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Neal Conan

Award winning journalist Neal Conan was the final host of Talk of the Nation, which broadcast its final show on June 27, 2013.

Conan brought decades of news and radio experience to the program, which reached over 3.5 million listeners per week on more than 400 NPR member stations. The program featured the popular Political Junkie segment on Wednesdays, with the irrepressible Ken Rudin.

A familiar voice, Conan joined NPR in 1977, and worked as a reporter based in New York, Washington and London. He served as NPR's Bureau Chief in both New York and London and anchored live coverage of many live events, including national political conventions, confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees and a presidential impeachment. For five years, he hosted Weekly Edition: The Best of NPR News. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Conan played a major role as an anchor of NPR's continuous live coverage, a role he reprised during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2004, he hosted the first radio-only presidential candidates' debate since 1948.

On the other side of the microphone, Conan has also served as editor, producer, and executive producer of NPR's flagship evening newsmagazine, All Things Considered and, at various times, acted as NPR's foreign editor, managing editor, and news director.

Conan's awards include a Major Armstrong award for his coverage of the Iran-Iraq War, a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award as part of NPR's coverage of the Gulf War, another duPont and a George Foster Peabody Award for his part in NPR's Coverage of Sept. 11 and yet another duPont for NPR's coverage of the war in Iraq. During his time at All Things Considered, the program won numerous awards, including the Washington Journalism Review's Best in the Business award.

During the 2000 baseball season, Conan took a leave of absence from NPR News to work as the play-by-play announcer for the Aberdeen Arsenal of the independent Atlantic League. He filed a series of commentaries about life on the fringe of professional sports for Morning Edition and later wrote a book about his experiences, Play By Play: Baseball, Radio and Life in the Last Chance League.

Conan tours nationally with Ensemble Galilei as the narrator and host of A Universe of Dreams, which features images from the Hubble Space Telescope, and First Person: Seeing America, which features selected images from the photography collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Conan was born in Beirut, Lebanon.

  • The Dow dropped a mind-bending 500 points Sept. 15 on news that the federal government would not bail out investment banking giant Lehman Brothers. NPR's Adam Davidson, looks at why some firms get help and others don't.
  • Former Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota has died at age 89. His surprising showing in the 1968 Democratic presidential primary helped end President Lyndon Johnson's political career. McCarthy's fresh approach to national issues stirred a small army of volunteers.
  • Bill Harley's lyrics are smart, funny and sometimes poignant. He writes for children, but he's known for helping parents remember what it was like to be a kid.
  • President Bush sends 7,000 active duty troops to the Gulf Coast region, and the Pentagon will deploy another 10,000 National Guard members in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The president will return to the region on Monday.
  • Host Neal Conan continues coverage of Katrina's aftermath with stories from those most affected by the storm and resulting flooding, plus from newspaper, magazine and NPR reporters in the area.
  • As Hurricane Katrina pummels New Orleans and surrounding areas, host Neal Conan checks in for the latest developments.
  • Host Neal Conan gets the latest on the long- and short-term impacts of the extraordinary wind and water associated with Hurricane Katrina as it moves inland from the New Orleans area.
  • Since leaving Congress, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has written about politics, published an historical novel and now addresses the policy issue he contested with then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. Neal Conan speaks with Newt Gingrich about health care, Republican priorities and 2008.
  • After the London bombings, New York City announced random bag searches on the subway. But with 7 million people a day in the system, how do police narrow down their pool of suspects? Neal Conan and guests examine the advantages -- and abuses -- of profiling to prevent terrorism.
  • Forty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson vowed to end the Jim Crow machinery that kept African Americans away from the polls. Join Neal Conan and guests for stories of the Voting Rights Act.