Terry Gross Terry Gross is the host and executive producer of NPR's Fresh Air.
Terry Gross square 2017
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Terry Gross

WHYY
Terry Gross
WHYY

Terry Gross

Host, Fresh Air

Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by the unique approach of host and executive producer Terry Gross. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says the San Francisco Chronicle.

Gross, who has been host of Fresh Air since 1975, when it was broadcast only in greater Philadelphia, isn't afraid to ask tough questions. But Gross sets an atmosphere in which her guests volunteer the answers rather than surrendering them. What often puts those guests at ease is Gross' understanding of their work. "Anyone who agrees to be interviewed must decide where to draw the line between what is public and what is private," Gross says. "But the line can shift, depending on who is asking the questions. What puts someone on guard isn't necessarily the fear of being 'found out.' It sometimes is just the fear of being misunderstood."

Gross began her radio career in 1973 at public radio station WBFO in Buffalo, New York. There she hosted and produced several arts, women's and public affairs programs, including This Is Radio, a live, three-hour magazine program that aired daily. Two years later, she joined the staff of WHYY-FM in Philadelphia as producer and host of Fresh Air, then a local, daily interview and music program. In 1985, WHYY-FM launched a weekly half-hour edition of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, which was distributed nationally by NPR. Since 1987, a daily, one-hour national edition of Fresh Air has been produced by WHYY-FM. The program is broadcast on 566 stations and became the first non-drive time show in public radio history to reach more than five million listeners each week in fall 2008, a presidential election season. In fall 2011, Fresh Air reached 4.4 million listeners a week.

Fresh Air with Terry Gross has received a number of awards, including the prestigious Peabody Award in 1994 for its "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insight." America Women in Radio and Television presented Gross with a Gracie Award in 1999 in the category of National Network Radio Personality. In 2003, she received the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Edward R. Murrow Award for her "outstanding contributions to public radio" and for advancing the "growth, quality and positive image of radio." In 2007, Gross received the Literarian Award. In 2011, she received the Authors Guild Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community.

Gross is the author of All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists, published by Hyperion in 2004.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Gross received a bachelor's degree in English and M.Ed. in communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Gross was recognized with the Columbia Journalism Award from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2008 and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Princeton University in 2002. She received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1993 and Doctor of Humane Letters in 2007, both from SUNY–Buffalo. She also received a Doctor of Letters from Haverford College in 1998 and Honorary Doctor of Letters from Drexel University in 1989.

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Story Archive

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Reporter's Video From Inside Senate On Jan. 6 Shows A Crowd Prepared For Violence

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Tim O'Brien was a foot soldier during the Vietnam War. "The problem for me really is that I questioned the rectitude of the war," he says. "I thought I was doing the wrong thing by being there." Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures hide caption

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Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

Tim O'Brien On Late-In-Life Fatherhood And The Things He Carried From Vietnam

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What Does The 'War' Over Obamacare Reveal About Our Governing Bodies?

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Sacha Baron Cohen, shown here in 2019, has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards: two for acting in and producing Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and another for his supporting actor role in The Trial of the Chicago 7. Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Sacha Baron Cohen On 'Borat' Ethics And Why His Disguise Days Are Over

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Increased household responsibilities during the pandemic have forced many working mothers to scale back on their hours or to leave the workforce entirely. ljubaphoto/Getty Images hide caption

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Almost A Year Into The Pandemic, Working Moms Feel 'Forgotten,' Journalist Says

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To Understand Police Reform, Law Professor Volunteered To Join The Force

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Remembering TV And Film Star Cloris Leachman

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Remembering 'Sound Of Music' Star Christopher Plummer

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Rashida Jones says that growing up with two famous parents (Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton) gave her a "very healthy perspective on fame." She's pictured above at the 2019 Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy hide caption

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Rashida Jones On Becoming A Mom, Losing Her Mom, And The 'Big Chapters' Of Life

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New York Times reporter Nicole Perlroth says it may take years to fully understand the extent of the SolarWinds cyber security breach. Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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U.S. Cyber Weapons Were Leaked — And Are Now Being Used Against Us, Reporter Says

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Sgt. Alice White has been with the Minneapolis Police Department since 2004. She's one of four officers profiled in the documentary Women in Blue, on the PBS Independent Lens series. Erica Tricknor/PBS hide caption

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Documentary Asks: Do 'Women In Blue' Police Differently Than Male Officers?

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Dusty Springfield's Manager/Biographer Describes Singer's Dance With 'Demons'

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Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says President Biden told him from the outset: "We're going to make some mistakes along the way. We're going to stumble a bit. And when that happens, we're not going to blame anybody. We're just going to fix it." "Boy, was that refreshing," Fauci says. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Dr. Fauci On Vaccinations And Biden's 'Refreshing' Approach To COVID-19

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