David Greene

David Greene is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most listened-to radio news program in the United States, and also of NPR's popular morning news podcast, Up First.

Prior to taking on his current role in 2012, Greene was an NPR foreign correspondent based in Moscow covering the region from Ukraine and the Baltics east to Siberia. During that time he brought listeners stories as wide-ranging as Chernobyl 25 years later and Beatles-singing Russian Babushkas. He wrote the best-selling book Midnight in Siberia, capturing Russian life on a journey across the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Greene later won an Edward R. Murrow Award for his interview with two young men badly beaten by authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya as part of a campaign to target gay men. Greene also spent a month in Libya reporting riveting stories in the most difficult of circumstances as NATO bombs fell on Tripoli. He was honored with the 2011 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize from WBUR and Boston University for that coverage of the Arab Spring.

Greene's voice became familiar to NPR listeners from his four years covering the White House. To report on former President George W. Bush's second term, he spent hours in NPR's spacious booth in the basement of the West Wing (it's about the size of your average broom closet). He also spent time trekking across five continents, reporting on White House visits to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Rwanda, Uruguay – and, of course, Crawford, Texas.

During the days following Hurricane Katrina, Greene was aboard Air Force One when President Bush flew low over the Gulf Coast and caught his first glimpse of the storm's destruction. On the ground in New Orleans, Greene brought listeners a moving interview with the late Ethel Williams, a then-74-year-old flood victim who got an unexpected visit from the president.

Greene was an integral part of NPR's coverage of the historic 2008 election, reporting on Hillary Clinton's campaign from start to finish, and also focusing on how racial attitudes were playing into voters' decisions. The White House Correspondents' Association took special note of Greene's report on a speech by then-candidate Barack Obama addressing the nation's racial divide. Greene was given the Association's 2008 Merriman Smith Award for deadline coverage of the presidency.

After President Obama took office, Greene kept one eye trained on the White House and the other eye on the road. He spent three months driving across America – with a recorder, camera, and lots of caffeine – to learn how the recession was touching Americans during President Obama's first 100 days in office. The series was called "100 Days: On the Road in Troubled Times."

Before joining NPR in 2005, Greene spent nearly seven years as a newspaper reporter for the Baltimore Sun. He covered the White House during the Bush administration's first term and wrote about an array of other topics for the paper, including why Oklahomans love the sport of cockfighting, why two Amish men in Pennsylvania were caught trafficking methamphetamine, and how one woman brought Christmas back to a small town in Maryland.

Before graduating magna cum laude from Harvard in 1998 with a degree in government, Greene worked as the senior editor on the Harvard Crimson. In 2004, he was named co-volunteer of the year for Coaching for College, a Washington, DC, program offering tutoring to inner-city youth. He lives in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, with his wife, Rose Previte, a restauranteur.

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For the Morning Edition Song Project, we've asked musicians to capture life in the era of COVID-19 by writing an original song that describes this turbulent moment. When we contacted Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, he had an idea ready to go. He says "Slint, Spiderland" was something he had been jotting down as a sort of musical journal entry.

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It's been a brutal year for Americans.

The relentless spread of COVID-19, the ensuing economic crisis and the reckoning around social injustice has made this a year like none other.

NPR wanted to know how these cataclysmic, consequential events have affected American families and how those experiences might shape their political choices in the upcoming presidential election.

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Days after unveiling the replanting of the Rose Garden, the first lady used it as the backdrop for a political speech.

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What would President Trump do with four more years in office?

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Well, Democrats have tried to keep some things normal in their virtual convention this week.

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It was during a recent interview on NPR that a postal worker reported a mysterious development. The Postal Service was removing sorting machines from Waterloo, Iowa.

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For the Morning Edition Song Project, we've asked musicians to capture life in the era of COVID-19 by writing an original song that describes this turbulent moment. For our next entry, Nashville-based soul singer Devon Gilfillian examines how the pandemic created space for a national dialogue on race with his new song, "Cracks in the Ceiling," which he wrote after a difficult conversation with a close friend.

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This was the message on the first night of the Democratic National Convention.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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So this week we are expecting to hear a lot more about what is going on at the U.S. Postal Service.

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For the Morning Edition Song Project, the show has been reaching out to musicians in recent weeks for their take on the era of COVID-19, asking them to put their thoughts to music in a

Makaya McCraven calls himself a beat scientist, so it's no surprise when you ask about his childhood, you hear he was pretty much surrounded by rhythm.

"Rehearsals at our house, banging on drums since I was able to hold a drumstick, sleeping in my dad's bass drum," he recalls. "There was no front head, and a little pillow in there. And you could just kinda go in and lay down if you're small enough."

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All right. So executives from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, also Google are going to be facing lawmakers today.

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President Trump returned to the briefing room yesterday after quite a hiatus.

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And he talked about the coronavirus pandemic a little differently than he has to date.

Alex Trebek usually asks all the questions, so we turned the tables and asked him one for a change. What would the Jeopardy! clue be for the question, "Who is Alex Trebek?"

"He's the avuncular host of a popular quiz show who has been around, it seems, forever," Trebek replies.

Trebek, who turns 80 on Wednesday, has been hosting Jeopardy! since 1984. When he was offered the position back then, he had no idea he'd stay with the show for the rest of his career. "It was a job," he says.

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After camouflaged federal agents arrested protesters on the streets of Portland, Ore., President Trump now says he may be sending more federal agents to other U.S. cities.

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The pandemic, a bad economy, police killings and a fight for racial equality: It's a lot of take in. For some, music has been a way to cope and try to make sense of it all and that is the premise behind the Morning Edition Song Project, in which we asked musicians to write and perform an original song about this moment.

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The Trump administration is taking action this week that will affect students from kindergarten all the way through graduate school.

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Right now, Florida is flooded with the coronavirus. The state reopened early, but more than 11,000 Floridians tested positive for the virus on Saturday alone.

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In two holiday speeches - one at Mount Rushmore and one at the White House - President Trump painted a picture of a divided America.

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More than half of all U.S. states are experiencing a surge in the number of new daily coronavirus cases.

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Well, his first campaign rally in a while was a bit of a bust. Today, President Trump will try again.

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First, a pandemic, then economic collapse and now there are mass demonstrations over police brutality and racism.

In times of upheaval like this, music can be an escape. Maybe a way to reflect or try to make sense of things. This is what led to a new series we're launching today. For the Morning Edition Song Project, we've been asking musicians to write and perform an original song for us.

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George Floyd was buried in his hometown of Houston, Texas, this week. Floyd left his mark on the city through his friends and family, but also through the music he made under the name Big Floyd.

George Floyd grew up in Houston's Third Ward — the home of the city's hip-hop and rap scene. Floyd used to spend hours in producer DjD's home studio, making the kind of slow-the-music-down form of rap made famous by the late DJ Screw, who also knew and worked with Floyd.

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George Floyd was laid to rest today in Houston. Our Morning Edition colleague David Greene has been in the city learning about Floyd's life and legacy. This is Floyd's story.

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