

Block is the recipient of the 2019 Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, awarded by the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, as well as the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fulbright Association.

Block began her career at NPR in 1985 as an editorial assistant for All Things Considered, and rose through the ranks to become the program's senior producer.

She was a reporter and correspondent in New York from 1994 to 2002, a period punctuated by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Her reporting after those attacks helped earn NPR a George Foster Peabody Award. Block's reporting on rape as a weapon of war in Kosovo was cited by the Overseas Press Club of America in awarding NPR the Lowell Thomas Award in 1999.

Block is a 1983 graduate of Harvard University and spent the following year on a Fulbright fellowship in Geneva, Switzerland. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband — writer Stefan Fatsis — and their daughter.

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Adam Peri, sound supervisor with the broadcaster Sky UK, mixes recorded fan sounds into a Premier League soccer match. Courtesy of Adam Peri hide caption

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Courtesy of Adam Peri

Baseball Stadiums May Be Empty, But You Can Still Hear The Crowds

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Behind The Scenes: 1 Man Creates Crowd Noise For Sporting Events

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A Stonewall Jackson statue is loaded on a truck after being removed from Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday. Ryan M. Kelly/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Ryan M. Kelly/AFP via Getty Images

Push To Remove Confederate Monuments Opens Debate On Other Honored Historical Figures

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Protesters in Washington, D.C., hold up their phones during a demonstration outside the White House over the death of George Floyd. Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

At The D.C. Protests, A 'Lean On Me' Singalong Offered A Moment Of Solace

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Video artist Robin Bell projected the words "Covid Memorial," onto the brick wall of a Subway sandwich shop in Washington, D.C. Below them scrolled a slideshow of faces of COVID-19 victims, along with messages their loved ones had posted on social media. Robin Bell hide caption

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Robin Bell

Memorializing Those Who Died In The Time Of COVID-19

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Projects Across The U.S. Memorialize Coronavirus Victims

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Los Angeles, D.C. And Chicago Still Seeing Plateau, Not Decline In New COVID-19 Cases

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Virologist Christopher Mores looks at cells that have been infected with the coronavirus as part of an effort to develop an antibody test. Melissa Block/NPR hide caption

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Melissa Block/NPR

Virologist Spends His Days 'Hunting The Thing That Wants To Hunt Us'

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The interactive, Web-based COVID-19 dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, as seen on Monday at 3:11 p.m. ET. Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University hide caption

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Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University

Meet The Team Behind The Coronavirus Tracker Watched By Millions

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Vizient, a group purchasing organization that negotiates lower prices with drug manufacturers, sent recommendations that the Food and Drug Administration expand access to drugs heavily used with ventilator patients. jamesbenet/Getty Images hide caption

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U.S. May Get More Ventilators But Run Out Of Medicine For COVID-19 Patients

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A man crosses an empty road in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, on Feb. 3, 2020. Getty Images hide caption

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'A Matter Of Common Decency': What Literature Can Teach Us About Epidemics

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The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus's Tenth Anniversary Parade rolls through the streets of New Orleans on Saturday night. L. Kasimu Harris for NPR hide caption

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L. Kasimu Harris for NPR

All Nerddoms Welcome: The Intergalactic Krewe Of Chewbacchus Parades In New Orleans

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Nerd Out With Mardi Gras' Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus

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