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Margot Adler

Margot Adler

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

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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.

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  • Occupy Wall Street protesters were evicted in a predawn raid by New York City Police, and the encampment in Zuccotti Park was dismantled.
  • As the United States moves closer to war with Iraq, educators are taking different approaches to teaching what it means to be a patriot. In the conclusion to Morning Edition's "Citizen Student" series on civics education, NPR's Margot Adler moderates a Justice Talking debate between scholars who disagree on how -- or if -- American schools should teach patriotism.
  • Historians and other scholars are examining the state of black studies. Some 400 black studies programs and departments exist, but there have been few conferences such as the one in New York this weekend, and some say there's an identity crisis. NPR's Margot Adler reports.
  • NPR's Margot Adler visited a community in Brooklyn, New York that is home to many of the Pakistanis who traveled north to seek asylum in Canada. Thousands more have left their homes in the United States for other destinations.
  • In 1995, in the wake of two shootings at women's health clinics in Boston, a group of leaders from opposing sides of the abortion debate agreed to hold four secret meetings to prevent further acts of violence. The meetings continued for seven years. NPR's Margot Adler visits the women at the Public Conversations Project offices, located in a small home in Watertown, Mass., to talk about the effect of their conversations. Online, hear the women's stories and read more about the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
  • NPR's Margot Adler was in Harlem today to witness a deal resolving a longstanding controversy over what should be done with the papers of the civil rights and religious leader Malcolm X. The six Shabazz daughters agree to deposit the documents, photos and audiotapes with the Schomberg Center and the New York Public Library for 75 years. The family will retain intellectual and property rights, yet the public will have access to the archived materials.