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NPR's Scott Simon shares perspective from covering the world in March 9 University Lectures presentation

March 02, 2010

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Scott Simon, host of National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition Saturday,” writer and novelist, will share his experiences in reporting from every continent on the globe during a University Lectures presentation on Tuesday, March 9.

Simon will speak on “Covering the World” at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. The event is free and open to the public; reduced-rate parking is available in the Irving Garage. A sign language interpreter and CART will be available for the lecture.

From Ground Zero in New York to ground zero in Kabul, to police stations, refugee camps, snipers’ roosts, subway platforms and theater stages, Simon has reported from all 50 states and every continent. He has covered 10 wars, hundreds of campaigns, sieges, famines, hurricanes, earthquakes, civil wars, scandals, state funerals and opening nights. He has interviewed and profiled some of the most interesting personalities in modern times, including Mother Teresa; Ariel Sharon; Wyclef Jean; roving street kids in Rio; and refugees in Kosovo, Ethiopia and Sudan.

Simon has received numerous honors for his reporting, including the Overseas Press Club, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University, George Foster Peabody, Ohio State, Directors Guild, Major Armstrong and Emmy awards. He received a special 1989 George Foster Peabody Award for his weekly essays, which were cited for their sensitivity and literary style.

Simon has hosted many public television specials, 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 narrated the documentary film “Lincoln of Illinois” for PBS and was blown up by Martians in the Grammy Award-nominated 50th anniversary remake of “The War of the Worlds.” He hosted public television’s coverage of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit; 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 co-anchor with Gwen Ifill of PBS’ millennium special broadcast in 2000.

Simon has written for The New York Times Book Review and op-ed pages, The Wall Street Journal opinion and book page, The Los Angeles Times, Friends Journal and Gourmet Magazine (his Gourmet article on “Conflict Cuisine” won the International Culinary Professionals Award).

Simon attended the University of Chicago and McGill University, and has received numerous honorary degrees.

His book “Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan” was published in spring 2000 by Hyperion, a division of Disney. It topped the Los Angeles Times nonfiction bestseller list, 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 2002, and was the Barnes and Noble Sports Book of the Year. It was reissued in 2007, the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s entry into the major leagues.

Simon became a novelist in 2005. “Pretty Birds” (Random House Trade Paperbacks), his novel about teenage snipers during the siege of Sarajevo, was acclaimed as “the start of a brilliant new career” and is now in its’ 13th printing. His most recent novel, a political comedy called “Windy City” (Random House Trade Paperbacks), was chosen by The Washington Post as one of the best novels of 2008.

Now in its ninth season, University Lectures is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to the University individuals of exceptional accomplishment. The series is supported by the generosity of the University’s Trustees, alumni and friends. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Other lecturers for the 2010 spring semester include:

• April 6–Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund (This lecture was rescheduled from the fall semester due to a conflict in Edelman’s schedule.)

• April 13–Nobel laureate and poet Seamus Heaney

The Office of University Lectures welcomes suggestions for future speakers. To recommend a speaker, or to receive additional information about the University Lectures series, contact Esther Gray in the Office of Academic Affairs at (315) 443-2941 or eegray@syr.edu. More information can be found at the University Lectures website, http://lectures.syr.edu.

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