Carr in 2010
|Birth name||Howard Louis Carr Jr.|
January 17, 1952 |
Portland, Maine, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|Parents||Frances Stokes Sutton
Howard Louis Carr, Sr
Howard Louis Carr Jr. (born January 17, 1952) is an American journalist, author and conservative radio talk-show host based in Boston with a listening audience rooted in New England. He hosts The Howie Carr Show, which broadcasts on weekdays, in addition to writing three columns a week for the Boston Herald.
Howie Carr has hosted a weekday radio talk-show on Boston's WRKO (AM 680) since 1994. The show, titled The Howie Carr Show, is syndicated to stations throughout northern and central New England and can be heard elsewhere via live streaming on HowieCarrShow.com. Carr's relationship with the syndicator, Entercom Communications, has been stormy. Starting November 17, 2014, the show will be produced by Money Matters Radio and syndicated by Global Media WMEX (AM 1510). WRKO had announced it would not carry the show but on March 9, 2015 it became an affiliate as of March 16, 2015.
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As a journalist
Carr is a columnist for the Boston Herald. From 1980-81, he was the Boston City Hall bureau chief of the Boston Herald American, and he later worked as the paper's State House bureau chief. As a political reporter for WNEV (now WHDH) in 1982, his coverage of then-mayor Kevin White was so relentless that after the mayor announced he wasn't running again, he told the Boston Globe that one of the things he enjoyed most about his impending retirement was not having Carr chase him around the city.
For years Carr had a feud with former Boston Globe and Herald guest columnist Mike Barnicle, calling him a "hack" and saying he (Carr) wanted to be the Herald's "nonfiction columnist" (Barnicle resigned from the Boston Globe over allegations of plagiarism and fabrication of stories.)
A Boston Globe column by Steve Bailey stated that Carr gave out Barnicle's home phone number, an allegation Carr denies. Barnicle called Carr "a pathetic figure", and asked "Can you imagine being as consumed with envy and jealousy toward me for as long as it has consumed him?"
In 1998, Don Imus claimed Carr's wife was having an affair with boxer Riddick Bowe. Mrs. Carr retained Alan Dershowitz as her lawyer. The parties reached an undisclosed settlement. In a 2007 column, Carr alleged that Imus' statements were incited by Barnicle. According to Carr, Barnicle told Imus that Carr had said Imus "would die before his kid got out of high school".
In 2002, the Boston Herald and Carr were the subjects of a lawsuit by Superior Court Judge Ernest Murphy. The newspaper reported that Murphy had said of a fourteen-year-old rape victim: "She can't go through life as a victim. She's 14. She got raped. Tell her to get over it." He was also alleged to have said of a 79-year-old robbery victim: "I don't care if she's 109." Carr, in a front-page column on February 20, 2002, criticized Murphy for handing down lenient sentences in bail decisions in rape cases and included references to his daughters, wondering what Murphy would do if it was one of his offspring that had been the victim. Murphy denied all of the allegations and claimed the newspaper libeled him, ruining his physical and emotional health and damaging his career and reputation as a good man. Ultimately, Murphy won the suit and was awarded a $2.09 million payment. During the trial, when asked what his reaction was to the Carr column, Murphy had said he "wanted to kill him".
Following the lawsuit, the Boston Herald reported Murphy's letter and a demand for $3.26 million (the court award, plus pre- and post-judgment interest) in its headlines because it was written on official court stationery. The libel case was based on his actions as a judge and therefore the Bar Association, when contacted by the media, stated that as it was Murphy's actions as a public official that were at the heart of the libel suit, it was appropriate for him to use the stationery.
Carr's book Kennedy Babylon, was released on March 21, 2017. Carr has written non-fiction books about gangsters and also two fiction books, Hard Knocks and Killers.
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- Winter Hill Gang series
In early 2006, Carr became a book author with the publication of the New York Times-rated best-seller The Brothers Bulger, about brothers Billy and Whitey Bulger. Whitey was the third boss of the Winter Hill Gang. Carr's second book, Hitman, was released in April 2011, two months before Whitey Bulger (then under the name Charlie Gasko) was arrested after sixteen years on the run. About Johnny Martorano, Hitman was also rated a best-seller by the New York Times. In 2013, Rifleman: The Untold Story of Stevie Flemmi was published. It was followed a year later by Ratman: The Trial and Conviction of Whitey Bulger.
