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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Business
3:26 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Amazon Raises The Curtain On A Fire Of Its Own

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:08 pm

At an unveiling in Seattle, online retail giant Amazon announced its entry into the smartphone market with a new device called "Fire." NPR's Martin Kaste was at the unveiling in Seattle, and he offers his take on the event.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Iraq
2:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

As Isis Strengthens Hold In Northern Iraq, Violent Reprisals Begin

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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National Security
2:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

U.S. Commandos Catch Alleged Leader Of Benghazi Attack

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:33 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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Performing Arts
2:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Audra McDonald Racks Up The Tonys, This Time As Billie Holiday

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 4:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There's a new queen of Broadway. Audra McDonald won her sixth Tony award last night for her betrayal of Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, CRAZY HE CALLS ME")

AUDRA MCDONALD: (As Billie Holiday, singing) Crazy he calls me. Sure I'm crazy. Crazy in love, I'd say.

CORNISH: When she got to the stage to accept her Tony, the audience at Radio City Music Hall was on its feet. The standing ovation that initially drowning her out.

MCDONALD: Thank you so much. Thank you.

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Sports
3:33 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 10:20 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
2:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

An American Suicide Bomber In Syria

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 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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World
3:39 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Madeleine Albright: A Free, Fair Election Possible In Ukraine

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:04 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who is in Kiev leading a team of international election observers set to monitor voting in Ukraine on Sunday.

Politics
2:58 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Week In Politics: Scandal At The VA, Primary Results

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:04 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
2:37 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 8:20 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
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?

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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.

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Politics
2:32 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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Politics
3:48 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:29 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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Middle East
2:36 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

In Gas-Rich And Fast-Growing Qatar, A Focus On Food Security

The Gulf nation of Qatar has nearly depleted its groundwater, and will increasingly need to import food. Some farms still operates on ground water, but in the long haul, Qatar is counting on desalination and using money to import food.

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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Africa
2:29 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Fighting, Fears Escalate In South Sudan

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 3:56 pm

The United Nations' chief is calling for additional peacekeepers for South Sudan where fighting between forces loyal to the president and those loyal to his former deputy is spiraling.

Health Care
2:20 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

White House Gives Another Day For Health Exchange Sign Ups

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 3:56 pm

People who are uninsured now have one more day to sign up for health coverage that start on the first of 2014. On Monday, the White House extended the deadline to sign up for plans under the Affordable Care Act from midnight on Dec. 23 to Christmas Eve at midnight, describing the move as a way to accommodate people in different time zones.

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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Technology
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Bitcoin Goes To Washington As Senators Parse Currency's Legality

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

The digital currency Bitcoin is becoming more prevalent, both for benign purchases and as a way for criminals to conduct illicit transactions. Bitcoins have been used on underground websites to facilitate sales of narcotics and child pornography. But even those most concerned about criminal activity agree that the emerging digital currency has arrived and can have beneficial uses.

Asia
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Damaged Fuel Rods Removed At Fukushima Nuclear Plant

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant successfully removed some radioactive fuel from one of the damaged reactors on Monday. It's an important first step, but there's a long way to go before the situation at the plant can be said to be completely under control

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.

Around the Nation
3:37 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

NYPD Officer Arrested In Motorcycle Road Rage Case

An undercover NYPD officer was arraigned Wednesday in connection with a road rage incident that's been viewed thousands of times on YouTube. Det. Wojciech Braszczok is one of several motorcycle riders who've been arrested for their roles in an attack on Alexian Lien, an SUV driver who led bikers on a high-speed chase last month and that ended in his beating.

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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The U.S. Response To Syria
4:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Bipartisan Senators Support Delaying Vote On Syria Strike

President Obama, scheduled to address the nation from the White House on Tuesday evening, trekked to the Capitol in the afternoon to address the Democratic and Republican Senate luncheons.

Sports
4:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

New Head Of Olympic Committee Faces A Number Of Challenges

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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