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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Fresh Air language commentator Geoff Nunberg became a regular contributor to Fresh Air in 1987. The Nunberg family hide caption

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The Nunberg family

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A man walks past a mural of Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. in London. Thabo Jaiyesimi/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

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Thabo Jaiyesimi/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Black Power Scholar Illustrates How MLK And Malcolm X Influenced Each Other

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Mohammed Kamal/Netflix

'Everybody Deserves To Be Seen As A Hero,' Says 'Old Guard' Director

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'Fresh Air' Remembers Veteran Journalist Pete Hamill

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Robert Mueller (left) "gave the president a free pass effectively on the fact that he repeatedly committed obstruction of justice," legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says. Saul Loeb, Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb, Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin Explains The 'Tragedy' Of The Mueller Investigation

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In her new book, Caste, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson examines the laws and practices that created what she describes as a bipolar, Black and white caste system in the United States. Above, a sign in Jackson, Miss., in May 1961. William Lovelace/Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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William Lovelace/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It's More Than Racism: Isabel Wilkerson Explains America's 'Caste' System

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Remembering Jazz Singer Annie Ross

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White Too Long, by Robert P. Jones Simon & Schuster hide caption

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Simon & Schuster

American Christianity Must Reckon With Legacy Of White Supremacy, Author Says

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Natasha Trethewey served as U.S. poet laureate in 2012 and 2013. She won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her 2006 collection Native Guard. Nancy Crampton/Broadside hide caption

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Nancy Crampton/Broadside

After Years Of 'Willed Amnesia,' Trethewey Opens Up About Her Murdered Mother

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Mike Birbiglia was initially reluctant to become a father, but his wife, Jen Stein, saw things things differently. "I felt like [parenthood] was the kind of challenge that we were ready for," she says. Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging hide caption

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Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

'Reluctant Dad' Mike Birbiglia And Poet Jen Stein Share 'Painful' Parenting Truths

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Remembering Veteran Foreign Correspondent Christopher Dickey

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Donald Trump and father Fred Trump attend the opening of Wollman skating rink in New York City's Central Park in 1987. Dennis Caruso/NY Daily News via Getty Images hide caption

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Trump's Niece Describes A Toxic Family Dynamic Where Kindness Was Weakness

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Arabella (Michaela Coel) attends a support meeting with other survivors of sexual assault on HBO's I May Destroy You. Coel, the show's creator, writer, director and star, based the series on a personal experience. HBO hide caption

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HBO

'I May Destroy You' Let Michaela Coel Explore Dangerous Areas In A Safe Place

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An Advocate For The Wrongly Convicted Reflects On Faith, Justice And Innocence

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