After 30 years as host of All Things Considered, and more than 40 years with NPR, Robert Siegel is retiring.
He was in Berlin right after the wall fell. He was at the White House interviewing President Bill Clinton the day the Monica Lewinsky scandal came to light. He was in Manhattan on 9/11, reflecting on the connections of all sorts of people to the demolished Twin Towers. He was in Chengdu, China reporting when a 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit.
Siegel has been on the scene of so many major events in our world. And for 30 years, he's been on our radio, telling us all about it, almost every afternoon as one of the hosts — for me the host — of All Things Considered.
Since 1987, Siegel has been a constant presence on the broadcast. He's won major awards for his serious and important news coverage, and he has also won the admiration and loyalty of listeners in the car for his curiosity about our world.
Siegel has made a bond with us through the speakers and our ears. We all have a Siegel moment, an interview with a writer, actor or musician that stands out for us as memorable.
In the day-in-day-out churn of daily news, that is not easy to do. That so much of Siegel's work is so memorable is no small feat, no accident. He's approached his work with an impeccable ear, an insatiable curiosity and a humanity that is unmistakable.
Thankfully, All Things Considered will go on. As it does, so much of its signature sound and sensibility has been the work of Robert Siegel. We'll continue to listen here in Minnesota with gratitude.
Tom Crann recently sat down for an interview Robert Siegel. To listen to their conversation, click the audio player above.