Billy Bulger's power as President of the Massachusetts Senate intrigued Carr. He began to research both the politician and his gangster brother. Indeed, Carr's arrival on Madison Street in Somerville, Massachusetts, in the late 1970s meant he was perfectly placed to do just that, for Somerville's Marshall Motors garage (at 12 Marshall Street; now a church) was an early base of the Winter Hill Gang. In 1978, the second leader of the Winter Hill Gang, Howie Winter, who lived one street away from Carr, on Montrose Street, was jailed on federal "horse race fixing" charges. Bulger succeeded him, and remained the boss until 1995, the year after he fled Boston due to a pending federal indictment. Whitey was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list from 1999 until his arrest in Santa Monica, California, on June 22, 2011. He had a $2 million bounty on his head. Kevin Weeks replaced Bulger but was arrested and imprisoned in 2000. He was released in 2005 after having served as a cooperating witness for the FBI.
While Carr believes Whitey Bulger wanted him dead ("his greatest regret is not killing me"), due to his finger-pointing at Billy Bulger, he refutes Kevin Weeks' claim that they were close to killing him by either blowing him up with explosives placed inside a basketball, or by shooting him from a cemetery across the street from Carr's former home at 91 Concord Road in Acton, Massachusetts. Whitey and Weeks had knowledge of Carr's residence because he was a neighbor of one of Weeks' brothers.
My problems started when I wrote a magazine story quoting the then-mayor of Boston, Kevin White. During cutaways after a TV interview, a reporter asked White about the source of Billy Bulger’s almost absolute power at the State House. “If my brother threatened to kill you”, the four-term mayor replied in footage that never aired, “you'd be nothing but nice to me”. When I printed the exchange, the Bulgers were enraged. But I had it on videotape. It was undeniable.
Whitey knew what Carr looked like, from Carr's job on television. "Plus, I was in his neighborhood every day. But I never ventured into Whitey's package store." The store in question was South Boston Liquor Mart (also known as Stippo's; now Rotary Liquors), at 295 Old Colony Avenue, which Whitey had extorted from its legitimate owner.
The anchor at my TV station was the son of a former mayor of Boston. He lived in Southie, and patronized the Liquor Mart. One night the clerk struck up a conversation with him. “How come Howie never comes in here?” he asked. My friend shrugged. “You tell him,” the clerk said, “that if he comes in, we got a fresh dumpster waitin’ for him out back.”
Carr began taking whatever precautions he could to keep Whitey and Weeks off his tail. "The key to staying alive, I quickly figured out, was to avoid becoming a creature of habit. Wiseguys (or anyone else) who don’t mix up their routines are the ones who inevitably get caught 'flat-footed,' to use the old expression. I drove home a different way every evening. If possible, when I parked, I backed into the space so that, if I had to, I could flee more quickly. I stopped meeting face-to-face with anyone I didn't know. I stayed out of bars, especially in Southie. Occasionally I'd sleep somewhere other than my house. The local cops kept an eye on my house in the pre-dawn hours. Slowly the noose began to tighten around Whitey's neck and I relaxed somewhat. Whitey vanished in late 1994, but Weeks was still lurking about. At a tanning salon, he bragged to a Herald photographer that he knew that I had lived next to a graveyard. He mentioned nothing about any C-4 or high-powered rifles, but when he was arrested in 1999 his indirect threats against me were included in a DEA detention warrant." “I was always looking over my shoulder,” Carr explained four years after Whitey's arrest. “The day he went missing, I was driving down the street, and on the radio they said he had disappeared. For the first time in ten years, I didn’t have to look over my shoulder.”
In 2012, Carr moved into fictional writing with his third book, Hard Knocks, which was followed three years later by Killers, his sixth and most recent release.
Carr was born in Portland, Maine, to Frances Stokes Sutton and Howard Louis Carr Sr. (1905–2008).
