Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Diane Rehm, host of the weekly podcast, On My Mind, produced by @wamu885 and distributed by @NPR. Diane was in Phoenix recently promoting her fifth book, When My Time Comes, and upcoming PBS documentary on the same topic. Her illustrious broadcasting career spans nearly 50 years and includes receipt of a number of tremendous honors and awards, including the National Humanities Medal, presented by President Barrack Obama, and a personal Peabody Award, considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media.
Diane, time to share:
I’m a Washington, D.C., native and began my radio career in 1973 as a volunteer for WAMU 88.5, the NPR member station in Washington, D.C. I was hired as an assistant producer and later became the host and producer of two health-oriented programs. A few years later, I began hosting WAMU’s local morning talk show, Kaleidoscope, which was renamed The Diane Rehm Show. The show grew in popularity from a local program to one with international reach and a weekly on-air audience of more than 2.8 million.
I’ve been fortunate over the years to discuss topics ranging from the U.S. economy and foreign affairs to literature, science and the arts. I’ve had the chance to interview many of the nation’s prominent newsmakers, journalists, and authors, including then-Sen. Barack Obama, former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former secretaries of state Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton, retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Sen. John McCain and Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.
My career nearly ended in 1998 because of spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological voice disorder that causes strained, difficult speech. Fortunately I was able to get treatment and return to the show.
I now host On My Mind, a weekly podcast that features conversations with newsmakers, writers, artists and thinkers on the issues I care about most: what’s going on in Washington, ideas that inform, and the latest on living well as we live longer.
I also spend a lot of time focusing on my fifth book, When My Time Comes, which explores the issue of medical aid in dying through interviews with terminally ill patients and their families, as well as physicians, ethicists, and representatives of those who vigorously oppose the movement. The book gives voice to a broad range of people who are personally linked to the realities of medical aid in dying. It presents the fervent arguments -- both for and against -- that are propelling the current debates across the nation about whether to adopt laws allowing those who are dying to put an end to their suffering.
I still live in Washington, D.C. I was married to my late husband, John Rehm, for 54 years. In 2017, I married John Hagedorn, a retired Lutheran minister.
When I’m not working I like to spend time with my family, which includes two children, four grandchildren and two dogs.
Please feel free to follow me on Twitter, @drshow.