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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Music
2:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

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

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 9:17 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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Business
3:01 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:06 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
2:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:34 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
2:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:14 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
2:12 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 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
2:19 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:59 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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Arts & Life
2:47 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

The Dark Roots Of 'The Nutcracker' And The Man Who Wrote It

This is the time of year when one man's work is widely - if indirectly - celebrated. His name used to be hugely famous, but nowadays, it draws blank stares, even from people who know that work. E.T.A. Hoffman, who lived from 1776 to 1822 in the Kingdom of Prussia, was responsible for a work that is a staple the holiday season, the original author of The Nutcracker. You can read more about the story, which aired last Christmas, here.

Parallels
2:47 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Instead Of Sending Students Abroad, Qatar Imports U.S. Colleges

A man walks along a pathway at the Texas A&M University campus in Doha, Qatar.
Osama Faisal AP

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 8:53 pm

In Qatar's rapid race to modernity, the emirate has created a distinctive approach to educating its young: It has effectively imported a host of American universities.

Dr. Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh bin Nasser Al-Thani, a member of Qatar's ruling family, sits on the Supreme Education Council and owns a few independent schools. For her own children, she wanted a top-flight college education. Her sons were educated in Britain.

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Parallels
12:23 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

As World Cup Looms, Qatar's Migrant Worker System Faces Scrutiny

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 6:02 pm

Over the past decade, Qatar's population has soared from 660,000 to more than 2 million. Here's the catch: Qataris themselves number only around 260,000.

The rest, more than 85 percent of the population, are not citizens. As Professor Mehran Kamrava, an American scholar at Georgetown University's campus in Qatar, says, they are all migrant workers of varying types.

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Parallels
11:40 am
Mon December 23, 2013

How Tiny Qatar 'Punches Above Its Weight'

Soldiers on camels take part in a military parade on Qatar's National Day in the capital Doha last Wednesday. The city's rapidly growing skyline is in the background. Despite its small size, Qatar has used its wealth to play an outsized role in regional affairs.
Chen Shaojin/Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 7:31 am

Qatar is a tiny place that insists on being heard.

The Arab nation just off the coast of Saudi Arabia has made itself a major diplomatic player, a generous donor of foreign aid, and a leader in modernizing education in the region. The ultra-modern capital Doha is full of skyscrapers, museums and history, much of it dating as far back as ... the 1990s.

Qatar is also a commercial capital that aims to become a cultural, sports and tourist center for the Gulf region despite having just 260,000 citizens.

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Media
3:51 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Why The Dearth Of Black Commediennes In 'SNL' Cast?

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:49 pm

Scandal star Kerry Washington's turn hosting NBC's Saturday Night Live this Saturday has revived criticism of the show's lack of black female cast members. The issue was raised earlier this year when SNL announced five new cast members — four male, all white. The show's lack of black women — only three have ever been cast in 38 years — forces the show's black males to dress as black women, which echoes historic, demeaning issues for black male comics.

Business
3:38 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

BlackBerry Agrees To Sell Itself For $4.7 Billion

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel, and it's time now for All Tech Considered.

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Sports
4:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

New Head Of Olympic Committee Faces A Number Of Challenges

The International Olympic committee (IOC) has elected a new president, Thomas Bach of Germany. He assumes leadership of an organization that faces criticism over politics, costs and what some view as its insular approach to which sports are offered during the games. The new president succeeds Jacques Rogge, who lead the IOC for 12 years.

Sports
2:59 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

The Yankees Want Him Out But Alex Rodriguez Wants To Stay

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:01 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. One criticism of baseball is that it's too prone to long stretches of inaction, players sitting around not doing much. Well, if that's what baseball is, then Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has been Mr. Baseball this season. He's been on the disabled list, but he claims he's healthy enough to play. His team begs to differ. Here to talk about the confusion is NPR's Mike Pesca, who joins us from New York. Hi, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

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National Security
5:03 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

House Rejects Measure That Would Have Curbed NSA Program

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

On Capitol Hill, an effort to limit the authority of the National Security Agency has fallen short. It was the first chance for House lawmakers to vote on the government's phone surveillance program since news of it was leaked by Edward Snowden. They rejected an amendment that the White House and top intelligence officials had lobbied hard against.

NPR's Tamara Keith joins us from Capitol Hill. And, Tamara, the amendment was defeated. How close was it?

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Arts & Life
2:43 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

The Man Behind The Mask: A Profile Of The Lone Ranger

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 7:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

My colleague, Robert Siegel, is off today for the holiday. But, we're going to return with him now to a thrilling day of yesteryear. Yesteryear being five years ago. That's right it's a shameless re-run. And our excuse is the new "Lone Ranger" movie, which has opened to mixed reviews. The old TV show, which aired in the 1950s, was a favorite of Robert's when he was a boy. So, for our 2008 series, In Character, Robert marked "The Lone Ranger's" 75th anniversary.

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National Security
5:23 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

U.S. Charges NSA Leaker Snowden With Espionage

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR has learned that the U.S. Department of Justice has prepared the documents to formally charge Edward Snowden with espionage. Snowden is the former contractor who has publicized details of two U.S. surveillance programs through the British newspaper The Guardian. NPR's Carrie Johnson joins us now with the latest, and Carrie, everyone's been waiting for this shoe to drop. What do we know about the government's plans to proceed?

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Technology
3:03 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Google's 'Internet Balloons' Could Expand Online Access

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 3:45 pm

Google's "Project Loon" just launched in New Zealand — it uses balloons floating in the stratosphere to bring high-speed Internet access to remote areas.

Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
5:47 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Police Cordon Off Conn. Shooter's Mother's House

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 8:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And we turn now to NPR's Robert Smith. He has been outside the home of Adam Lanza's mother on the outskirts of Newtown, Connecticut. And, Robert, has the home also been a crime scene today?

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Asia
7:34 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

N. Korea Fires Long-Range Rocket

North Korea appears to have taken a step forward in its long-range missile program. The country has fired a long-range rocket in spite of warnings from the U.S. and the United Nations.

Election 2012
5:37 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Polls Closed In Virginia, But Race Too Close To Call

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 6:08 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Lynn Neary. And the results are starting to come in. At this hour, polls in six states have closed. That includes the all-important swing state of Virginia. It's the only state in the bunch that is too close to call. In South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Indiana, NPR projects that Mitt Romney will win. And in Vermont, the NPR projection is a win for President Obama. No surprises there.

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Around the Nation
5:41 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

In New York, Lights Are Back On But The Race Is Off

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In New York City, the lights are coming back on and the race has been called off. For details, I'm joined now by NPR's Margot Adler in New York. And, Margot, first, where has the electricity been restored?

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U.S.
4:53 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Obama Wades Through New Jersey's Recovery

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The most populous city in the country is drying out, and beginning a long and complicated recovery. One positive sign: Tomorrow, some New York City subway routes are scheduled to reopen. But today, gridlock ruled as people took to their cars. And that means it's carpool time.

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