Carr attended Deerfield Academy, a boarding school in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1973 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). At UNC, Carr was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and wrote at student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel.
Carr's first marriage produced two daughters. Since 1993, Carr has lived in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with his second wife, Kathy (who he refers to as his "mailroom manager"), a Wellesley realtor, and their three daughters: Carolyn (born 1994), Charlotte (born 1994) and Christina (born 1996).
In 2009, Carr crashed his car into a telephone pole on Wellesley Avenue in Wellesley. He was not injured but was cited for a marked-lanes violation.
In November 2014, Carr was injured in another car crash, this time on the Massachusetts Turnpike. He was taken to hospital after the accident, which occurred around 1.00pm, but was released that evening.
On June 29, 2016, Carr, as an opening speaker at a Bangor, Maine rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, made a Native American "war whoop" when referring to Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Awards and recognition
- In 2017, Carr was ranked the 14th most important talk show host in America by Talkers Magazine.
- Carr was ranked 14th on the Heavy Hundred 2016 list and 15th on the Heavy Hundred 2015 list. The list ranks talk-show hosts from around the U.S. whom this trade journal considers the most popular, influential, or entertaining. Carr has been in this list since 2007, falling to 56th in 2009.
- Placed 57th on Talkers Magazine's list of the 2014 "Heavy Hundred".
- Was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2008.
- The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century, New York: Warner Books, 2006 (ISBN 0-446-57651-4)
- Hitman: The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano: Whitey Bulger's Enforcer and the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld, New York: Forge Books, 2011 (ISBN 0-765-32639-6)
- Rifleman: The Untold Story of Stevie Flemmi, Frandel, 2013 (ISBN 0986037206)
- Ratman: The Trial And Conviction of Whitey Bulger, Frandel, 2014 ISBN 9781461956655
- Hard Knocks, New York: Forge Books, 2012 (ISBN 076532640X)
- Killers, New York: Forge Books, 2015 (ISBN 9780765333742)
- A Civil Action (1998): The film is based on the real-life case of Anderson v. Cryovac that took place in Woburn, Massachusetts in the 1980s. Howie played a radio talk show host.
- "Howard Louis "Del" Carr Sr." - News-Record.com
- "Howie Carr moving up on the dial to WMEX 1510 AM" - Boston Herald, November 15, 2014
- "Howie Carr done at WRKO" - Boston Globe, November 12, 2014
- Barnicle's comments re Howie Carr
- "Barnicle Resigns from Globe". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. August 19, 1998. Archived from the original on April 30, 1999.
- Mike Barnicle's comments on Howie Carr, boston.com, May 7, 2004.
- Howie Carr (2007-04-12). "Imus' demise no surprise". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on 2007-09-01.
- Judge Murphy libel case, boston.com, February 1, 2005.
- Judge Murphy's libel case, southofboston.com, December 27, 2005.
- The Brothers Bulger
- "EXCLUSIVE: Howie Carr, Boston Herald Reporter Who Blew the Lid off Whitey Bulger Case, Talks ‘Black Mass’ Release", Breitbart.com, September 8, 2015.
- "Howie Carr blows up", The Boston Phoenix, March 16, 2005.
- "Whitey Bulger Wanted Me Dead", The Daily Beast, September 23, 2015.
- "Howie Carr". American Entertainment International Speakers Bureau. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
- Hansmire, Suzanne (Fall 2006). "An interview with Howie Carr". Wellesley Weston. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
- "Howie Carr's wife wants Wellesley kids to sober up" - Boston.com
- "For 'RKO hosts, on-air fight leads to off-air laughs" – Boston Globe, March 7, 2007
- "Howie Carr okay after Wellesley accident" - Boston.com, September 28, 2009
- "Howie Carr on the mend after crash" - Boston Herald, November 5, 2014
- " - CNN, June 29, 2016
- "2017 TALKERS Heavy Hundred 1-25". Retrieved 2017-05-23.
- Simon, Clea (2007-03-02). "Area talk hosts among biz's". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-03-26.
- "2014 Heavy Hundred". Talkers Magazine. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "National Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2008 Inductees". The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 2008-04-18.