Referencing tweets he posted on Twitter almost nine months ago during his mother’s final week of life, NPR’s Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday graced the stage at Norton Chapel during the 26th Annual Fribolin Lecture at Keuka College May 6. Simon shared moments of humor, frustration, wisdom and especially, heart, that came from his time at his mother’s bedside in a Chicago hospital. These poignant memories, shared with an audience of more than 100 guests, will form the foundation for a new book Simon will publish in the next year.
At the close of the lecture, Simon took questions from the audience on the experience. Several guests were quite moved, expressing thanks for his openness sharing the intimate joys and grief of the death of a parent.
See the photo gallery below for more images from the evening:
Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR, will deliver the 26th Annual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture Tuesday, May 6, at Keuka College.
Simon will speak at 6:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel. It is free and open to the public.
The lecture series carries the names of Geneva resident Carl Fribolin, an emeritus member of the College’s Board of Trustees and recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2004, and his late wife.
In addition to Weekend Edition Saturday, which has an audience of 4.2 million listeners, Simon hosts the PBS television series Backstage With … that features his conversations with some of the biggest names in theater, including Tom Hanks, Patricia Heaton, and Katie Holmes. He also hosts Need to Know on PBS.
Simon narrated the documentary film Lincoln of Illinois for PBS, and was blown up by Martians in the Grammy Award-nominated 50th anniversary remake of The War of the Worlds (co-starring Jason Robards).
Simon has reported from all 50 states and every continent. He has covered 10 wars, hundreds of campaigns, sieges, famines, hurricanes, earthquakes, civil wars, scandals, state funerals, and opening nights. He has interviewed and profiled some of the most interesting personalities of the times, from Mother Teresa, Ariel Sharon, and Wyclef Jean, to roving street kids in Rio, and refugees in Kosovo, Ethiopia and Sudan.
Simon has received numerous honors for his reporting, including a special 1989 George Foster Peabody Award for his weekly essays. He was awarded the Studs Terkel Media Award in 2009 and is the only journalist to serve on the National Institute on Civil Discourse (other members of the Institute include Colin Powell and Bill Clinton). He is also on the board of the Hemingway Collection at the JFK Presidential Library.
Simon has written for The New York Times Book Review and op-ed pages, The Wall Street Journal opinion and book page, The Los Angeles Times, Friends Journal, and Gourmet Magazine (his article on “Conflict Cuisine” won the James Beard Award for Best Food Writing, as well as the International Culinary Professionals Award).
Simon’s book, Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan, was published in the spring of 2000 by Hyperion. It topped The Los Angeles Times nonfiction best-seller list, and was cited as one of the best books of the year in The Washington Post, Boston Globe, and several other publications. His second book, Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball, kicked off the prestigious Wiley Turning Points series in September of 2002, and was the Barnes and Noble Sports Book of the Year.
His most recent book, Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption, is a memoir about the subject of adoption and made the extended best-seller list.
In 2005, Simon published Pretty Birds, his novel about teenage girls during the siege of Sarajevo. Acclaimed as “the start of a brilliant new career,” it is now in its 13th printing. His most recent novel, the best-selling, political comedy Windy City, was chosen by The Washington Post as one of the best novels of 2008. Simon is working on a memoir about the life and death of his mother, tentatively titled Unforgettable (2015, Flat Iron Books).
A lover of ballet, Simon has appeared as Mother Ginger in the Ballet Austin production of The Nutcracker.