Linda Wertheimer

As NPR's senior national correspondent, Linda Wertheimer travels the country and the globe for NPR News, bringing her unique insights and wealth of experience to bear on the day's top news stories.

A respected leader in media and a beloved figure to listeners who have followed her three-decade-long NPR career, Wertheimer provides clear-eyed analysis and thoughtful reporting on all NPR News programs.

Before taking the senior national correspondent post in 2002, Wertheimer spent 13 years hosting of NPR's news magazine All Things Considered. During that time, Wertheimer helped build the afternoon news program's audience to record levels. The show grew from six million listeners in 1989 to nearly 10 million listeners by spring of 2001, making it one of the top afternoon drive-time, news radio programs in the country. Wertheimer's influence on All Things Considered — and, by extension, all of public radio — has been profound.

She joined NPR at the network's inception, and served as All Things Considered's first director starting with its debut on May 3, 1971. In the more than 40 years since, she has served NPR in a variety of roles including reporter and host.

From 1974 to 1989, Wertheimer provided highly praised and award-winning coverage of national politics and Congress for NPR, serving as its congressional and then national political correspondent. Wertheimer traveled the country with major presidential candidates, covered state presidential primaries and the general elections, and regularly reported from Congress on the major events of the day — from the Watergate impeachment hearings to the Reagan Revolution to historic tax reform legislation to the Iran-Contra affair. During this period, Wertheimer covered four presidential and eight congressional elections for NPR.

In 1976, Wertheimer became the first woman to anchor network coverage of a presidential nomination convention and of election night. Over her career at NPR, she has anchored ten presidential nomination conventions and 12 election nights.

Wertheimer is the first person to broadcast live from inside the United States Senate chamber. Her 37 days of live coverage of the Senate Panama Canal Treaty debates won her a special Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award.

In 1995, Wertheimer shared in an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award given to NPR for its coverage of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, the period that followed the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress.

Wertheimer has received numerous other journalism awards, including awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for her anchoring of The Iran-Contra Affair: A Special Report, a series of 41 half-hour programs on the Iran-Contra congressional hearings, from American Women in Radio/TV for her story Illegal Abortion, and from the American Legion for NPR's coverage of the Panama Treaty debates.

in 1997, Wertheimer was named one of the top 50 journalists in Washington by Washingtonian magazine and in 1998 as one of America's 200 most influential women by Vanity Fair.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Wertheimer received its highest alumni honor in 1985, the Distinguished Alumna Achievement Award. Wertheimer holds honorary degrees from Colby College, Wheaton College, and Illinois Wesleyan University.

Prior to joining NPR, Wertheimer worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation in London and for WCBS Radio in New York.

Her 1995 book, Listening to America: Twenty-five Years in the Life of a Nation as Heard on National Public Radio, published by Houghton Mifflin, celebrates NPR's history.

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Europe
5:55 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Filmmaker Searches For 'White Widow' Of London Bombing

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 10:50 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

On July 7, 2005 - nine years ago tomorrow - a series of explosions in central London killed 52 people and injured over 700 others. One of the bombers, Germaine Lindsay, was married to Samantha Lewthwaite, a white, working-class girl from southern England. They had both converted to Islam. Lewthwaite denounced her husband's actions after the attacks, but then her life took another mysterious turn. She left England in 2008 and moved to South Africa and from there, to Kenya.

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Crime In The City
1:16 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Hard-Boiled Hero Jack Irish Lives, And Drinks, In A Shadowy Melbourne

Jack Irish makes a living, of sorts, in Melbourne, Australia.
Gary M. Prior Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 12:24 pm

Peter Temple writes prize-winning thrillers, four of them about his sometimes hapless investigator, Jack Irish. The books capture Melbourne, Australia: its pubs, racetracks, big boulevards rattling with traffic, and narrow alleys — called lanes — painted with graffiti.

Jack Irish was headed for a life as a successful suburban solicitor, or lawyer, when one of his criminal clients murdered Jack's wife, and Jack dropped the law to become a drunk. The novels — some are now TV movies — begin with his surfacing and looking around for his life.

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Digital Life
5:53 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Game Developers Conference: Not Your Typical Tech Convention

Brian Crecente, who is covering the Game Developers Conference this week for the video game website Polygon, talks about the latest trends in the industry.

