Terry Gross is the host and an executive producer of Fresh Air, the daily program of interviews and reviews. It is produced at WHYY in Philadelphia, where Gross began hosting the show in 1975, when it was broadcast only locally. She was awarded a National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2016. Fresh Air with Terry Gross received a Peabody Award in 1994 for its “probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insight.” America Women in Radio and Television presented her with a Gracie Award in 1999 in the category of National Network Radio Personality. In 2003, she received the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Edward R. Murrow Award for her “outstanding contributions to public radio” and for advancing the “growth, quality and positive image of radio.” Gross is the author of All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists, published by Hyperion in 2004. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and received a bachelor’s degree in English and M.Ed. in communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She began her radio career in 1973 at public radio station WBFO in Buffalo, NY.
Activist Dick Gregory recently gave a speech for the Ford Hall Forum that was recorded by NPR. Today, Fresh Air will play an excerpt of that speech, on the subject "Are Minorities Really Powerless?" The topics addressed in the excerpt are the 1980 presidential election, Gregory's distaste for the concept of "voting for the lessor of two evils," and the "choicelessness" the common voter feels. The speech was given prior to the election.
Novelist Joyce Carol Oates delivers a talk at the Free Library of Philadelphia on the topic of "Women in Twentieth Century Literature." Oates traces women in the imaginations male writers of the era including John Updike, William Faulkner, Norman Mailor, William Styron, and D. H. Lawrence.
Journalist Charles Hardy and University of Georgia historian Deborah Herman both reflect on the history and impact of advice columns on the lives of bourgeois American women. Herman looks at six months' worth of Dear Abby columns in the 1950s to determine the state of and attitudes toward marriage during that decade.
Fresh Air broadcasts a special feature produce for the month of October called On This Side of Paradise. The miniseries focuses on the state of religion in America today. The first installment features stories of people who converted to Christianity during their adult lives.