Diane Rehm

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Diane Rehm
Born (1936-09-21) September 21, 1936 (age 77)
Washington, D.C.
Show The Diane Rehm Show
Network NPR
Country United States

Diane Rehm (/ˈrm/; born Diane Aed on September 21,[1] 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.

Personal life[edit]

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.[2]

She attended William B. Powell Elementary and Roosevelt High School in Washington, D.C.[1] Upon graduation, she was employed by the city's highways department, where she became a radio dispatcher.[citation needed] She never attended college.

Diane married John Rehm, her second husband, in 1959. John Rehm died June 23, 2014.[3] She has two adult children, David and Jennifer.[4]

In her autobiography, Rehm said she had been molested at the age of nine by a congressman whose identity she has not revealed.[1]

Career[edit]

Rehm began her radio career in 1973[4] 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.[4] Rehm considers her interviews with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton to be "amazing experiences."[5]

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.[6] Together with John Rehm she co-wrote Toward Commitment: A Dialogue about Marriage, which was published in 2002.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting report[edit]

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.[7] 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".[8] 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.[9] 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.' "[7]

Documentaries[edit]

Rehm has been featured in three political movie documentaries: Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains, I.O.U.S.A.,[10] 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."[11]

Honors and awards[edit]

A partial list of Rehm's honors and awards:

References[edit]

External links[edit]