Robert Siegel

Robert Siegel is senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel is still at it hosting the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reporting on stories and happenings all over the globe. As a host, Siegel has reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

In 2010, Siegel was recognized by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with the John Chancellor Award. Siegel has been honored with three Silver Batons from Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University, first in 1984 for All Things Considered's coverage of peace movements in East and West Germany. He shared in NPR's 1996 Silver Baton Award for "The Changing of the Guard: The Republican Revolution," for coverage of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress. He was part of the NPR team that won a Silver Baton for the network's coverage of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China.

Other awards Siegel has earned include a 1997 American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award for the two-part documentary, "Murder, Punishment, and Parole in Alabama" and the National Mental Health Association's 1991 Mental Health Award for his interviews conducted on the streets of New York in an All Things Considered story, "The Mentally Ill Homeless."

Siegel joined NPR in December 1976 as a newscaster and became an editor the following year. In 1979, Siegel became NPR's first staffer based overseas when he was chosen to open NPR's London bureau, where he worked as senior editor until 1983. After London, Siegel served for four years as director of the News and Information Department, overseeing production of NPR's newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition, as well as special events and other news programming. During his tenure, NPR launched its popular Saturday and Sunday newsmagazine Weekend Edition.

Before coming to NPR, Siegel worked for WRVR Radio in New York City as a reporter, host and news director. He was part of the WRVR team honored with an Armstrong Award for the series, "Rockefeller's Drug Law." Prior to WRVR, he was morning news reporter and telephone talk show host for WGLI Radio in Babylon, New York.

A graduate of New York's Stuyvesant High School and Columbia University, Siegel began his career in radio at Columbia's radio station, WKCR-FM. As a student he anchored coverage of the 1968 Columbia demonstrations and contributed to the work that earned the station an award from the Writers Guild of America East.

Siegel is the editor of The NPR Interviews 1994, The NPR Interviews 1995 and The NPR Interviews 1996, compilations of NPR's most popular radio conversations from each year.

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Sports
4:33 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

'A Change-up On Steroids:' The History Of A Sky-Scraping Pitch

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 11:20 pm

In a recent Nippon Professional Baseball game in Japan, Kazuhito Tadano threw a slow, arcing pitch that caught the batter by surprise. Video of the play quickly went viral on the Internet, but the pitch has a history — and a name: the eephus pitch. Paul Dickson, author of the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, offers more details.

National Security
3:16 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

An American Suicide Bomber In Syria

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 6:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The State Department has confirmed that a U.S. citizen was involved in the suicide bombing in Syria earlier this week. Today, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the man's identity in response to a reporter's question.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you confirm, at least, the name that he went by - as was published - Abu Huraya al-Amriki?

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From Our Listeners
3:16 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Letters: Maya Angelou And Doc Holliday

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 6:07 pm

Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read letters from listeners about a mistaken Wild West reference and the death of the poet Maya Angelou.

Science
3:43 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Uncertainty Swirls Saturday's Predicted Meteor Shower

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:04 pm

Alan MacRobert of Sky and Telescope magazine says that Earth on Saturday may pass through relatively dense streams of debris, resulting in a vivid display of shooting stars — or it won't.

Politics
3:43 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Week In Politics: Scandal At The VA, Primary Results

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama, this week, defended one of his cabinet secretaries and did not create a vacancy at the Department of Veterans Affairs when General Eric Shinseki visited the White House. But as for delays, backlogs and allegations of cooking the books at VA facilities, the president sounded adamant.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable. It is disgraceful and I will not tolerate it, period.

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Europe
4:09 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

UK Government Asks: What's The Greatest Challenge Of Our Time?

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:20 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, a prize that's making a return: the Longitude Prize.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It was set up in 1714 by the British government to solve the greatest challenge of that time: Pinpoint a ship's location at sea by knowing its longitude.

CORNISH: Three hundred years later, there's a video announcing its return.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We're at the dawn of a new world.

SIEGEL: Its committee is led by Lord Martin Rees, a professor at Cambridge University.

