Tom and Ray Magliozzi

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Tom Magliozzi
Tom Magliozzi.jpg
Born Thomas Louis Magliozzi
(1937-06-28)June 28, 1937
East Cambridge, Massachusetts, US
Died November 3, 2014(2014-11-03) (aged 77)
Belmont, Massachusetts, US
Cause of death complications of Alzheimer's disease
Education Economics Policy and Engineering, BS
Management: MBA, PhD
Alma mater MIT (1958)
Northeastern University
Boston University
Occupation Radio show host, mechanic
Years active 1977–2012
Known for Co-host of Car Talk
Home town Cambridge, Massachusetts
Spouse(s) Joanne
Children Lydia, Alex, Anna[1]
Relatives Ray, brother; Lucille, sister
Ray Magliozzi
Born Raymond Francis Magliozzi
(1949-03-30) March 30, 1949 (age 69)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, US
Education BS, Humanities
Alma mater MIT (1972)
Occupation Radio show host, mechanic
Years active 1977–2012
Known for Co-host of Car Talk
Home town Cambridge, Massachusetts
Spouse(s) Monique
Children Louie, Andrew
Relatives Tom, brother; Lucille, sister

Thomas Louis "Tom" Magliozzi (June 28, 1937 – November 3, 2014) and his brother Raymond Francis "Ray" Magliozzi (born March 30, 1949) were the co-hosts of NPR's weekly radio show, Car Talk, where they were known as "Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers". Their show was honored with a Peabody Award in 1992.

Early life and education[edit]

Tom Magliozzi was born in East Cambridge, Massachusetts. His education was entirely in Cambridge: Gannett School, Wellington School, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[2] While at MIT, he participated in Air Force ROTC, and subsequently spent six months in the Army Reserve.

Ray Magliozzi was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts; he also graduated from MIT.


Good News Garage in Cambridge, MA

Tom earned a degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He worked for Sylvania's Semiconductor Division in Woburn, Massachusetts and then for the Foxboro Company[3] while earning his MBA from Northeastern University[4] and teaching part-time at local universities. Eventually tiring of his commute and job, he quit, spending the next year doing odd jobs such as painting for other tenants in his apartment building.[5]

Ray taught science[6] in Bennington, Vermont for a few years before returning to Cambridge in 1973. He and Tom then opened a do-it-yourself repair shop named Hacker's Haven.[7] The shop rented space and equipment to hackers trying to fix their own cars, but it was not profitable. Nevertheless, the two enjoyed the experience and were invited in 1977 to be part of a panel of automotive experts on Boston's National Public Radio affiliate WBUR-FM. Subsequently, the brothers converted the shop into a standard auto-repair shop named the Good News Garage.[8][9]

In addition to the local radio show, Tom worked a day or two each week at the Technology Consulting Group, run by a former MIT classmate, in Boston, and still taught at local universities. Tom's professed belief that college professors make lots of money without working drove him to spend nine years working while getting his doctorate in Marketing from Boston University School of Management.[4][not in citation given] After being a professor for eight years, he decided that he disliked teaching and quit.[5]

Car Talk[edit]

In January 1987, host Susan Stamberg of Weekend Edition on NPR asked the two brothers to contribute weekly to her program. Nine months later, Car Talk premiered as an independent NPR program. In 1992, Tom and Ray won a Peabody Award for Car Talk for "distinguished achievement and meritorious public service".[10][11]

Tom and Ray continued to work in their repair garage while they produced Car Talk. On June 8, 2012, it was announced that Car Talk would stop producing new episodes in September 2012, though NPR would continue airing reruns of the show.[12]

After Tom's death, the show's long time producer, Doug (the "Subway Fugitive") Berman, said that Tom "...and his brother changed public broadcasting forever. ... Before Car Talk, NPR was formal, polite, cautious … even stiff. By being entirely themselves, without pretense, Tom and Ray single handedly changed that, and showed that real people are far more interesting than canned radio announcers. ... Every interesting show that has come after them owes them a debt of gratitude."[13] “The guys are culturally right up there with Mark Twain and the Marx Brothers,” Berman said, “They will stand the test of time. People will still be enjoying them years from now. They’re that good.”[14]

Other work[edit]

Harvard Square offices of "Dewey, Cheetham and Howe", headquarters of Car Talk

In addition to the radio show, Tom wrote for and ran his own consulting business.

In 1999, the brothers returned to MIT to deliver a joint commencement speech to that year's graduates.[15]

Tom and Ray both appeared in the Pixar films Cars (2006) and Cars 3 (2017); Tom reprised his role in the third film through archival recordings. They played the owners of Rust-eze who discovered Lightning McQueen and gave him his first big break. Tom appeared as a 1963 Dodge Dart convertible, a reference to a 1963 Dart he owned for many years and often mentioned on Car Talk; Ray appeared as a 1964 Dodge A100 van. In both films, they each admonished: "Don't drive like my brother", the catchphrase from the close of their radio show.[16]

The Magliozzi brothers also appeared in a seventh-season episode of the PBS Kids show Arthur, "Pick a Car, Any Car", which originally aired on November 25, 2002. Arthur calls them with a question about the family car, which would have been hauled away by the local mechanic without their help. The answer turns out to be a baby rattle, presumably that of Arthur's baby sister Kate, lodged in the car's tailpipe.[17]

In 2008, the brothers starred in their own PBS animated series, Click and Clack's As the Wrench Turns, playing fictionalized versions of themselves.[18]

Also in 2008, the brothers hosted an episode of PBS show NOVA entitled, "The Car of the Future".[19]

Tom's death[edit]

On November 3, 2014, Tom died, aged 77, in Belmont, Massachusetts,[20] due to complications of Alzheimer's disease.[21]


  1. ^ Blog Post | Tom Magliozzi 1937-2014 | Car Talk
  2. ^ "Tom's biography". 
  3. ^ Tina Grant (1996). International directory of company histories. St. James Press. p. 233. ISBN 978-1-55862-341-5. 
  4. ^ a b Bates (1999), MIT Tech Talk.
  5. ^ a b Tom's Car Talk Bio
  6. ^ Ray's Car Talk Bio
  7. ^ Magliozzi, Tom&Ray. "About Us". Good News Garage. In 1973, Tom and Ray ...started a do-it-yourself shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts called Hacker’s Haven. 
  8. ^ "Good News Garage". Yelp. 
  9. ^ Lumsden, Carolyn (July 11, 1986). "'Click and Clack': frick and frack gearheads". Daily Breeze. p. E19. 
  10. ^ "Car Talk 1992". Peabody Awards. Retrieved 14 February 2009. 
  11. ^ "The History of Car Talk". Car Talk. Retrieved 14 February 2009. 
  12. ^ Bauder, David (8 June 2012). "'Car Talk' Ending: NPR Show's Duo Will Retire In October". Huffington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  13. ^ NPR's 'Car Talk' co-host Tom Magliozzi dies at 77, Associated Press, Philip Marcelo, November 4, 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  14. ^ [1], Associated Press, June 8, 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Transcript of the Magliozzis commencement address". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 12 December 2010. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Pick a Car, Any Car". YouTube. 
  18. ^ Jenson, Elizabeth (June 29, 2008). "Welcome to Toontown, Radio Guys". The New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Car of the Future". April 22, 2008. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  20. ^ Tom Magliozzi dies at 77; co-host with brother of NPR's popular 'Car Talk' - LA Times
  21. ^ Neary, Lynn (2014-11-03). "Tom Magliozzi, Popular Co-Host Of NPR's 'Car Talk,' Dies At 77". National Public Radio. 

External links[edit]