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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Story Archive

People attend a rally denouncing antisemitic violence on May 27 in Cedarhurst, New York. Following a surge in antisemitic hate crimes triggered by last month's Israel-Gaza conflict, some Jews are wondering why the condemnation hasn't been stronger. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Antisemitism Spikes, And Many Jews Wonder: Where Are Our Allies?

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Lutherans Elect First Openly Transgender Bishop Megan Rohrer

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Madison Kenyon (left), who is cisgender, runs track and cross-country at Idaho State University. She supports Idaho's transgender sports ban. Lindsay Hecox (right) is transgender and hopes to make the women's track and cross-country teams at Boise State University. Alliance Defending Freedom; Joshua Roper/American Civil Liberties Union hide caption

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Alliance Defending Freedom; Joshua Roper/American Civil Liberties Union

Idaho's Transgender Sports Ban Faces A Major Legal Hurdle

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Syrus Hall, 17, at his home in Mobile, Ala. "I didn't have the words for what I felt," says Hall, who is transgender. "I didn't fully have a grasp on gender until I found the words I needed." Edmund D. Fountain for NPR hide caption

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Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

'It's Hurtful': Trans Youth Speaks Out As Alabama Debates Banning Medical Treatment

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'To Me He's Not A Number': Families Reflect As U.S. Passes 500,000 COVID-19 Deaths

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President Biden has promised that gender equity will be at the forefront of his administration's policies. To help achieve that goal, he is creating a new Gender Policy Council within the White House. Matt Slocum/AP hide caption

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Matt Slocum/AP

Biden Administration Resurrects Office To Help Women 'At The Breaking Point'

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The women of the Brown Girls Book Club could not miss the opportunity to join together for this historic moment: the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Melissa Block/NPR hide caption

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Brown Girls Book Club Comes Together To Celebrate And Watch Historic Inauguration

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A Stop The Steal is posted inside of the Capitol Building after a pro-Trump mob broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. Jon Cherry/Getty Images hide caption

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Can The Forces Unleashed By Trump's Big Election Lie Be Undone?

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Can The Forces Unleashed By Trump's Big Election Lie Be Undone?

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Doug Emhoff joins his wife, Kamala Harris, for a get-out-the-vote rally Nov. 2 in Philadelphia. With Harris set to become vice president, Emhoff has said he will give up his career, for now, to serve as second gentleman. Michael Perez/AP hide caption

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Michael Perez/AP

Poised To Be America's 1st Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff Shakes Up Gender Stereotypes

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Kamala Harris poses with the Isiserettes, a legendary drill-and-drum team, at the Polk County Steak Fry in Iowa in 2019. Cory Williams hide caption

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Cory Williams

'She'll Look Like A Boss': Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris Inspires Young Girls

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President Trump addresses a rally this week at Capital Region International Airport in Lansing, Mich. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Agencies, Contractors Suspend Diversity Training To Avoid Violating Trump Order

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GOP Uses Barrett's Motherhood To Appeal To Suburban Voters, Analysts Say

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As a litigator in the 1970s, Ruth Bader Ginsburg's arguments before the Supreme Court were rooted in her own experience with discrimination. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Pathmarking The Way: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Lifelong Fight For Gender Equality

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