Books
3:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

A Meteoric Rise For Young 'Divergent' Author

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:45 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Food
3:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

A Cronut By Any Other Name Is Still A Cronut

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:45 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Little Big's Bakery in South Portland, Maine worked up its version of the cronut, the croissant-donut hybrid. The Mainers tried to stand out, spelling theirs C-R-A-U-X-nut. But the original New York baker sent a letter saying he has trademarked the cronut name, no matter how you spell it. So Little Big's took another stab at it. Now they call their popular pastry C-and-Ds - standing for cease and desist. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Middle East
3:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

U.N. Report: All Sides Committing Atrocities In Syria

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:45 am

U.N. investigators are gathering the names of people they suspect of war crimes in Syria. In their latest report, they say all sides in the conflict are committing atrocities against civilians. We hear from Karen Abuzayd, who is with the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

World
3:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Sanctions Target Business Leaders, Others With Ties To Putin

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:45 am

Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Washington Post correspondent Will Englund in Moscow about the list of Russians slapped with U.S. sanctions in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea. Englund says the list includes government and business leaders who have been close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

NPR Story
3:43 am
Fri March 21, 2014

'Wheel Of Fortune' Player Cashes In With N And E

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:08 am

A Wheel of Fortune contestant guessed a 12-letter phrase in the bonus round Wednesday night with only two letters revealed — and he won $45,000.

Politics
6:51 am
Sat December 28, 2013

With Congress Gone, D.C. Takes On Effortless Beauty

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 9:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

'Twas the week after Christmas and I in my cap and heavy sweater and down vest ventured out to find our beautiful capital city glittering in the winter sunshine, the cold air so clear that the crescent moon looks like a chalk drawing on the deep blue sky. The Capitol Dome and the spike of the Washington Monument all shine, showing their best postcard poses.

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Health Care
3:10 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Shopping Online For Health Exchanges Not Perfect Yet

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. We hope many of you are enjoying some time off for Thanksgiving, maybe doing some shopping, but meanwhile work is continuing on the website for the federal health care exchanges.

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Middle East
3:10 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Islamic Extremists Alter Dynamics In Syria's War Civil

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 9:42 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We're gonna take a look now at the changing dynamics in the Syrian civil war. It's been going on for two and a half years now. Well over 100,000 people have died. In that time, Islamist extremists have emerged as the best armed and financed opposition to the regime of Bashar al Assad, eclipsing the opposition groups favored by the West.

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Middle East
2:46 am
Fri August 30, 2013

White House Presses On With Plans To Strike Syria

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:51 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Preparations for a military strike against Syria continue. The Obama administration says action is necessary, because the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people last week, killing hundreds.

WERTHEIMER: All week, the administration has been claiming their case is open and shut.

(SOUNDBITE OF STATEMENTS)

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National Security
3:43 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Intercepted Al-Qaida Communication Prompts Warnings

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 4:06 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Business
2:46 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Jeff Bezos To Buy 'Washington Post' From Graham Family

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 11:21 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. This morning, The Washington Post is in its own headlines. The Graham family, which controlled the Post for eight decades, is selling the flagship paper. Here's Washington Post Chairman Donald Graham, in a Post-TV video talking about the sale.

(SOUNDBITE OF POST-TV VIDEO)

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NPR Story
10:59 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Ex-Rep. Lindy Boggs: Advocate For Women, Dedicated To Family

Cokie Roberts (far left) and Steve Roberts with Cokie's mother, Lindy Boggs, and children Lee and Rebecca in 1969.
Courtesy of Cokie and Steve Roberts

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 11:01 am

Lindy Boggs died Saturday morning. She was 97 years old, had served in Congress for close to 20 years and also as the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, appointed by President Bill Clinton.

But those achievements, great as they are, do not begin to sum up the life and accomplishments of Lindy Boggs. As many of you know, she is part of our family at NPR: Her daughter is Cokie Roberts. And she has many friends here, as she does everywhere.

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Crime In The City
1:55 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Rotenberg's Toronto Thrillers Mix Canadian Courtesy With Murder

From the Toronto Islands — one of many real-life Toronto locales in Robert Rotenberg's legal thrillers — visitors have a clear view of the city's skyline.
Sean Dawsean Flickr

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 1:02 am

Robert Rotenberg has written four legal thrillers set in Toronto, that old industrial city on the shores of Lake Ontario. He's a criminal lawyer — all his books are centered on trials — and he loves his city so much that he makes multicultural Toronto a character in his books. His first release, Old City Hall, is even named after a Toronto landmark: a beautiful stone building that is now used as a courthouse.

