David Schaper David Schaper is a NPR National Desk reporter based in Chicago.
David Schaper 2010
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David Schaper

Doby Photography /NPR
David Schaper 2010
Doby Photography /NPR

David Schaper

Reporter, National Desk, Chicago

David Schaper is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, based in Chicago, primarily covering transportation and infrastructure, as well as breaking news in Chicago and the Midwest.

In this role, Schaper covers aviation and airlines, railroads, the trucking and freight industries, highways, transit, and new means of mobility such as ride hailing apps, car sharing, and shared bikes and scooters. In addition, he reports on important transportation safety issues, as well as the politics behind transportation and infrastructure policy and funding.

Since joining NPR in 2002, Schaper has covered some of the nation's most important news stories, including the Sandy Hook school shooting and other mass shootings, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, California wildfires, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and numerous other disasters. David has also reported on presidential campaigns in Iowa and elsewhere, on key races for U.S. Senate and House, governorships, and other offices in the Midwest, and he reported on the rise of Barack Obama from relative political obscurity in Chicago to the White House. Along the way, he's brought listeners and online readers many colorful stories about Chicago politics, including the corruption trials and convictions of two former Illinois governors.

But none of that compares to the joy of covering his beloved Chicago Cubs winning the World Series in 2016, and three Stanley Cup Championships for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, 2013, and 2015.

Prior to joining NPR, Schaper spent almost a decade working as an award-winning reporter and editor for WBEZ/Chicago Public Media, NPR's Member station in Chicago. For three years he covered education issues, reporting in-depth on the problems and progress — financial, educational and otherwise — in Chicago's public schools.

Schaper also served as WBEZ's Assistant Managing Editor of News, managing the station's daily news coverage and editing the reporting staff while often still reporting himself. He later served as WBEZ's political editor and reporter; he was a frequent fill-in news anchor and talk show host. Additionally, he has been an occasional contributor guest panelist on Chicago public television station WTTW's news program, Chicago Tonight.

Schaper began his journalism career in La Crosse, Wisconsin, as a reporter and anchor at Wisconsin Public Radio's WLSU-FM. He has since worked in both public and commercial radio news, including stints at WBBM NewsRadio in Chicago, WXRT-FM in Chicago, WDCB-FM in suburban Chicago, WUIS-FM in Springfield, Illinois, WMAY-AM in Springfield, Illinois, and WIZM-AM and FM in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Schaper earned a bachelor's degree in mass communications and history at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a master's degree in public affairs reporting at the University of Illinois-Springfield. He lives in Chicago with his wife, a Chicago Public School teacher, and they have three adult children.

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More Questions Are Being Raised About Safety System In Boeing's 737 Max Jets

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Trump Administration Hopes New Leadership Can Calm Turbulence Roiling The FAA

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Investigators Find More Evidence Of Connections Between Crashes Of Boeing 737 Max Jets

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Southwest Airlines passengers check in at New York's LaGuardia Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday issued an emergency order grounding Boeing 737 Max jets in the wake of the crash of an Ethiopian airliner. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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News Brief: FAA Grounds 737 Max, Mueller Team Member Leaves

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Investigators Look Into What Caused Ethiopian Airlines Flight To Crash

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Chicago Voters Make History In Election Of City's First Black Female Mayor

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A Record 14 Candidates Vie To Be Chicago's Next Mayor

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Southwest Airlines Cancels More Flights Because Of Unspecified Mechanical Issues

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At Least 6 Dead, Including Gunman, In Aurora, Ill., Shooting

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Airbus Will End Production Of Massive A380 Jetliner

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Aviation Workers Caution Another Shutdown Could Affect Holiday Travel

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Frigid Temperatures Are Wreaking Havoc Across The Midwest

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Icicles form on the walkway at North Avenue Beach of Lake Michigan in Chicago on Tuesday. Pinar Istek/Reuters hide caption

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Polar Vortex Causes Midwest States Of Emergency As Cold Pushes Farther South

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East Coast Experiences Flight Delays At Hubs Due To Absent Workers

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