Richard Gonzales

Correspondent Richard Gonzales is based in San Francisco. His reports are featured regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.

Gonzales describes his beat this way: "Willie Brown, Jerry Brown, medical pot, gay marriage, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court, and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California the rest of the country should know about. California has the reputation for generating new ideas and trends and we try to keep track of them."

He began his California stint in September 1995, after spending a year studying the impact of international trade and information technology on the American political process as a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University.

Gonzales joined NPR in May 1986 when he covered the U.S. State Department during the Iran-Contra Affair and the fall of apartheid in South Africa. In August 1990, he assumed the post of White House Correspondent and reported on the prelude to the Gulf War and President George Bush's unsuccessful re-election bid. From 1993 through 1994, Gonzales covered the U.S. Congress, focusing on NAFTA and immigration and welfare reform.

In 1988 Gonzales received a World Hunger Media Award for "Street Children in Maputo." He was also honored by the World Affairs Council of Northern California in 1984 for his documentary on the war-ravaged Miskito Indians of Nicaragua.

Before joining NPR in May 1986, Gonzales was a freelance producer at KQED-TV/San Francisco. From 1979 to 1985, he was a reporter, producer, and later, public affairs director at station KPFA-FM/Berkeley.

Gonzales graduated from Harvard College in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and social relations. He is a co-founder of Familias Unidas, a bi-lingual social services program in his hometown of Richmond, California.

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3:42pm

Thu June 19, 2014
Arts & Life

Never Tell Them The Odds: Cities Vie To Host 'Star Wars' Collection

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

While cities are still competing for the not yet built Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, parts of the collection are already on display. The "Star Wars Identities" traveling exhibition, currently at the Cite du Cinema in Saint-Denis, France, features 200 objects from George Lucas' collection — including the costumes of Chewbacca, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

A short time ago, in a city not far away, Star Wars creator George Lucas decided to build a museum to house his movie memorabilia and his art collection.

There's just one looming question: Where should it go?

Lucas says he'll spend $300 million of his own money to build the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum and will provide a $400 million endowment after his death. In addition to holding Skywalker artifacts galore, the museum would also host Lucas' private art collection, featuring works by Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth, among others.

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1:09am

Thu June 12, 2014
The Salt

Fight Over Calif. Oyster Company Splits Chefs And Land Defenders

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 2:38 pm

The Drakes Bay Oyster Farm caters to local residents and restaurants. But unless its lease is renewed, its days are numbered.
Richard Gonzales NPR

Drive just an hour and a half north of San Francisco, and you're in Drakes Estero, named for the first English explorer to lay claim to California.

This near-pristine, wind-whipped marine wilderness is a federally protected home for large beds of eelgrass, the base of the marine food chain. The estuary hosts the largest colony of harbor seals on the West Coast, and tens of thousands of resident and migratory birds.

It's also home to the Drakes Bay Oyster Co.

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3:11am

Thu May 29, 2014
Race

Shooting Of Sikh Army Veteran Divides Community

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 9:31 am

A photograph of Parminder Singh Shergill is displayed during his funeral services at Cherokee Memorial Park in Lodi, Calif., on Feb. 8.
Randall Benton Sacramento Bee

In late January, a mentally ill man was shot and killed by two police officers in Lodi, Calif., south of Sacramento. Tragedy often follows a confrontation between the police and a mentally ill person, but the facts of this case are in dispute.

The victim was a Sikh Army veteran, and his death has roiled the Sikh community and the city. On a recent Saturday evening, more than 100 people gathered at the Sikh temple in the largely agricultural community of Lodi, to remember Parminder Shergill.

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2:22pm

Fri April 25, 2014
Around the Nation

Memories, And Mended Reputation, Reclaimed From Century-Old Wreckage

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 5:15 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Ocean scientists in California have solved the mystery of the San Francisco Bay. More than a century ago, two ships collided, 16 people were killed. One ship sank and it remained on the bottom of the bay. It's exact location was unknown until now. And as NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, it was an accident that reignited racial divisions of that era.

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2:05pm

Mon April 21, 2014
News

Teen Stowaway Somehow Survives Flight To Hawaii In Wheel Well

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 5:26 pm

The FBI is saying that a 16-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after he hid in the wheel well of a flight from San Jose to Maui. Severe temperatures and low oxygen would make survival difficult. Investigators are examining the case.

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