Real Courtrooms, Real Courtesy

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Middle East
3:38 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Syrians React To U.S. Providing Military Aid To Rebels

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 5:05 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, BYLINE: And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The White House announced last night it will now give direct military aid to Syrian rebel forces. Administration officials say this follows intelligence assessments that indicate the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons repeatedly against opposition forces in the past year. For more on what this means, we go to NPR's Deborah Amos who is in Amman, Jordan. Deb, welcome.

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Law
3:23 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Feds Buckle On Emergency Contraception Age Restrictions

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The morning after pill is moving from behind the counter to on the shelf. Last night, the Obama administration announced it will comply with a court order that allows girls and women of any age to buy the emergency contraception without a prescription and without showing ID.

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National Security
2:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

'Guardian' Reveals Source Of NSA Leaks

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:08 am

The Guardian newspaper says the insider who blew the whistle on the NSA's probing of major U.S. Internet and telecom companies is a 29-year-old analyst who's been working for the agency under a government contract. His name is Edward Snowden.

National Security
2:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Intelligence Community Mines Phone Records, Internet Data

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 4:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Just one day after we learned the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting telephone records from millions of Americans, it's been revealed that the agency is also running a massive Internet surveillance program.

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National Security
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

NSA Collects Verizon Customers' Records

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:12 am

The National Security Agency is collecting the phone records of millions of Americans for three months. The news was first reported by the Guardian newspaper. The request for the records was placed with a special intelligence court days after the Boston bombings.

U.S.
7:20 am
Wed June 5, 2013

National Security Adviser Donilon Resigns; Rice To Take Over

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The Whitehouse has announced that President Obama's National Security Advisor is resigning and he will be replaced by Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. NPR's Ron Elving is here to tell us more. Ron, some months ago, Ms. Rice was rumored to be nominated Secretary of State - that, of course, did not happen. So why don't you give us a quick fill on the back story.

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Middle East
3:54 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Violent Protests Persist In Turkish Cities

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. It was another night of violent protest in Turkey.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING, GUNFIRE)

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NPR Story
9:50 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Venezuela, World Leaders Mourn Hugo Chavez

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Leader from around the world have arrived in Venezuela to pay their final respects to President Hugo Chavez, who used his country's oil wealth to put in place his vision of socialism during 14 years in power. And this larger-than-life leader presumably will continue to inspire his followers. The Venezuelan government plans to embalm his body and keep it on display in a glass coffin.

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Middle East
4:13 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Talks On Iran's Nuclear Program To Resume In April

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:37 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Iran now says compromise on its nuclear program may be possible. Of course, that comes with a number of ifs. Tehran says that's if international negotiators continue to take what it calls a more realistic approach. The big question, Western officials say, is whether Iran is willing to curb its nuclear activities. That is the message, after a two-day meeting between Iran and six world powers. NPR's Peter Kenyon joins us from Almaty, Kazakhstan where the talks just concluded.

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Space
3:42 am
Fri February 22, 2013

1 Week Later: Following Up On Destructive Meteorite

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:58 am

A flaming meteor streaked through the skies over Russia last Friday. It exploded with the force of 20 atomic bombs over the Siberian city of Chelyabinsk. A thousand people were injured; most of them were watching it and were cut when the shock wave shattered windows.

Politics
4:12 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Hagel Nomination Blocked At Least Temporarily

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 6:39 am

Chuck Hagel will have to wait at least another 10 days to find out if the Senate will confirm him as the next secretary of defense. That's because Senate Democrats failed to muster the 60 vote supermajority needed to break a GOP filibuster of the former Nebraska Republican senator's nomination.

Business
4:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Merger Deal Expected For American, U.S. Airways

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:05 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

More now on this morning's merger announcement by American Airlines and U.S. Airways. The deal would create the biggest air carrier in the U.S., with an estimated value of $11 billion. The merger must still be approved by regulators. And since American Airlines is working its way out of bankruptcy, a federal bankruptcy judge will also have to OK the deal.

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Religion
3:00 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Pope's Abdication Puts Church Into Uncharted Territory

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 4:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Catholics and the rest of the world are grappling with the implications of Pope Benedict's stunning announcement that he will resign on the evening of February 28th. The abdication is the first in many centuries, and it puts the church in uncharted territory for the first time in modern history.

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Opinion
6:00 am
Sat January 5, 2013

What Difference Will More Women Make In Congress?

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

The 113th Congress is setting a new record, with 101 women this time around. Now there's lots of speculation about what difference — if any — a sizable group of women might make to our national legislature.

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