Guy Raz

Guy Raz is the host and editorial director of TED Radio Hour, a co-production of NPR and TED that takes listeners on a journey through the world of ideas. Each radio show is based on talks given by riveting speakers on the renowned TED stage, bound together by a common theme such as the thrill of space exploration, going to extremes, the source of happiness or 'when rights goes wrong' in our justice system. Since its official launch in March 2013, TED Radio Hour has become the fastest growing program in public radio history and one of the top podcasts in the United States.

Raz is also the host of How I Built This, a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world's best known companies and brands.

Previously, Raz was weekend host of NPR News' signature afternoon newsmagazine All Things Considered. Raz was named host of that program in July 2009. During his tenure, Raz transformed the sound and format of the program, introducing the now-signature "cover story" and creating the popular "Three-Minute Fiction" writing contest.

Raz joined NPR in 1997 as an intern for All Things Considered and has worked virtually every job in the newsroom from temporary production assistant to breaking news anchor. His first job was the assistant to NPR's legendary news analyst Daniel Schorr.

In 2000, at the age of 25, Raz was made NPR's Berlin bureau chief where he covered Eastern Europe and the Balkans. During his six years abroad, Raz covered everything from wars and conflict zones to sports and entertainment. He reported from more than 40 countries including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Macedonia and the ongoing conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

He served as NPR's bureau chief in London and for a brief, two-year stint left NPR to work as CNN's Jerusalem correspondent chronicling everything from the rise of Hamas as a political power to the incapacitation of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Two years later Raz returned to NPR to serve as defense correspondent where he covered the Pentagon and the US military.

For his reporting from Iraq, Raz was awarded both the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Daniel Schorr Journalism prize. His reporting has contributed to two duPont awards and one Peabody awarded to NPR. He's been a finalist for the Livingston Award four times. He's won the National Headliner Award and an NABJ award in addition to many others. In 2008, he spent a year as a Nieman journalism fellow at Harvard University where he studied classical history.

As a host and correspondent, Raz has interviewed and profiled more than 6,000 people including Christopher Hitchens, Condoleezza Rice, Jimmy Carter, Shimon Peres, General David Petraeus, Al Gore, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Eminem, Taylor Swift and many, many others.

Raz has anchored live coverage on some of the biggest stories in recent years including the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Newtown School Shootings and the 2012 Presidential election.

He has also served as a Ferris professor of journalism at Princeton University and an adjunct professor of journalism at Georgetown. In 2015, he will teach journalism at George Washington University as a Shapiro Fellow.

Most importantly, Guy is a father. He's performed in DC children's theater as the narrator in "Cat in the Hat." He helped design the local playground in his neighborhood. And Guy is also known as the "Cokie Roberts for the 4-8-year-old crowd" as the news analyst for the Breakfast Blast Newscast on Kids Place Live on SiriusXM radio. You can catch his updates each Friday morning.

Raz is also an avid cyclist and in the summertime, a fanatical vegetable pickler.

My name... Guy Raz.
NPR employee since... 1997.
Public radio listener since... 1995.
My job at NPR is...
Host, TED Radio Hour and formerly the weekend host of All Things Considered.

I'm not as... serious I sound.

When I go in for a taping, I always have... a photograph of my children in Star Wars costumes.

Andrew Borakove was a television comedy writer in Hollywood when he realized he had to make a life change.

"A vision of a gong appeared before me, and I said a gong? I've never thought of that," he says. "And I started doing research and I said, 'Yep, I could maybe sell gongs for a living.' "

For nearly 150 years the world-renowned beer manufacturer Anheuser-Busch was a family company. It was passed from father to son for five generations. A couple drops of Budweiser were put onto the tongue of each first-born son before he even tasted his mother's milk. That trademark brew, Budweiser, is known to the world as the "King of Beers," and the Busch family wasn't too far from American royalty.

When the Northwestern grunge-rock scene suddenly gained national attention in the early 1990s, Soundgarden had already been around for years. But by 1997, both the band and the musical movement it had helped to define had atomized.

Back in the 17th century, right around the time when the ideas of great thinkers like Descartes and Newton and Hobbes began to shape the world, a Jesuit priest named Athanasius Kircher also tried to make his mark.

Kircher was something of a jack-of-all-trades. He wrote more than 30 books; he was a philosopher, an inventor, a historian, a scientist. Back in his day, everyone knew about him. But it didn't help his reputation that many of his theories and inventions just couldn't hold water.

There's a public middle school in Brooklyn, N.Y., called Intermediate School 318, or I.S. 318. Like others in the area, it's a Title I school, which means it has a poverty level that's more than 65 percent. But unlike other schools, it's got the highest-ranked junior-high chess team in the nation. In fact, Brooklyn IS 3-18 has won more than 30 national chess titles.

I.S. 318 is the subject of a new documentary called Brooklyn Castle. The film has picked up audience awards at the SXSW and Hot Docs film festivals.

Earlier this year, Stephen Fowler, owner of The Monkey's Paw used-book store in Toronto, had an idea.

He wanted a creative way to offload his more ill-favored books — "old and unusual" all, as the store's motto goes — that went further than a $1 bin by the register.

It came in a conversation with his wife: a vending machine.

Forty-four years ago, a little girl changed the world of sports in an incident known today as "The Heidi Game."

That day — Nov. 17, 1968 — is when the modern age of football began, Dave Zirin, the sports editor for The Nation magazine, says.

The New York Jets were up against the Oakland Raiders. At the time they were two of the best teams in the American Football League, just before it merged with the National Football League.

Director Ang Lee's new film, Life of Pi, tells the story of a 16-year-old Indian boy who is the lone survivor of a terrible shipwreck. Pi Patel finds himself lost at sea, alone on a boat with a Bengal tiger.

The film is based on Yann Martel's fantasy novel of the same name. The book won the 2002 Man Booker prize for fiction and was optioned to be turned into a film even though it was considered by many in Hollywood to be unfilmable: How do you make a movie that takes place almost entirely on a boat? And with a real tiger?