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

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David Schaper at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley/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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A Boeing 737 MAX aircraft owned by Ryanair parked at Boeing's Renton, Washington factory in October. All 737 Max planes remain officially "grounded" worldwide. Gary He/Getty Images hide caption

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737 Max Scandal Cuts Boeing's Once Rock-Solid Image

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Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg testifies before a Senate committee last week on the 737 Max plane crashes. A lawmaker asked him if he was taking a cut in pay, prompting the CEO to give up his bonuses. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Boeing Company President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg, right, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President and Chief Engineer John Hamilton faced intense questioning about what the company knew and when. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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Boeing CEO Faces Tough Questions From Lawmakers Over Safety Of 737 Max

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Boeing President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg appeared before the Senate Transportation Committee on future of the grounded 737 Max on Tuesday. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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Boeing's Cultural Shift

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As Fallout From The 737 Max Crisis Continues, The Cost To Boeing Is Growing

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Boeing says it is replacing Kevin McAllister (shown in 2017) as the head of its commercial airplanes unit, as repercussions continue from two 737 Max crashes that killed hundreds of people. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

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Pilots' 2016 Messages Show Concerns With Boeing System

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All Boeing 737 Max aircraft are grounded while the manufacturer fixes a deadly defect in their flight control system. These Southwest Airlines planes were parked in Victorville, Calif., in March. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jacob Reed, director of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree program at Lewis University, demonstrates a drone at the school's airfield outside of Chicago. David Schaper/NPR hide caption

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Drone Delivery Is One Step Closer To Reality

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Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg in New York earlier this month. The Boeing board has voted to take away his job as chairman so he can focus on fixing 737 Max jets which are all grounded after two fatal crashes. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Grounded Gol Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max aircraft at Boeing facilities in Moses Lake, Wash., last month Lindsey Wasson/Reuters hide caption

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Boeing Safety Engineer Filed Ethics Complaint Last Year Over 737 Max Safety Upgrades

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National Transportation Safety Board: Boeing Made Faulty Assumptions Designing 737 Max

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