Margot Adler

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Margot Adler
Margot Adler in 2004
Born(1946-04-16)April 16, 1946
DiedJuly 28, 2014(2014-07-28) (aged 68)
OccupationAuthor; Journalist; Lecturer; Wiccan Priestess[1]
AwardsLord Ruthven Award (2015)

Margot Susanna Adler (April 16, 1946 – July 28, 2014) was an American author, journalist, lecturer, Wiccan priestess,[1] and New York correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR).[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Adler grew up mostly in New York City. She attended The High School of Music & Art (later joined with The High School of Performing Arts to become The LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts) in New York City.[3] Her grandfather, Alfred Adler, was a noted Austrian Jewish psychotherapist, collaborator with Sigmund Freud and the founder of the school of individual psychology.


Adler received a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York in 1970. She was a Nieman Fellow[4] at Harvard University in 1982.[5]

Journalism and radio[edit]

At the headquarters of NPR in Washington, DC, Margot Adler is honored with a memorial bench.

During the mid-1960s, Adler worked as a volunteer reporter for KPFA-FM, the Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley, California. After returning to New York City, she worked at its sister station, WBAI-FM, where, in 1972, she created the talk show Hour of the Wolf (still on the air as hosted by Jim Freund), and later another talk show, called Unstuck in Time.

Adler joined NPR in 1979 as a general assignment reporter, after spending a year as an NPR freelance reporter covering New York City, and subsequently worked on a great many pieces dealing with subjects as diverse as the death penalty, the right to die movement, the response to the war in Kosovo, computer gaming, the drug ecstasy, geek culture, children and technology and Pokémon. After 9/11, she focused much of her work on stories exploring the human factors in New York City, from the loss of loved ones, homes and jobs, to work in the relief effort. She was the host of Justice Talking up until the show ceased production on July 3, 2008. She was a regular voice on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.[5] She was also co-producer of an award-winning radio drama, War Day.[2]


Adler wrote Drawing Down the Moon,[6] a 1979 book about Neopaganism which was revised in 2006.[7] The book is considered by some a watershed in American Neopagan circles, as it provided the first comprehensive look at modern nature-based religions in the US. For many years it was the only introductory work about American Neopagan communities.

Her second book, Heretic's Heart: A Journey Through Spirit and Revolution, was published by Beacon Press in 1997. Adler was a Wiccan priestess, an elder in the Covenant of the Goddess,[1] and she also participated in the Unitarian Universalist faith community.[1]


In early 2011, Adler was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, which metastasized over the following three years. Adler died on July 28, 2014 at the age of 68. She remained virtually symptom-free until mid-2014. Adler was cared for in her final months by her son.[8]


  • 1979 – Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today[6] ISBN 0-14-019536-X
  • 1997 – Heretic's Heart: A Journey Through Spirit and Revolution (Beacon Press) ISBN 0-8070-7098-X
  • 2000 – Our Way to the Stars by Margot Adler & John Gliedman  – Motorbooks Intl ISBN 0-7603-0753-9, ISBN 978-0-7603-0753-3
  • 2013 – Out for Blood Kindle Single
  • 2014 – Vampires Are Us (Weiser Books) ISBN 1-5786-3560-8, ISBN 978-1-5786-3560-3

Contributed to[edit]


  • 1986 – From Witch to Witch-Doctor: Healers, Therapists and Shamans ACE – Lecture on cassette
  • 1986 – The Magickal Movement: Present and Future (with Isaac Bonewits, Selena Fox, and Robert Anton Wilson) ACE – Panel discussion on cassette

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Adler, Margot (November–December 1996). "Vibrant, Juicy, Contemporary: or, Why I Am a UU Pagan". UU World. 10 (4). Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved November 26, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "NPR Website". NPR. Archived from the original on November 6, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Our Alumni," Archived April 8, 2014, at Alumni & Friends of LaGuardia High School website. Accessed Oct. 31, 2016.
  4. ^ "NPR's Margot Adler, NF '82: Building Community with Kindness". Archived from the original on February 22, 2019. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Margot Adler NPR". Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved May 16, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Viking Press 1979; revised ed. Beacon Press 1987, and Penguin Books 1997
  7. ^ "Drawing Down the Moon Spotlight in The Wiccan Pagan Times". Archived from the original on May 9, 2008.
  8. ^ Peralta, Eyder (July 28, 2014). "Margot Adler, An NPR Journalist For Three Decades, Dies". West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.


  • Vale, V. and John Sulak (2001). Modern Pagans. San Francisco: Re/Search Publications. ISBN 1-889307-10-6

External links[edit]