Veteran broadcaster Bob Edwards, the longtime NPR host who helped build the news program “Morning Edition,” has died at age 76, NPR announced Monday.
Edwards, an NPR institution, joined the station as a news anchor in 1974 and became the voice with which NPR listeners “started their day” for 24 1/2 years as host of “Morning Edition,” NPR CEO John Lansing said in a statement Monday morning.
Edwards died “peacefully” Saturday night with his daughters and wife, NPR anchor Windsor Johnston, at his side, his wife shared in a statement to NBC News.
“He smiled as we played out the good wishes, fond memories and healing messages you all kindly took the time to record for him,” Johnston wrote. “A tear slid down his face as he listened to those familiar sounds under the bed of the old 'Morning Edition' theme.”
No cause of death has been shared.
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Bob Edwards,” Lansing said in a statement. “Bob Edwards understood the intimate, personal connection with audiences that distinguishes audio journalism from other media, and for decades he was a trusted voice in the lives of millions of public radio listeners.”
“NPR staff and throughout the network, along with millions of listeners, will remember Bob Edwards with gratitude,” Lansing added.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1947, Edwards began his career as a newscaster for a local Indiana station and worked in Korea with Armed Forces Radio and Television, he said. RadIo Hall of Fame duoGeography.
After joining NPR in 1974, he was asked to join Susan Stamberg as co-host of NPR's new news program All Things Considered. In 1979, “Morning Edition” was launched – a brand that quickly became synonymous with it.
During his work at Morning Edition, he won two Gabriel Awards from the National Catholic Association of Broadcasters, an Alfred I. du Pont Columbia University Award, and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004.
Edwards was ousted as host of “Morning Edition” in 2004 after his decades-long tenure — a move that sparked outrage from longtime listeners, sparked angry newspaper editorials and drew condemnation from Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ely, on the floor of Senate. .
“It turns out that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle feel as I do — that this decision by NPR is the wrong decision; and that Bob Edwards, who was not only the host of this show, but also the most successful morning voice in America, is being removed from this “The mission is in a situation and circumstance that is almost impossible to understand.” Durbin said On April 1, 2004.
At the time, NPR said Edwards would become a senior correspondent for reports heard on various network broadcasts, a change made to “refresh” the network's broadcasts, the Associated Press reported.
Instead, Edwards left NPR and moved to XM Satellite Radio to launch The Bob Edwards Show, which ran until 2014. He continued to host the podcast “Take the day” By AARP.
He is the author of three books: Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcasting, Fridays in Red: A Radio Friendship, and A Voice in the Box: My Life in Radio.
Johnston remembered her husband of 12 years as a “giant” in the broadcasting world.
He was a stickler for the smallest details and lived according to the philosophy of “less is more.” “He helped pave the way for the younger generation of journalists who continue to make NPR what it is today,” she wrote. “On a personal level, Bob has been the absolute love of my life. He has been an extremely loving and supportive partner, not to mention my biggest fan.”
She added: “It is unbearable to think about life without him, but until we meet again, I will continue to listen to this beautiful voice in my ear, wishing me good luck, and telling me to break my lip.” “Rest in peace, my love.”
“Communicator. Music aficionado. Certified bacon trailblazer. Travel advocate. Subtly charming social media fanatic.”