September 21, 1936 |
|Show||The Diane Rehm Show|
|Spouse(s)||John Rehm (1959-2014; his death)|
Diane Rehm (//; born Diane Aed on September 21, 1936) is an American public radio talk show host. Her program, The Diane Rehm Show, is distributed nationally and internationally by National Public Radio. It is produced at WAMU, which is licensed to American University in Washington, D.C.
Diane Rehm was born in Washington, D.C. to an ethnic Arab family of Greek Orthodox Syrian background. Her parents, Wadie Aed and Eugenie Zouekie, had originally lived in Mersin, Turkey along with their extensive families. Eugenie had briefly lived in Alexandria, Egypt with her family before marrying Wadie and moving to the United States to start a family with him.
She attended William B. Powell Elementary and Roosevelt High School in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation, she was employed by the city's highways department, where she became a radio dispatcher. She never attended college.
In her autobiography, Rehm said she had been molested at the age of nine by a congressman whose identity she has not revealed.
Rehm began her radio career in 1973 as a volunteer for WAMU's The Home Show. In 1979, she took over as the host of WAMU's morning talk show, Kaleidoscope, which was renamed The Diane Rehm Show in 1984.
Rehm has interviewed many political and cultural figures, including John McCain, Barack Obama, Madeleine Albright, and others. She has said that her most touching interview was with Fred Rogers of the PBS program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, conducted just before his death. Rehm considers her interviews with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton to be "amazing experiences."
She has written two autobiographical books. The first, Finding My Voice, dealt with her traditional upbringing in a Christian Arab household, her brief first marriage and divorce, her 50-year marriage to John Rehm, raising her children, the first 20 years of her radio career, and her battles with depression, osteoporosis, and spasmodic dysphonia. Together with John Rehm she co-wrote Toward Commitment: A Dialogue about Marriage, which was published in 2002.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting report
In 2005, a private study funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting said Rehm booked 22 liberal guests for every 5 conservative guests. The study was criticized as a politicized attempt to, in Rehm's word, "scare" journalists with the accusation of liberal bias. One criticism of the study concerned its criteria of what constituted "liberal" – a category which included seemingly moderate Republicans such as Senator Chuck Hagel and former Representative Bob Barr. The study was commissioned by Kenneth Tomlinson, whose appointment to the chairmanship of the CPB by George W. Bush had been criticized by liberals as politically motivated. Tomlinson hired Indiana consultant Frederick W. Mann, a conservative thinker previously associated with the Young America's Foundation, which has described itself as "the principal outreach organization of the Conservative Movement". A report on the study by the CPB's Inspector General, Kenneth Konz, criticized Tomlinson's methods; the report led to Tomlinson's immediate resignation in November 2005. According to the Washington Post, Diane Rehm herself "called Mann's findings 'unprofessional and simplistic.' [and] added 'I've been booking shows for 25 years. I don't think they have any idea what it takes to achieve the professionalism and expertise and the right people to express a variety of points of view. . . . What [Kenneth Tomlinson]'s doing, I think, is trying to scare public broadcasters.' "
Rehm has been featured in three political movie documentaries: Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains, I.O.U.S.A., and Dinesh D'Souza's 2016: Obama's America which used her quote, "And then you've got the cover of Forbes magazine, a cover story by Dinesh D'Souza. I think nothing has turned my stomach so much in recent years as reading that piece."
Honors and awards
A partial list of Rehm's honors and awards:
- 1999 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine.
- 2000 Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, honoring extraordinary contributions to journalism.
- 2003 Calvary Women's Services Hope award, honoring her volunteer and professional work for women in need.
- 2003 Montgomery County Chapter of the National Organization for Women's Susan B. Anthony Award, honoring her advocacy of women's right in the community.
- 2006 Urbino Press Award
- 2009 Peabody Award (presented in 2010)
- 2010 Foremother Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Research Center for Women & Families
- 2013 ACCESS Arab-American of the Year 
- 2013 National Humanities Medal 
- Weeks, Linton (August 23, 1999). "Diane Rehm Finds a Voice of Her Own". The Washington Post.
- Rehm, Diane (1999). Finding My Voice. Herndon, Virginia: Capital Books, Inc.
- "JOHN B. REHM". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- Gatewood, Miranda. "Networking: Whos Whos, Whats What for Business Executives, "The Diane Rehm Show," A WOMAN'S VOICE". Networking Magazine.
- Ruben, Barbara (January 2010). "Rehm is the queen of talk radio". The Beacon.
- "The Diane Rehm Show: Finding My Voice". WAMU 88.5 FM, American University Radio.
- "Washington Post". Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism
- "Washington Post". Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- "Diane Rehm". Retrieved August 25, 2012.
- "News Roundup: Hour 1". Retrieved August 25, 2012.
- 69th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2010.
- "The President Presents the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal". Retrieved October 13, 2014.