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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Story Archive

Families Impacted By Boeing 737 Max Crashes Give Emotional Testimony

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A sign at the Miami International Airport shows cancelled flights after American Airlines initially grounded its Boeing 737 Max planes in March. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Airlines Cancel Boeing Max Flights Into November; Holiday Flights Could Be Next

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Southwest Airlines is among the companies that grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft because of a software failure that caused fatal crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines planes. The FAA said Wednesday it has found a new flaw in the plane that needs to be fixed. Ralph Freso/Getty Images hide caption

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FAA Finds New Problem With 737 Max Jets, Delaying Their Return To Flight

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Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, accompanied by other pilots and former FAA administrator Randy Babbitt, speaks during a House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on the status of the Boeing 737 Max in Washington, D.C. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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TSA Braces For Record Airport Crowds During Summer Travel Season

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A Boeing 737 Max operated by Air Canada comes in for a landing on March 27 at Boeing Field in Seattle. In addition to problems detected with the 737 Max, the FAA says there is a new issue with some 737s: They may have faulty parts on their wings. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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A Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner being built for Turkish Airlines takes off on a test flight in Renton, Wash., on May 8. Passenger flights remain grounded worldwide as investigations continue into two fatal crashes involving the 737 Max aircraft. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Grounded Planes Expected To Interfere With Summer Travel

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Boeing Moves A Step Closer To Resolving 737 Max Problems

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Preliminary Report On Ethiopian Airlines Crash Suggests Pilots Followed Procedures

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It May Take Weeks Before Boeing Finishes 737 Max Software Fixes

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