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

Airlines Brace For Flight Disruptions By Trump Supporters Ahead Of Inauguration

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FAA administrator Stephen Dickson, seen testifying before a Senate committee last year, has ordered "zero tolerance" of passengers who disrupt airline flights. Graeme Jennings/POOL/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Graeme Jennings/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Indonesian Divers Recover Flight Data Recorder Amid Plane Crash Debris

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Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max that crashed near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in March 2019. Mulugeta Ayene/AP hide caption

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Mulugeta Ayene/AP

Boeing To Pay $2.5 Billion Settlement Over Deadly 737 Max Crashes

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Prosecutor: No Charges Will Be Filed Against Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake

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Goods Returns Strain Online Shopping Supply Chain

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A driver with FedEx carries a package away from a van in Seattle. A huge increase in online shopping this year has demand for package delivery exceeding capacity this holiday season and stretching the delivery supply chain thin. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Ted S. Warren/AP

Dear Present Procrastinators: Ship That Holiday Gift, Now

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Massive Online Shopping Increase Creates Shipping Logjam

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United is the first commercial airline to fly the first FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines to the U.S. Above, a cargo-only United flight carrying Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Brussels to Chicago's O'Hare airport. United Airlines hide caption

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United Airlines

Transporting And Distributing Vaccines Will Be 'Unprecedented' Logistical Challenge

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Logistical Challenges in Shipping COVID-19 Vaccine

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Under a new rule issued last week by the Transportation Department, only dogs that meet strict service animal standards will be allowed to fly with passengers. Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images hide caption

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Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images

No More Emotional Support Peacocks As Feds Crack Down On Service Animals On Planes

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Federal Government Cracks Down On Emotional Support Animals On Planes

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Trump Administration's New Regulation Favors Airlines At Travelers' Expense

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A traveler gets his temperature checked Monday while waiting to check in at Los Angeles International Airport. Americans packed airports over the weekend even as coronavirus cases surged and public health experts urged people to stay home. Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

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Jae C. Hong/AP

Millions Of Americans Traveling For Thanksgiving, Ignoring CDC Advice

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