Linda Wertheimer Linda Wertheimer joined NPR at the network's inception, and served as the first broadcast director of All Things Considered starting with its debut on May 3, 1971.
Linda Wertheimer
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Linda Wertheimer

Linda Wertheimer

Linda Wertheimer joined NPR at the network's inception, and served as the first broadcast director of All Things Considered starting with its debut on May 3, 1971. She later spent 13 years hosting the show. Wertheimer helped build the afternoon news program's audience to record levels. The show grew from six million listeners in 1989 to nearly 10 million listeners by spring of 2001, making it one of the top afternoon drive-time news radio programs in the country. Wertheimer's influence on All Things Considered — and, by extension, all of public radio — has been profound.

From 1974 to 1989, Wertheimer provided highly praised and award-winning coverage of national politics and Congress for NPR, serving as its congressional and then national political correspondent. Wertheimer traveled the country with major presidential candidates, covered state presidential primaries and the general elections, and regularly reported from Congress on the major events of the day — from the Watergate impeachment hearings to the Reagan Revolution to historic tax reform legislation to the Iran-Contra affair. During this period, Wertheimer covered four presidential and eight congressional elections for NPR.

In 1976, Wertheimer became the first woman to anchor network coverage of a presidential nomination convention and of election night. Over her career at NPR, she anchored ten presidential nomination conventions and 12 election nights.

Wertheimer was the first person to broadcast live from inside the United States Senate chamber. Her 37 days of live coverage of the Senate Panama Canal Treaty debates won her a special Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award.

In 1995, Wertheimer shared in an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award given to NPR for its coverage of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, the period that followed the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress.

Wertheimer received numerous other journalism awards, including awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for her anchoring of The Iran-Contra Affair: A Special Report, a series of 41 half-hour programs on the Iran-Contra congressional hearings, from American Women in Radio/TV for her story Illegal Abortion, and from the American Legion for NPR's coverage of the Panama Treaty debates.

In 1997, Wertheimer was named one of the top 50 journalists in Washington by Washingtonian magazine and in 1998 as one of America's 200 most influential women by Vanity Fair.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Wertheimer received its highest alumni honor in 1985, the Distinguished Alumna Achievement Award. Wertheimer held honorary degrees from Colby College, Wheaton College, and Illinois Wesleyan University.

Prior to joining NPR, Wertheimer worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation in London and for WCBS Radio in New York.

Her 1995 book, Listening to America: Twenty-five Years in the Life of a Nation as Heard on National Public Radio, published by Houghton Mifflin, celebrates NPR's history.

In 2024, after more than fifty years of service to NPR and public broadcasting, Linda Wertheimer announced her retirement.

Story Archive

Monday

Tuesday

Remembering Her Dear Friend Cokie Roberts

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Sunday

Saturday

Saturday

Dwayne Johnson plays a U.S. military veteran framed for setting the world's tallest building on fire — while his family is trapped in it — in the new movie Skyscraper. Legendary Pictures hide caption

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Legendary Pictures

'Skyscraper' Director Made A 'Love Letter' To The Classic Action Blockbusters

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People enjoy a hot afternoon at the Astoria Pool in the borough of Queens on July 2, 2018 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Opinion: We Should Turn Down The Volume Of This Hot Summer

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Saturday

Claire Harbage/NPR

In 'The Nothing,' A Dirty Old Man Lusts For Life

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Sunday

Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert's Renegade Life by Emily Kaiser Thelin, a biography of famed chef and cookbook author Paula Wolfert, includes some of Wolfert's famously detailed recipes. Courtesy of Grand Central Life & Style hide caption

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Courtesy of Grand Central Life & Style

New Biography Features Recipes Of Famed Chef And Cookbook Author Paula Wolfert

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Saturday

Secretary of State Tillerson speaks with the media after he greeted Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 6 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Travels — Or The Lack Thereof — With Rex Tillerson

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Saturday

If you set it, they will come! sayot/Flickr hide caption

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sayot/Flickr

No Matter The Menu, Wertheimer's New Mexico Family Comes To The Table

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Saturday

Mark Zuckerberg Addresses Fake News On Facebook

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What Do Trump's Cabinet Appointments Say About His Priorities?

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Tuesday

$15 Billion Settlement Proposed In Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

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House Report On Benghazi Attack: Ample Warning, Weak Response

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Monday

Supreme Court Finds Texas Law On Abortion Providers Unconstitutional

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Sunday

50 Dead, 53 Hospitalized In Orlando Shooting

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The Latest: Orlando Nightclub Shooting

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Alt.Latino Takes On Classical Composers

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Saturday

At Scalia's Funeral Mass, Son Leads The Ceremony

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia takes part in an interview on July 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Paul Morigi/Getty Images hide caption

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Paul Morigi/Getty Images

A Moment Of Civility

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Saturday

Albert Einstein once wrote that he was indebted to a favorite uncle for giving him a toy steam engine when he was a boy, launching a lifelong interest in science. AP hide caption

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AP

Einstein Saw Space Move, Long Before We Could Hear It

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Saturday

Republican presidential candidates (from left) Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump interact onstage at the end of the Republican Presidential Debate on Dec. 15. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

It's An Election Year, So Get Excited! At Least I Will

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