Scott Simon

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This article is about the NPR journalist. For the country music entertainment executive, see Scott Siman.
For other people named Scott Simon, see Scott Simon (disambiguation).
Scott Simon
Scott Simon (4559696284) (cropped to collar).jpg
Simon in 2010
Born (1952-03-16) March 16, 1952 (age 63)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Ethnicity Jewish father
Irish mother
Occupation Presenter
Organization National Public Radio
Known for Weekend Edition Saturday
Spouse(s) Caroline Richard (m. 2000; 2 children)
Website Program website
Personal website

Scott Simon (born March 16, 1952)[1][2] is an American journalist and the host of Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR.

Life and career[edit]

Simon was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of comedian Ernie Simon and actress Patricia Lyons.[3][4][5] His father was Jewish and his mother was Irish Catholic.[6] He also had a sister who died at a young age.[7] He grew up in major cities across the United States and Canada, including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Montreal, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C.[4] After his father died, his mother married Ralph G. Newman, a former minor league baseball player and American Civil War scholar and author who ran the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop in Chicago.[8][9]

Simon's first book, Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan, was published in the spring of 2000, and his second, Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball, was published in 2002. Simon has written a book – Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption – about his family's experiences. He is also the author of two novels: Pretty Birds (2005) and Windy City: A Novel of Politics (2008).

Simon has hosted BBC World News America, filling in for Matt Frei.[citation needed] In 1992–93, Simon was the anchor of NBC's Weekend Today. And from 2011-2013, he guest-hosted Need to Know on PBS.

In May 2010, Simon was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Willamette University where he was the keynote speaker for that year's commencement exercises.[10]

After September 11, 2001, Simon spoke and wrote in support of the "war on terror." Simon wrote an op-ed for the October 11, 2001, Wall Street Journal, "Even Pacifists Must Support This War."[11] He questioned nonviolence at greater length in the Quaker publication Friends Journal in December 2001,[12] provoking many angry letters, to which Simon replied in the May 2003 edition.[13]

Bill Cosby and his wife Camille, in an interview recorded for the November 15, 2014, Weekend Edition Saturday, declined to discuss the accusations pertaining to the alleged sexual assault claims when Scott asked at the beginning of the interview and instead focused on the loan of his 62-piece African art collection for an exhibition in Washington, D.C. As narrated by Simon in the interview, Cosby only shook his head from side to side with his finger raised when Scott brought forward the question.[14]


Simon met French documentary filmmaker Caroline Richard during an NPR interview in 2000. They married September 10, 2000, in a mixed-faith (Methodist, Quaker, and Jewish) service in Ridgefield, Connecticut, at the home of fashion designer Alexander Julian.[1] They have two daughters, both adopted as babies from China; the first, Elise, in 2004,[15][16][17] and the second, Lina, in 2007.[18] They consider themselves a Jewish family (Simon's father was Jewish and his mother was of Irish Catholic background).[6][16] Simon and his wife were contacted by police as part of the Alexander Litvinenko poisoning. The family was staying at a hotel near the restaurant at the center of the poisoning incident, and had twice bought food there for their young daughter. The health of the family was not affected.[19]

In July 2013, Simon began tweeting about his emotions and conversations with his hospitalized mother during her last days of life in an intensive-care unit. Commenting on this ground breaking use of social media, he stated, “I just realized: she once had to let me go into the big wide world. Now I have to let her go the same way”. In March 2015, he published a memoir about his mother titled Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime.[20]


  1. ^ a b Lois Smith Brady (September 10, 2000). "Weddings: Vows; Scott Simon and Caroline Richard". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Annoying Campaign Songs". Weekend Edition Saturday. Audio. February 23, 2008. National Public Radio. 
  3. ^ Susan Van Dongen (November 14, 2000). "Three Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Aaron Copland and NPR's Scott Simon". The Princeton Packet. Retrieved February 23, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b NPR Biography on Scott Simon. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  5. ^ Simon - Family Pictures. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Christine G.K. LaPado-Breglia, "NPR host Scott Simon to cover every beat for Chico audience", Chico News, May 5, 2011.
  7. ^ Teri Gross. "Scott Simon's Family: 'In Praise Of Adoption'". Fresh Air. 
  8. ^ "Chicago's Cubs", by Jonathan Alter, The Washington Monthly, May 2000. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  9. ^ John Y. Simon, "Memorial to Ralph G. Newman", July 1998, reprinted in Illinois Heritage 2000, hosted by Northern Illinois University. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  10. ^ "2010 Honorary Degrees", Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters & CLA Commencement Speaker, Willamette University.
  11. ^ Web copy made available by Ellen Comisso, accessed January 16, 2010. The op-ed is cited and quoted in "When reporters sound off, eyebrows rise". Current. September 8, 2003. , accessed January 16, 2010.
  12. ^ Simon, Scott (December 1, 2001). "Reflections on the Events of September 11". Friends Journal. 
  13. ^ Simon, Scott (May 1, 2003). "To Friends Journal Readers: A Response". Friends Journal. 
  14. ^ "In NPR Interview, Bill Cosby Declines To Discuss Assault Allegations". NPR. July 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Cat and Child, So Comfy Together", by Scott Simon, Weekend Edition, November 27, 2004. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  16. ^ a b Jeff Rubin, "NPR Host Scott Simon: Riding on Airwaves", Jeff Rubin, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, October 18, 2006. Also at Both retrieved July 10, 2007.
  17. ^ "Scott Simon Releases First Novel:Pretty Birds", WKAR, August 30, 2005. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  18. ^ "Reflections on Welcoming a New Family Member", Scott Simon, Weekend Edition, June 30, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  19. ^ "NPR report." NPR. November 30, 2006. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  20. ^ Lozada, Carlos. "Review of "Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime" by Scott Simon". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 

External links[edit]