Bob Edwards, baritone-voiced journalist who launched NPR’s ‘Morning Version,’ dies at 76

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Bob Edwards, the longtime “Morning Version” anchor whose soothing voice and pleasant however incisive questions guided listeners by way of the early broadcast for practically 25 years, has died. He was 76.

Edwards died “peacefully” on Saturday, his spouse and NPR anchor Windsor Johnston wrote Monday on Fb. Johnston didn’t present a reason for dying however stated that she and Edwards’ daughters, Susannah and Nora, “had been with him as he took his remaining breath.”

The New York Instances reported Monday that Edwards died at a rehabilitation facility from coronary heart failure and issues of bladder most cancers.

“He smiled as we performed the nicely needs, loving reminiscences and messages of therapeutic that you simply all so kindly took the time to report for him,” she wrote. “A tear slid down his face as he listened to these acquainted voices beneath the mattress of the previous Morning Version theme.”

“The world of broadcasting has misplaced a behemoth,” Johnston added. “Bob was an absolute grasp at his talent and left an indelible mark on the sector of journalism. He was a stickler for even the tiniest of particulars and lived by the philosophy that ‘much less is extra.’ He helped [pave] the best way for the youthful technology of journalists who proceed to make NPR what it’s as we speak.”

Born Might 16, 1947, the Louisville, Ky., native started his profession at a tiny radio station in New Albany, Ind., and joined NPR as a newscaster in 1974 throughout the Nixon impeachment and Watergate hearings. He started internet hosting NPR’s “All Issues Thought of” with Susan Stamberg later that yr. Edwards additionally helped launch NPR’s morning information journal “Morning Version” in 1979 — a pilot program that he stated was a catastrophe in its infancy and that he was solely supposed to host for the primary 30 days.

“I believed, ‘Nicely, what the hell? They’re determined, and now they’ll owe me,’” Edwards instructed The Instances upon this system’s 10-year anniversary. “What a idiot. However then I began having fun with it. It was thrilling to be part of one thing new, to have the problem of constructing one thing as much as the extent of ‘All Issues Thought of.’”

That might turn into “a career-defining second” for Edwards, NPR President and Chief Government John Lansing stated in a Monday assertion. “He continued to be the voice that NPR listeners began their day with for one more 24 and a half years as host of ‘Morning Version.’”

“Bob Edwards understood the intimate and distinctly private reference to audiences that distinguishes audio journalism from different mediums, and for many years he was a trusted voice within the lives of thousands and thousands of public radio listeners. Employees at NPR and all throughout the Community, together with these thousands and thousands of listeners, will bear in mind Bob Edwards with gratitude,” Lansing stated.

Edwards left NPR after being changed on the present in 2004 and joined SiriusXM satellite tv for pc radio.

Throughout his decades-long profession, the amiable, baritone-voiced journalist gained the 1984 Edward R. Murrow Award from the Company for Public Broadcasting, two Gabriel Awards from the Nationwide Catholic Assn. of Broadcasters, the Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia College Award and a Peabody Award. He additionally wrote a number of books, together with “Friday with Crimson: A Radio Friendship” about his conversations with veteran sportscaster Crimson Barber; the memoir “A Voice within the Field: My Life in Radio”; and the historic e book “Edward R. Murrow and the Beginning of Broadcast Journalism.”

Explaining the attraction of NPR-style radio journalism, Edwards instructed The Instances that it was all a part of “the phantasm” that the particular person on the radio is speaking solely to you.

“If you watch tv, you’re not beneath any sort of phantasm like that. If you watch Dan [Rather] or Peter [Jennings], you’re all the time part of an enormous mass viewers. In radio, you don’t have a way of that mass viewers. I don’t know why. It’s magic,” he stated.

Johnston, who had been married to Edwards for 12 years, described him as “absolutely the love of my life.”

“He was an especially loving and supporting accomplice, to not point out my best admirer,” she wrote, including, “It’s insufferable to consider a life with out him, however till we meet once more I’ll proceed to hear for that stunning voice in my ear, wishing me luck and telling me to ‘break a lip.’”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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