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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Who Was Bob Edwards? Exploring His Life And Career As Veteran Broadcaster Dies At 76

The world of journalism mourns the loss of Bob Edwards, a distinguished broadcaster who has delivered commendable work in collaboration with NPR and Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Edwards passed away at the age of 76 on February 10, 2024, as confirmed by his wife Windsor Johnston in her Facebook post, leaving behind a profound legacy in the field of broadcast journalism.

Everything you need to know about Bob Edwards 

Bob Edwards, Robert Alan Edwards, was born on May 16, 1947, in Louisville, Kentucky, where his fascination with radio began to take root. After graduating from the University of Louisville and earning a master’s degree in communication from American University, Edwards embarked on a remarkable career in broadcasting. His journey with NPR commenced in 1974, initially as a newscaster, before he assumed the role of the inaugural anchor for Morning Edition in 1979.

Over the years, Edwards became synonymous with NPR, serving as the voice that greeted millions of listeners each morning. His tenure at Morning Edition spanned an impressive 24 and a half years, during which he delivered insightful reporting and interviews that captivated audiences nationwide. 

Bob Edwards and Windsor Johnston (Getty Images)

In 2004, Edwards transitioned to satellite radio, hosting The Bob Edwards Show on Sirius XM until 2014. Throughout his career, he remained a paragon of journalistic integrity, earning the admiration and respect of colleagues and audiences alike. Edwards’s contributions to the field were duly recognized, earning him prestigious accolades such as the Edward R. Murrow Award, multiple Gabriel Awards, and a Peabody Award-winning member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, among others.

Edwards had sadly two unsuccessful marriages in his life with Joan Murphy and Sharon Kelly, both ending up with divorce. The late journalist had left behind two daughters, Eleanor and Susannah, which he shared with his ex-wife, Sharon Kelly. Edwards however married for the third time with NPR news anchor Windsor Johnston in 2011 who remained beside him until his death. 

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Tributes pour in as Bob Edwards bidding farewell to this world 

News of Bob Edwards’s passing reverberated through the broadcasting community, eliciting an outpouring of tributes and condolences. His wife, NPR reporter Windsor Johnston, confirmed his death in a heartfelt Facebook post, commemorating their 12 years of marriage and celebrating Edwards’s enduring legacy.

“It’s with the heaviest of hearts to share that Bob Edwards passed away peacefully on Saturday night. His daughters Susannah, Nora and I were with him as he took his final breath. He smiled as we played the well wishes, loving memories and messages of healing that you all so kindly took the time to record for him… On a personal note, Bob was the absolute love of my life. He was an extremely loving and supporting partner, not to mention my greatest admirer. He and I were together for 14 years and just recently celebrated 12 years of marriage. It’s unbearable to think of a life without him, but until we meet again I’ll continue to listen for that beautiful voice in my ear,” she wrote. 

NPR CEO John Lansing paid tribute to Edwards, acknowledging his unparalleled contributions to the world of audio journalism. Lansing emphasized Edwards’s profound connection with listeners and his unwavering commitment to excellence, he shared, as retrieved via NPR, We are saddened to hear that Bob Edwards has passed away. Edwards joined NPR as a newscaster in 1974, during the Nixon impeachment and Watergate hearings, and later that year became co-host of All Things Considered alongside Susan Stamberg. In 1979, in what would become a career-defining moment, he helped NPR launch the morning newsmagazine, Morning Edition.”

John F. Lansing and Bob Edwards (NPR and Apple Podcasts)

“He continued to be the voice that NPR listeners started their day with for another 24 and a half years as host of Morning Edition. Bob Edwards understood the intimate and distinctly personal connection with audiences that distinguishes audio journalism from other mediums, and for decades he was a trusted voice in the lives of millions of public radio listeners. Staff at NPR and all across the Network, along with those millions of listeners, will remember Bob Edwards with gratitude,” Lansing stated. 

As the broadcasting community bids farewell to one of its most revered figures, Bob Edwards’s legacy remains etched in the annals of journalism. Though he may no longer grace the airwaves, his spirit lives on in the enduring impact of his work, serving as an enduring legacy of a broadcasting icon.

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