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Music
3:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

On Auction Block: Draft Of 'Like A Rolling Stone,' And Some Doodles

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 10:17 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's not all politics here in Washington. On Pennsylvania Avenue, there used to be a hotel called the Roger Smith. The top of the hotel's stationery proclaimed it was just one block from the White House. And it's under that heading that one of rock 'n roll's most important figures scribbled out the lyrics to one of his biggest songs.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIKE A ROLLING STONE")

BOB DYLAN: (Singing) Once upon a time you dressed so fine, you threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Remembrances
3:04 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Al Feldstein, Helmsman At 'Mad' Magazine, Dies At 88

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A true mad man has died. Al Feldstein steered MAD Magazine to the height of its madness as its editor. It's a role he held for nearly 30 years, developing the iconic image of the magazine's mascot, Alfred E. Neuman.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

What, me worry? When MAD magazine's first editor left and took the whole staff with him, Feldstein recruited a sharp new group of artists and writers. Al Jaffee, who is now in his 90s, was among them. He's the guy who created MAD's fold-in back cover.

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Business
4:12 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

From Waltz To '90s Icon: The Unforgettable Life Of The Nokia Ringtone

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:06 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There was a time when cell phones were used to make calls and many of the calls were defined by this.

(SOUNDBITE OF NOKIA RINGTONE)

SIEGEL: The Nokia ringtone, it was introduced in 1994. Last Friday, Nokia - once the world's cell phone leader - sold its dwindling phone business to Microsoft for a lot of money, seven and a half billion dollars.

Until today, no one had said what becomes of that ringtone, a tune Nokia says is played about 20,000 times a second worldwide.

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News
3:43 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

What's Known — And Still Unclear — About The Fort Hood Shooting

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 6:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. We're continuing to follow developments in yesterday's deadly shooting at Fort Hood that left four people dead and 16 wounded. This afternoon, the commander of Fort Hood, Lieutenant General Mark Milley, confirmed the identity of the shooter.

LIEUTENTANT GENERAL MARK MILLEY: We are able to release, his next kin have been notified. The alleged shooter is Specialist Ivan A. Lopez. He is 34 years old, originally from Puerto Rico.

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From Our Listeners
3:12 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Letters: 'The Big Broadcast' And Laughing Down The Hall

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 7:14 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Time now for your letters. First, two corrections. On Monday, we took you to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin to tell you about something called Oculus Rift. It is a virtual reality headset. And in our story, we mistakenly said that it would be available to consumers in 18 to 20 months. In fact, there is no release date yet for a consumer model. Only the development kit is currently available.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Politics
3:06 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

To Sell Health Care To Young People, Obama Steps 'Between Two Ferns'

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:51 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Long-time fans of the comedy website, "Funny or Die," know this already. But for the rest of you, this is the theme song of "Between Two Ferns." The Web series mimics a low-budget, cable-access interview program.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's the brainchild of actor and comedian Zach Galifinakis. He plays an unprepared host who fumbles through awkward conversations with celebrities. But the guest of his latest episode, released today, was a little different.

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Health
3:52 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

'Bluish' Light May Help Alzheimer's Patients Find Bearings

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:59 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, health and electrical lighting. Last month, Mariana Figueiro showed me something she has developed to help seniors avoid falls in the night. Figueiro researches health applications at the Lighting Research Center at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Her project is a nightlight. But it's not just a single bulb. It's a string of yellow lights that border the darkened entrance to, say, a bathroom.

It's a doorway and around the frame of the doorway are the yellow LEDs?

MARIANA FIGUEIRO: That's correct.

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Politics
4:48 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

The (Email) Thread That Tied Up The George Washington Bridge

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Science
3:36 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Are We Genetically Inclined To Be Materialistic?

People tend to hate to lose stuff they already own. This trait, known as the endowment effect, is likely handed down to us by evolution, since it is visible cross-culturally as well as in non-human primates. However, new research suggests certain cultures place a brake on this evolutionary trait, whereas capitalistic societies put it on steroids.

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