Tom Ashbrook

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Tom Ashbrook
Born 1956 (age 60–61)
Bloomington, Illinois, U.S.A.
Residence Boston, MA[1]
Nationality United States
Education Yale University[2]
Occupation Radio Host
Employer NPR
Spouse(s) Danielle Guichard-Ashbrook (1975–2014)
Children 3, a daughter and two sons

Tom Ashbrook is an American journalist and radio broadcaster. He hosts the nationally syndicated, public radio call-in program On Point.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in 1956 on a farm in Bloomington, Illinois, he studied American history at Yale University and Gandhi's independence movement at Andhra University in India.[3]

Early career[edit]

Ashbrook worked in Alaska as a surveyor and dynamiter of oil fields to help pay for college. After leaving for Asia, he produced English-dubbed kung fu films in Hong Kong[4] where he spent a decade as a foreign correspondent in India, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. His first newspaper job was at the South China Morning Post. During the late 1980s Ashbrook became foreign editor for The Boston Globe.

As a correspondent Ashbrook covered the "refugee exodus from Vietnam and the post-Mao opening of China, and has covered turmoil and shifting cultural and economic trends in the United States and around the world, from Somalia and Rwanda to Russia and the Balkans."[5]

Ashbrook was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University during which time he decided to leave the Globe in 1996 and create an Internet startup with college friend Rolly Rouse. This company eventually became Ashbrook wrote a book called The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness in the Internet Gold Rush about his experience in Internet entrepreneurship.[6]

On Point[edit]

Ashbrook joined public radio following the September 11, 2001 Attacks, when he was enlisted by NPR and WBUR-Boston for special coverage. He currently hosts the National Public Radio show On Point.

On Point is a two-hour radio program, airing five days per week, Monday through Friday. Each hour of the two-hour broadcast is structured as a stand-alone show, focusing on a specific topic; Ashbrook interviews a specific guest (or guests), and then listeners are invited to call in and state their opinions on these various subjects. The first hour segment of Friday's show is a news wrap up of the previous week's top stories. Multiple times a year, On Point is recorded in front of a live studio audience. Ashbrook has interviewed Cheryl Strayed, Atul Gawande and many other guests in front of a live studio audience.

Ashbrook oversees a staff of 10 who assist with research and show preparation - typically compiling information relating to the topics to be discussed on the following day's program for Ashbrook to take and read.[7]

Senior On Point news analyst and former editor of The Atlantic Monthly, Jack Beatty is a regular guest and contributor on the program.

Personal life[edit]

Tom Ashbrook has a daughter and two sons. On November 6, 2014, his wife of 39 years, Danielle Guichard-Ashbrook, died of cancer.[8] He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

Ashbrook underwent heart bypass surgery in November 2007 and was off air until January 2, 2008,[9] when he discussed his medical journey in a show with his doctors and nurses.


Livingston Award for National Reporting - 1996


  1. ^ "Tom Ashbrook". NPR. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Soroff, Jonathan. "Soroff On: Tom Ashbrook". The Improper Bostonian. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "On Point Website". 
  6. ^ Weiss, Joanna (28 September 2005). "Pardon the interruption". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-03-21. (subscription required)
  7. ^ SOROFF, JONATHAN. "Soroff On: Tom Ashbrook". The Improper Bostonian. 
  8. ^ Ashbrook, Tom (2014-11-06). "A Message From Tom Ashbrook". On Point. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  9. ^ Riley, Colin (2007-11-16). "WBUR'S "ON POINT" HOST TOM ASHBROOK ON SIX-WEEK MEDICAL LEAVE". BU Today. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 

External links[edit]