Scott Simon

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.

Simon's weekly show, Weekend Edition Saturday, has been called by the Washington Post, "the most literate, witty, moving, and just plain interesting news show on any dial," and by Brett Martin of Time-Out New York "the most eclectic, intelligent two hours of broadcasting on the airwaves." He has won every major award in broadcasting, including the Peabody, the Emmy, the Columbia-DuPont, the Ohio State Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the Sidney Hillman Award. Simon received the Presidential End Hunger Award for his coverage of the Ethiopian civil war and famine, and a special citation from the Peabody Awards for his weekly essays, which were cited as "consistently thoughtful, graceful, and challenging." He has also received the Barry M. Goldwater Award from the Human Rights Fund. Recently, he was awarded the Studs Terkel Award.

Simon has hosted many television specials, including the PBS's "State of Mind," "Voices of Vision," and "Need to Know." "The Paterson Project" won a national Emmy, as did his two-hour special from the Rio earth summit meeting. He co-anchored PBS's "Millennium 2000" coverage in concert with the BBC, and has co-hosted the televised Columbia-DuPont Awards. He also became familiar to viewers in Great Britain as host of the continuing BBC series, "Eyewitness," and a special on the White House press corps. He has appeared as a guest and commentator on all major networks, including BBC, NBC, CNN, and ESPN.

Simon has contributed articles to The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Times of London, The Guardian, and Gourmet among other publications, and won a James Beard Award for his story, "Conflict Cuisine" in Gourmet. He has received numerous honorary degrees.

Sports Illustrated called his book Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan "extraordinary...uniformly superb...a memoir of such breadth and reach that it compares favorably with Fredrick Exley's A Fan's Notes." It was at the top of several non-fiction bestseller lists. His book, and Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball, was Barnes and Nobles' Sports Book of the Year. His novel, Pretty Birds, the story of two teenage girls in Sarajevo during the siege, received rave reviews, Scott Turow calling it, "the most auspicious fiction debut by a journalist of note since Tom Wolfe's. . . always gripping, always tender, and often painfully funny. It is a marvel of technical finesse, close observation, and a perfectly pitched heart." Windy City, Simon's second novel, is a political comedy set in the Chicago City Council. Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other, an essay about the joys of adoption, was published in August 2010.

Simon's tweets to his 1.25 million Twitter followers from his mother's bedside in the summer of 2013 gathered major media attention around the world. He is completing a book on their last week together that will appear in time for Mother's Day 2015.

Simon is a native of Chicago and the son of comedian Ernie Simon and Patricia Lyons Simon. His hobbies are books, theater, ballet, British comedy, Mexican cooking and "bleeding for the Chicago Cubs." He appeared as Mother Ginger in the Ballet Austin production of The Nutcracker.

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Simon Says
2:42 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Dog Races The Rails To Manhattan — And Wins New Yorkers' Hearts

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 12:49 pm

Some stories can only happen in New York.

At 10:39 Tuesday morning, a Metro-North Hudson Line train left the Bronx for Manhattan when Joseph Delia, the engineer, saw a dog running alongside the track.

A small, frisky, brown-and-black dog, "just running like she didn't have a care in the world," Delia said.

When the train stopped at a signal, the little dog leapt in front of it, then began to race ahead of the commuter train. The dog stumbled a couple of times over ties in the track, but Joseph Delia hit his brakes.

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Simon Says
11:00 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Firefighters Face Danger Head On (Whomever They're Rescuing)

Firefighters salute the funeral procession for Lt. Ed Walsh, a Boston firefighter who died in a nine-alarm fire late last month.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 10:18 am

Many of us on a workday fret about when we can break for lunch or what the traffic will be. Men and women who are firefighters might be called upon to risk their lives.

A couple of stories this week remind us of their commitment and their bond.

Scott Hemmelsbach, a firefighter in Muskegon, Mich., ran into a smoke-filled house to save a snake: Chocolate Chip, a 7-foot boa constrictor who belonged to Bridget and Wayne Brewer.

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Around the Nation
6:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

'Muse Of Painting' Came To Churchill's Rescue — And Bush's

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 10:18 am

Portraits of world leaders painted by former President George W. Bush go on exhibit in Dallas on Saturday. He took up the hobby after he read Winston Churchill's essay, "Painting as Pastime."

Simon Says
7:09 am
Sat March 29, 2014

A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee

What legally makes whiskey taste like Tennessee?
Piotr Wawryniuk iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 10:27 am

Would Tennessee whiskey by any other name taste as sweet?

A debate in Tennessee simmers over a legal definition of what makes Tennessee whiskey "Tennessee."

The state legislature passed a bill last year saying whiskey can be labeled "Tennessee" only if it's made in the state from a mash that's 51-percent corn, trickles through maple charcoal, and is aged in new, charred oak barrels.

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Movie Interviews
3:17 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Doomed 'Dune' Was Generations Ahead Of Its Time

Artwork created for Dune by British science fiction artist Chris Foss.
Courtesy of Chris Foss/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

Dune, by Alejandro Jodorowsky, was an ambitious and expensive film that was going to change cinema — and, the filmmaker imagined, the world.

Jodorowsky had already made a name for himself with El Topo in 1970 and The Holy Mountain in 1973, two movies that more or less invented the "midnight movie" phenomenon back when that was a euphemism for tripping.

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Simon Says
6:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

A Tatar's Death Chills Those Who Suffered Under Russia Before

Crimean Tatars carry the body of Reshat Ametov during his funeral outside the town of Simferopol on Tuesday.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

Amid all the of necessary analysis of what Russia's move into Crimea means geopolitically and strategically, it might also be good to remember Reshat Ametov.

Mr. Ametov was buried this week. He was 39 years old, married and the father of three young children.

He was last seen at a demonstration on March 3 in Simferopol, where he joined other Crimean Tatars held a silent protest before the pro-Russian armed men in unmarked uniforms who surrounded the cabinet ministers building.

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Simon Says
4:44 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

'Unproductive Anxiety' And The Solo Act Of Essay Writing

The essay portion of the SAT exam will become optional in 2016, the College Board announced this week.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:31 am

"If you are squeamish
Don't prod the
beach rubble."

Those wise words from Sappho, the Greek woman lyric poet born around 610 B.C. came to mind this week when the College Board announced it will make the essay on the SAT exam optional.

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Simon Says
4:54 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Lessons In Humility From A Chicago Kid Called Harold Ramis

Chicago writer-actor-director Harold Ramis died Monday. He was 69.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 10:03 am

Harold Ramis used to call me now and then. Not to promote any project; the man behind Groundhog Day, Analyze This, SCTV and Caddyshack hardly needed to. And he certainly didn't call for my opinion on anything, except the Cubs.

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Simon Says
8:58 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Ukrainian Olympic Skier's Stand Is A Sacrifice For Her Country

Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska decided not to compete in Friday's slalom race, in a show of solidarity with protesters in Kiev.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 12:06 pm

Sports are supposed to be separate from politics, but athletes and games can't always be kept separate from life and death.

Scores of people were killed in Ukraine this week, as the security forces of President Viktor Yanukovich opened fire on anti-government protesters in Kiev's Maidan, now called Independence Square.

While some 800 miles away, more than 40 Ukrainian athletes have been skiing, skating, working hard to win medals at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

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Around the Nation
7:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Girl Scout Sells Cookies Outside Medical Marijuana Clinic

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 12:06 pm

Girl Scout cookies are never that hard to sell, but this week, one 13-year-old San Franciscan may have outsmarted the competition altogether.

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