Margot Adler died on July 28, 2014 at her home in New York City. She was 68 and had been battling cancer. Listen to NPR Correspondent David Folkenflik's retrospective on her life and career
Margot Adler is a NPR correspondent based in NPR's New York Bureau. Her reports can be heard regularly on All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.
In addition to covering New York City, Adler reports include in-depth features exploring the interface of politics and culture. Most recently she has been reporting on the controversy surrounding the proposed Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero. Other recent pieces have focused on the effect of budget cuts on education, flood relief efforts by the Pakistani community in the United States, the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, and the battles over the September 11th memorial as well as the continuing human story in New York City in the years since the attacks. Her reporting has included topics such as the death penalty, affirmative action and the culture wars.
Adler did the first American radio interview with J.K. Rowling and has charted the Harry Potter phenomenon ever since. Her reporting ranges across issues including children and technology, the fad of the Percy Jackson books and the popularity of vampires. She occasionally reviews books, covers plays, art exhibitions and auctions, among other reports for NPR's Arts desk.
From 1999-2008, Adler was the host of NPR's Justice Talking, a weekly show exploring constitutional controversies in the nation's courts.
Adler joined the NPR staff as a general assignment reporter in 1979, after spending a year as an NPR freelance reporter covering New York City. In 1980, she documented the confrontation between radicals and the Ku Klux Klan in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1984, she reported and produced an acclaimed documentary on AIDS counselors in San Francisco. She covered the Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988 and in Sarajevo in 1984. She has reported on homeless people living in the subways, on the state of the middle class and on the last remaining American hospital for treating leprosy, which was located in Louisiana.
From 1972 to 1990, Adler created and hosted live talk shows on WBAI-FM/New York City. One of those shows, Hour of the Wolf, hosted by Jim Freund, continues as a science fiction show to this day. She is the author of the book, Drawing Down the Moon, a study of contemporary nature religions, and a 1960's memoir, Heretic's Heart. She co-produced an award-winning radio drama, War Day, and is a lecturer and workshop leader. She is currently working on a book on why vampires have such traction in our culture.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, Adler went on to earn a Master of Science degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York in 1970. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1982.
The granddaughter of Alfred Adler, the renowned Viennese psychiatrist, Adler was born in Little Rock, Ark., and grew up in New York City. She loves birding and science fiction.
Huguette Clark secretly spent her last 20 years in a hospital, even though she wasn't ill — all while her three New York apartments were filled with valuable antiques.
Some New Yorkers are upset about the changing skyline that rims Central Park. They say that as the sun goes behind some of the city's new tall towers, there's a chilling effect to their shadows.
Beer makers Guinness and Sam Adams withdrew sponsorship from New York and Boston's St. Patrick Day parades, respectively, over the exclusion of openly gay, lesbian and transgender participants.
The proposal to eradicate the birds in New York by 2025 has pitted environmentalists against animal rights activists. Some call the swans invasive and destructive; opponents say the science is faulty.
Author Antoine Saint-Exupery was French, but his beloved book, The Little Prince, wasn't written in Paris. Saint-Exupery wrote it in New York, and even included references to the island in his original manuscript.
In this encore report, we hear about a small museum in an elevator shaft in lower Manhattan. It's only six feet square, and only about three or four people can enter it at a time. The exhibits document the weird and wonderful of modern life, including prison contraband made from bread. (This piece originally aired on Jan. 2, 2014 on All Things Considered).
New York's program would be the most restrictive in the country and would be limited to 20 hospitals. Critics wonder how Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to get the marijuana and why hospitals — which must abide by federal law — would want to participate.
When newly inaugurated Mayor Bill de Blasio opened the doors of the beautiful 1804 mayoral mansion to the public, New Yorkers showed up in force. And de Blasio spent five hours trying to make them feel welcome.
Housed in an old elevator shaft off a Manhattan alleyway, the Museum's 18 small shelves hold random objects like bootleg Sharpies and prison dice made of bread. Co-creator Josh Safdie says the Museum's roots lie in its founders' outlandish stories.