Terry Gross Terry Gross is the host and executive producer of NPR's Fresh Air.
Terry Gross square 2017
Stories By

Terry Gross

WHYY
Terry Gross
WHYY

Terry Gross

Host, Fresh Air

Combine an intelligent interviewer with a roster of guests that, according to the Chicago Tribune, would be prized by any talk-show host, and you're bound to get an interesting conversation. Fresh Air interviews, though, are in a category by themselves, distinguished by the unique approach of host and executive producer Terry Gross. "A remarkable blend of empathy and warmth, genuine curiosity and sharp intelligence," says the San Francisco Chronicle.

Gross, who has been host of Fresh Air since 1975, when it was broadcast only in greater Philadelphia, isn't afraid to ask tough questions. But Gross sets an atmosphere in which her guests volunteer the answers rather than surrendering them. What often puts those guests at ease is Gross' understanding of their work. "Anyone who agrees to be interviewed must decide where to draw the line between what is public and what is private," Gross says. "But the line can shift, depending on who is asking the questions. What puts someone on guard isn't necessarily the fear of being 'found out.' It sometimes is just the fear of being misunderstood."

Gross began her radio career in 1973 at public radio station WBFO in Buffalo, New York. There she hosted and produced several arts, women's and public affairs programs, including This Is Radio, a live, three-hour magazine program that aired daily. Two years later, she joined the staff of WHYY-FM in Philadelphia as producer and host of Fresh Air, then a local, daily interview and music program. In 1985, WHYY-FM launched a weekly half-hour edition of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, which was distributed nationally by NPR. Since 1987, a daily, one-hour national edition of Fresh Air has been produced by WHYY-FM. The program is broadcast on 566 stations and became the first non-drive time show in public radio history to reach more than five million listeners each week in fall 2008, a presidential election season. In fall 2011, Fresh Air reached 4.4 million listeners a week.

Fresh Air with Terry Gross has received a number of awards, including the prestigious Peabody Award in 1994 for its "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insight." America Women in Radio and Television presented Gross with a Gracie Award in 1999 in the category of National Network Radio Personality. In 2003, she received the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Edward R. Murrow Award for her "outstanding contributions to public radio" and for advancing the "growth, quality and positive image of radio." In 2007, Gross received the Literarian Award. In 2011, she received the Authors Guild Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community.

Gross is the author of All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists, published by Hyperion in 2004.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Gross received a bachelor's degree in English and M.Ed. in communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Gross was recognized with the Columbia Journalism Award from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2008 and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Princeton University in 2002. She received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1993 and Doctor of Humane Letters in 2007, both from SUNY–Buffalo. She also received a Doctor of Letters from Haverford College in 1998 and Honorary Doctor of Letters from Drexel University in 1989.

[+] read more[-] less

Story Archive

'Fresh Air' Marks The 75th Anniversary Of The Liberation Of Auschwitz

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/799228786/799316134" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Remembering 'Monty Python' Star Terry Jones

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/798513601/798586020" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Bryan Stevenson is the author of the memoir Just Mercy, which was recently adapted into a film starring Michael B. Jordan. Rog Walker/Paper Monday hide caption

toggle caption
Rog Walker/Paper Monday

'Just Mercy' Attorney Asks U.S. To Reckon With Its Racist Past And Present

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/796234496/797954741" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Remembering Spiritual Leader Ram Dass

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/797003970/797349102" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

'Why Religion?' Asks 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/797001729/797348999" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Leaked Intelligence Reports Reveal The Vast Power Iran Wields In Iraq

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/796978484/797063277" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Robert De Niro (from left) stars with Al Pacino and Ray Romano as a mob hit man in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. Netflix hide caption

toggle caption
Netflix

'Can A Person Change?': Martin Scorsese On Gangsters, Death And Redemption

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/796276592/796691714" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Book Details The 'Bottom-Feeders' And 'Fixers' Who Enabled Trump's Election

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/796222714/796297102" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Remembering 'Graduate' Screenwriter Buck Henry

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/795195864/795288346" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Remembering Jazz Trumpeter, Singer And Actor Jack Sheldon

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/795209500/795288468" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Journalist Details 'Dangerously Unstable' Relationship Between The U.S. And China

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/794864423/794936334" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Trump delivers remarks at the beginning of a 2017 meeting with his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. Andrea Bernstein's new book, American Oligarchs, argues that both the Trump and Kushner families have benefited from the intersection of money and politics. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

'American Oligarchs' Reveals How Trump, Kushner Families Learned To Work The System

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/794509417/794629980" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Author Peggy Orenstein's new book, Boys & Sex, is based on extensive interviews with more than 100 college and college-bound boys and young men across the U.S. between the ages of 16 and 22 on intimacy, consent and navigating masculinity. They spanned a broad range of races, religions, classes and sexual orientations. Siza Padovan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Siza Padovan/Getty Images

'Boys & Sex' Reveals That Young Men Feel 'Cut Off From Their Hearts'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/794182826/794282394" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Joaquin Phoenix is Arthur Fleck, a party clown and aspiring stand-up comic who struggles with mental illness and turns violent in Joker. Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Entertainment hide caption

toggle caption
Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Entertainment

'The System's Broken' And 'Joker' Director Aimed To Explore That On Screen

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/793336776/793995118" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Writer-director Jordan Peele says that making Get Out represents his "truest passion." Rich Fury/Invision/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Rich Fury/Invision/AP

Fresh Air Weekend: Jordan Peele; Francis Ford Coppola

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/793316172/793611240" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">