Irwin Gratz

Morning Edition Producer

Irwin was born and reared in New York City and, while he never hiked miles to school, he did walk up six flights of stairs every day to the apartment his family lived in until he was nearly 19. Irwin remains a lover of subway rides, egg creams, and the New York Mets.

He moved to Maine in 1978 and worked a dozen years in commercial radio in Sanford, then Portland, before beginning to freelance for Maine Public Radio in 1990. He has been the local anchor of Morning Edition since September 1992.

Irwin served as chairman of the Maine Association of Broadcasters in 2015. From September 2004 to October 2005, Irwin served as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization. He holds a master’s in journalism from New York University. Irwin won a Yankee Quill Award in 2011 from the New England Newspaper and Press Association for his “broad influence for good, both inside and outside the newsroom.”

Irwin also has an interest in astronomy, which he indulges to this day as an occasional show presenter at the Southworth Planetarium in Portland. And he swims, a lot. Irwin has completed seven Peaks Island-to-Portland swims. Irwin is married and has a teenage son.

Ways to Connect

Jimmy Emerson / Flickr Creative Commons

The state is expanding the display of "travel time" information on its major highways.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

The Central Maine and Quebec Railway is being purchased by Canadian Pacific. Central Maine and Quebec - the former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway - consists of 400 miles of rail.  In Maine, it has lines from Millinocket and Searsport that converge at Brownville, then head westward into Quebec, towards Montreal, where it connects to Canadian Pacific lines. Canadian Pacific is excited by the purchase in part because it will get direct access to the deepwater port at Searsport.

A Maine Turnpike spur to South Gorham is still years away, but Turnpike Authority Executive Director Peter Mills says he will ask his board Thursday to approve possible purchases of land for it.

Maine Historical Society

There were some key moments that led to Maine becoming a state nearly 200 years ago.  It was on this date in 1819 that President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to William King, the chairman of the Maine Constitutional Convention. Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz talks with Maine historian Herb Adams about what led to that moment.

Andree Kehn / AP

Andy O’Brien makes it his business to track the online presence of certain far right groups in Maine, and this week he and collaborator Nathan Bernard published an article in Mainer that examines how members of a Lewiston-Auburn Facebook group may be targeting Muslim residents and newly elected Lewiston city councilor Safiya Khalid, the first Somali-American elected to that council.

Mainer's personal income grew in 2018, but nowhere faster than in Knox County. The federal Bureau of Economic Affairs reported Thursday that the personal income of residents in the Midcoast county grew by 5.9 percent.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

A Bates College professor and team of students have created a molecule they say could be used to treat cancer, Alzheimer's and other medical issues. Their work has been published, and Bates is trying to patent the creation. The molecule, BOBCAT 339, was designed, conceptualized and tested by Bates students. Their professor, Andrew Kennedy, told Maine Public Radio's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz that it was found to affect a process known as "DNA methylation."

Maine State Archives

Two hundred years ago today, Maine took an important step down the road to statehood. The 274 delegates who had gathered at the Constitutional Convention in Portland finished drafting a document. Its very first article is a "Declaration of Rights."

Maine Department of the Secretary of State

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is debuting a series of 30-second recorded announcements, prepared by the Maine State Archives, retelling the story of the state in the months leading up to its bicentennial. The series and similar projects are being unveiled Thursday morning in Winthrop.

He was an attorney for the Passamaquoddy Tribe whose fierce advocacy got him into so much trouble that he chose to leave the country rather than serve a four-year prison sentence more than 50 years ago.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

Approximately 100 people gathered in Portland Tuesday to discuss the future of passenger rail service.  They were attending an open house convened by Maine's passenger rail authority.

Charles Krupa / Associated Press

Maine's passenger rail authority has ideas for easing travel congestion in southern Maine, and they want to explore those with the public at a meeting Tuesday. 

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Canadian officials have confirmed that there will be no Cat Ferry service between Bar Harbor, Maine and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia this year, according to CBC News.

Flickr Creative Commons

Originally published 5:07 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

Two hundred years ago, delegates from 236 Maine cities and towns were in Portland, beginning to craft what would become the state constitution. Historian Herb Adams, speaking with Irwin Gratz, says the delegates came from all walks of life, and grappled with fundamental issues of governance, among other matters.

Two-hundred years ago Monday, delegates from 236 Maine cities and towns were in Portland, beginning to craft what would become the the state constitution.

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