Jad Abumrad

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Jad Abumrad
Jad Abumrad.jpg
Born (1973-04-18) April 18, 1973 (age 45)
Alma materOberlin College
(B.A. 1995)
OccupationPublic radio host and producer
Notable work
Spouse(s)Karla Murthy
Awards2011 MacArthur Fellow

Jad Nicholas Abumrad (born April 18, 1973[1][2]) is a Lebanese-American radio host, composer, and producer. He is founder and co-host of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab with Robert Krulwich.

Early life and education[edit]

Abumrad was raised in Tennessee where he attended the University School of Nashville and where his father, Naji Abumrad, is a doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.[3] His mother is a scientist. Abumrad attended Oberlin College, where he studied creative writing and music composition with a special interest in electronic and electroacoustic music,[4] receiving his B.A. in 1995.[5]


Before choosing radio as a career, Abumrad composed film scores.[6]

Abumrad has reported and produced documentaries for a number of local and National Public Radio programs, including On the Media, PRI's Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Democracy Now!, and WNYC's "24 Hours at the Edge of Ground Zero".[6]

Since 2002, Abumrad has produced and co-hosted the nationally syndicated program Radiolab.[5] His background in music has influenced the sound of Radiolab.[7] December 14, 2009 Radiolab episode In C includes a musical piece by Abumrad remixing the Terry Riley composition In C.[8]

Abumrad was named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow; the foundation cited his "engaging audio explorations of scientific and philosophical questions" which "captivate listeners and bring to broadcast journalism a distinctive new aesthetic", while using "his background as a composer to orchestrate dialogue, music, and sound effects into compelling documentaries that draw listeners into investigations of otherwise intimidating topics."[5]

Abumrad also produced and hosted The Ring & I, a look at the enduring power of Wagner's Ring Cycle. It aired nationally and internationally and earned ten awards, including the prestigious 2005 National Headliner Grand Award in Radio.[9]

He is a Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities.

Personal life[edit]

In 2007, he married his college sweetheart, Karla Murthy, who works as a television producer;[10] the couple have two children.[11]


  1. ^ Van Mourik, Orli. "Tuning into Radio Lab's strange frequency". The Villager.
  2. ^ Horne, Ellen (April 18, 2008). "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAD !! !". Radiolab. WNYC.
  3. ^ "Placebo" (audio only; show 301), radiolab.org, May 17, 2007.
  4. ^ "About: Radiolab", radiolab.org
  5. ^ a b c "Jad Abumrad". John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. September 20, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Abumrad, Jad. "About the Staff". Archived from the original on May 1, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2007.
  7. ^ The Sound of Young America: Podcast: Radiolab's Jad Abumrad and Robert Sandwich
  8. ^ Radio Lab, "In C," December 14, 2009. Online: http://blogs.wnyc.org/radiolab/2009/12/14/in-c/
  9. ^ "People – Jad Abumrad – Radiolab". www.radiolab.org. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  10. ^ "Staff Profiles". NOW on PBS.
  11. ^ "After Birth". Radiolab (blog). August 24, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2012. Jad—a brand new father...

External links[edit]