Guy Raz

Guy Raz is the host of TED Radio Hour, a co-production of NPR and TED that tackles astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems and new ways to think and create. 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. Currently, he is also a Ferris professor of journalism at Princeton University where he teaches radio reporting.

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 he worked his way through the ranks of the organization. His first job was the assistant to NPR's legendary news analyst Daniel Schorr. Raz then served as a general assignment reporter covering stories ranging from the early 2000 presidential primaries to a profile on the Doors' song "Light My Fire."

In 2000, at the age of 25, Raz was made NPR's Berlin bureau chief where he covered eastern Europe and the Balkans. Later, he was transferred to London as the bureau chief and covered the war in Iraq. Raz left NPR in 2004, 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.

During his six years abroad, Raz reported from more than 40 countries, with a focus on Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Afghanistan, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. He profiled and interviewed dozens of world leaders, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Shimon Peres, General David Petraeus and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen.

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. For his reporting from Germany, Raz was awarded both the RIAS Berlin prize and the Arthur F. Burns Award. In 2008, he spent a year as a Nieman journalism fellow at Harvard University where he studied classical history.

Raz's written work has appeared in Salon, Washington City Paper, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and the German daily, Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

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 ...as 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?

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