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Veteran 'Morning Edition' host Bob Edwards dies at 76

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Over the next day on NPR News, we'll be remembering Bob Edwards, who was the host of this program for almost a quarter century and who has died at the age of 76. He covered events from the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 through the end of the Cold War, two wars in Iraq and the September 11 attacks. We'll give you just a sample of his voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

BOB EDWARDS: Good morning. Representatives from 35 nations meet today in Copenhagen to discuss Eastern Europe.

It's Kuwaiti Independence Day, and allied troops have advanced to the edge of Kuwait City.

Booby traps are a danger at the scene of yesterday...

INSKEEP: Bob Edwards was a Kentuckian who said in his memoir that he always dreamed of being a voice on the radio. In the 1970s, he came to NPR, which was even younger than he was. He hosted our afternoon program, All Things Considered, then moved to MORNING EDITION's very, very early hours. It was a union job, and he was a union leader. He once led a long-running protest to get contract employees hired as full-time staff, and the young reporters who benefited included me. By the time he was reassigned in 2004, his voice was so familiar that his departure sparked nationwide outrage. He later went on to satellite radio and wrote that it was his happiest work.

More recently, his health declined. His wife, NPR's Windsor Johnston, says he died over the weekend with family members at his side. When the microphone opened, Edwards spoke to millions. But he said his art was to imagine one person and talk to that one person. Many people felt he was talking directly to them. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Steve Inskeep
Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.