Radio Host Bob Edwards, Known for Long Tenure with NPR, Dies at 76
Bob Edwards, the iconic radio host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” passed away on Saturday at the age of 76. Edwards, whose distinctive baritone voice and authoritative delivery made him a beloved figure among NPR listeners, died from heart failure and complications of bladder cancer in Arlington, Va., as confirmed by his wife, Windsor Johnston.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1947, Edwards knew from an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in radio. He joined NPR in 1974 and became a co-host of “All Things Considered” the same year. His success with the show led to the launch of “Morning Edition” in 1979, where he served as the anchor for an impressive 24 and a half years.
During his tenure, Edwards conducted thousands of interviews, discussing a wide range of topics with prominent figures in the news as well as featuring segments on cultural icons such as Dolly Parton and Red Barber, the renowned baseball announcer. However, his departure from “Morning Edition” in 2004 sparked controversy, with many listeners expressing dismay and suggesting ageism as a factor.
After leaving NPR, Edwards went on to host “The Bob Edwards Show” on SiriusXM Radio and also appeared on “Bob Edwards Weekend” on public radio stations. His influence on the field of journalism was undeniable, as he was known for his attention to detail and commitment to excellence in radio broadcasting.
In response to his passing, John Lansing, CEO of NPR, remarked, “Bob Edwards understood the intimate and distinctly personal connection with audiences that distinguishes audio journalism from other mediums, and for decades he was a trusted voice in the daily lives of millions of NPR listeners.”
The news of Edwards’ death has prompted an outpouring of tributes from colleagues, fans, and industry professionals, with many acknowledging his significant contributions to the world of radio journalism. His impact on the younger generation of journalists and the enduring legacy he leaves behind are testaments to his lasting influence on NPR and the field of broadcasting as a whole.