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.

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U.S.
4:01 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

Family Fights For Honor Of 'Rogue' Vietnam General

Gen. John D. Lavelle was accused of authorizing illegal bombing raids in North Vietnam. Stripped of two stars, he was forced into retirement in 1972.
AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 11:42 am

Gen. John D. Lavelle commanded the Seventh Air Force during the Vietnam War. He served five steps down the chain of command from President Nixon. In his oral history — recorded by an Air Force history officer in 1978 — he explained how, six years earlier, his life changed forever.

It started with a meeting with a Thai general, Dawee Chullasapya, who had charged Lavelle with overseeing an operation to destroy anti-aircraft guns in North Vietnam. It was a mission necessary to keep Thailand in the war.

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Author Interviews
2:10 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

How Lincoln's Fiercest Rival Became His Close Ally

President Lincoln appointed William Henry Seward secretary of state in 1861. He served until 1869.
Henry Guttmann Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 10:07 am

The race for the Republican nomination of 1860 was one of the great political contests of American history. It was Abraham Lincoln versus Salmon Chase, versus William Seward.

Author Walter Stahr spoke with Weekends All Things Considered host Guy Raz about his new biography, Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man. He describes how a man who was Lincoln's fiercest and most critical opponent eventually became his most loyal and trusted adviser.


Interview Highlights

On Seward losing the election

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Presidential Race
4:02 pm
Sat October 6, 2012

The NPR Third-Party Candidate Debate

Moderator Jim Lehrer sits at his desk before last Wednesday's debate between President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Denver. For third-party candidates, getting into a presidential debate is practically impossible.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 2:00 pm

What's it like to be a third-party candidate running for president? Ralph Nader can tell us.

"You're excluded from the debates," he says. "You spend an exhausting amount of time, until Labor Day, trying to get over the ballot access barriers. Your petitioners are harassed in the streets; you're subjected to baseless lawsuits by one party or another."

Nader has run for president three times – four if you count the time he ran unofficially. In 2000, he managed to win almost 3 percent of the national vote.

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Science
4:07 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

A Tiny Ocean World With A Mighty Important Future

Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life and provide half of the oxygen on the planet. Scientists are working to figure out how climate change may be affecting these important microorganisms.
M. Ormestad Tara Oceans

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:11 pm

As you take in your next breath of air, you can thank a form of microscopic marine life known as plankton.

They are so small as to be invisible, but taken together, actually dwarf massive creatures like whales. Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life.

"This invisible forest generates half of the oxygen generated on the planet," Chris Bowler, a marine biologist, tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

And, as climate change alters the temperature and acidity of our waters, this mysterious ocean world may be in jeopardy.

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Interviews
3:49 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

The Man Who Jump-Started Presidential Debates

Vice President Richard Nixon listens as Sen. John F. Kennedy talks during their televised presidential race debate. This photo was made from a television screen in New York, Oct. 21, 1960.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:11 pm

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are prepping for Wednesday's presidential debate. It's a well-worn tradition now, but it wasn't always that way.

The 1960 Kennedy-Nixon face-off wasn't just the first televised presidential debate, it was also the first presidential debate in more than a century.

Four years earlier, a young German emigre named Fred Kahn, a student at the University of Maryland, wanted to see whether the nominees — Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson — might want to engage with students.

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Politics
4:02 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

What Winning The 'Catholic Vote' Means Today

Archbishop John J. Myers stands outside Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. The archbishop has urged followers to assess the presidential candidates for their views on abortion and gay marriage.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 6:05 pm

Since 1972, every single presidential candidate who has won the popular vote has also won the Catholic vote. But with Catholics making up one in every four voters, pinning down what exactly the Catholic vote is becomes tricky.

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Music Interviews
11:03 am
Sat September 29, 2012

After A Dozen-Year Disappearance, Ben Folds Five Is Back

Ben Folds Five (from left): Robert Sledge, Darren Jessee and Ben Folds.
Autumn de Wilde Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 6:05 pm

In the early '90s, Ben Folds Five achieved underground success by playing the college circuit, selling out small clubs all across the country.

That all changed with the success of its 1997 album Whatever and Ever Amen. Its hit single "Brick" went to No. 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks list, only the second single in the band's history to chart.

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Politics
3:43 pm
Sun September 16, 2012

Could SuperPACS Shift Strategy To Congress?

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 8:50 am

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Polls can be unstable. Up until the last moment, Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan in 1980. And in the past two weeks, President Obama has started to pull ahead of Mitt Romney.

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Arts & Life
3:43 pm
Sun September 16, 2012

A Reminder, Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Is Open

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 8:50 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just a reminder now that Round 9 of our Three-Minute Fiction Contest is open. It's where we ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes, so no more than 600 words. In each round, we have a judge with a new challenge. And this time, it's novelist Brad Meltzer, and he's come up with this.

BRAD MELTZER: Your story must revolve around a U.S. president who can be fictional or real.

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Music
4:48 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

In South Korea, K-Pop Gets New King

Korean rapper PSY is responsible for the song Gangam Style, whose flashy and humorous video has brought K-pop to new ears.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 11:24 am

For 12 years, Park Jae-Sang — better known to his fans as the rapper PSY — has had a successful career in his native South Korea.

But now, thanks to the viral video for Gangnam Style, his new single, he's on top of the world.

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