Scott Simon

From Ground Zero in New York to ground zero in Kabul, to police stations, subway platforms, and darkened theaters, NPR's Peabody-Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of Weekend Edition Saturday.

Simon joined NPR in 1977 as chief of its Chicago bureau. Since then, he has reported from all 50 states, covered presidential campaigns and eight wars, and reported from Central America, Africa, India, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. In 2002, Simon took leave of his usual post at Weekend Edition Saturday to cover the war in Afghanistan for NPR. He has also reported from Central America on the continuing wars in that region; from Cuba on the nation's resistance to change; from Ethiopia on the country's famine and prolonged civil war; from the Middle East during the Gulf War; and from the siege of Sarajevo and the destruction of Kosovo.

Simon has received numerous honors for his reporting. His work was part of the Overseas Press Club and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards NPR earned for coverage of Sept. 11 and its aftermath. He was part of the NPR news teams that won prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for covering the war in Kosovo as well as the Gulf War. In 1989, he won a George Foster Peabody Award for his weekly radio essays. The award commended him for his sensitivity and literary style in coverage of events including the murder of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador and the San Francisco earthquake. Simon also accepted the Presidential End Hunger Award for his series of reports on the 1987-1988 Ethiopian civil war and drought. He received a 1986 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his coverage of racism in a South Philadelphia neighborhood, and a 1986 Silver Cindy for a report on conditions at the Immigration and Naturalization Service's detention center in Harlingen, Texas.

Simon received a Major Armstrong Award in 1979 for his coverage of the American Nazi Party rally in Chicago, and a Unity Award in Media in 1978 for his political reporting on All Things Considered. He also won a 1982 Emmy for the public television documentary The Patterson Project, which examined the effects of President Reagan's budget cuts on the lives of 12 New Jersey residents.

Simon has been a frequent guest host of the CBS television program Nightwatch and CNBC's TalkBack Live. In addition to hosting Weekend Edition Saturday, Simon has appeared as an essayist and commentator on NBC's Weekend Today and NOW with Bill Moyers. He has hosted many public television programs, including "Voices of Vision," "Life on the Internet," "State of Mind," "American Pie," "Search for Common Ground," and specials on privacy in America and democracy in the Middle East. He also narrated the documentary film "Lincoln of Illinois" for PBS. Simon participated in the Grammy Award-nominated 50th anniversary remake of The War of the Worlds (co-starring Jason Robards), and hosted public television's coverage of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Simon has hosted the BBC series Eyewitness, which was seen in the United States on the Discovery Channel, and a BBC special on the White House press corps. Simon was also a featured co-anchor of PBS's millennium special broadcast in 2000.

Simon has written for The New York Times' Book Review and Opinion sections, the Wall Street Journal opinion page, the Los Angeles Times, and Gourmet Magazine.

The son of comedian Ernie Simon and actress Patricia Lyons, Simon grew up in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Montreal, Cleveland, and Washington, DC. He attended the University of Chicago and McGill University, and he has received a number of honorary degrees.

Simon's book Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan was published in the spring of 2000 by Hyperion, a division of Disney. It topped the Los Angeles Times nonfiction bestseller list for several weeks, and was cited as one of the best books of the year in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and several other publications. His second book, Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball, kicked off the prestigious Wiley Turning Points series in September of 2002, and was the Barnes & Noble "Sports Book of the Year." Simon's first novel, Pretty Birds, about female teenaged snipers in Sarajevo, was released in May 2005 and acclaimed as "the start of a brilliant new career." His most recent novel, a political comedy called Windy City, was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the best novels of 2008.

Simon is married to Caroline Richard. They have two daughters, Elise and Lina. His hobbies include Mexican cooking, ballet, book collecting, and living and dying for the Chicago Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls (and now, as a token of affection for his wife, the French national soccer team).

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8:05am

Sat June 25, 2011
Simon Says

A Chinese Dissident Is Freed, But He's Still Not Free

Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist and human rights activist, was released from prison late Wednesday night, and told western reporters, "In legal terms, I'm — how do you say? — on bail. So I cannot give any interviews. But I'm fine."

The state news agency says Mr. Ai was released after 80 days "because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes," which the state says is tax evasion, though he was held by the internal security bureau.

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8:42am

Sat June 18, 2011
Simon Says

Vegan Pad Thai Serves As Red Meat In A Food Fight

The biggest story in the Big Apple by the end of this week may not have been Weinergate, but The Diva vs. Doc smackdown.

A judge in Manhattan Criminal Court acquitted Marcella Caprario, an opera singer, of assaulting Dr. Catherine London, a family practitioner, over a vegan tofu pad-Thai frozen dinner in the aisle of a Trader Joe's market on the Upper West Side.

According to testimony, last Jan. 9 Ms. Caprario's husband, Bill Hobbs, leaned forward to reach for the vegan entrée in the freezer section. He found his route interrupted by Dr. London's 13-year-old son, Noah.

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8:57am

Sat June 11, 2011
Simon Says

In Memory Of MaSisulu, The Rock Of South Africa

Albertina Sisulu is being buried in Soweto, South Africa today. She was 92 when she died, and liked to recall that when she and a few other women organized a protest in 1956 of the passbooks that were bedrock of South Africa's apartheid laws, they chanted, "When you tamper with women, you strike a rock."

Albertina Sisulu was born in rural Transkei. Her father cracked rocks in South Africa's dangerous, pitiless mines, and died when she was 11. Her mother was sick and mournful. Albertina had to look after her mother and three siblings.

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8:45am

Sat June 4, 2011
Simon Says

Thomas Jefferson And The Cha Cha Slide

There's a meet-up planned at the Jefferson Memorial today. People are invited to bring their own music, listen to it on earbuds, and dance.

I'm not sure the meet-up began as a protest. It's become one now.

In May, an appeals court ruled that the U-S Park Police were right to arrest a woman named Mary Brooke Oberwetter for going to the Jefferson Memorial with a group of friends shortly before midnight on April 12, 2008, and silently dancing to salute Thomas Jefferson's 265th birthday.

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8:21am

Sat May 28, 2011
Simon Says

The Case Against Mladic: Chocolates And Mass Graves

When Ratko Mladic appeared in court in Belgrade yesterday, he was a frail-looking man of 69 with a bad right arm. His family says he's had a stroke. He mumbled.

But during the siege of Sarajevo in the mid-1990's, Mladic was a strutting general who famously commanded his Bosnian Serb gunners and snipers to "Burn their brains! Shell them until they're mad! Make blood run in the streets!"

They did.

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