Diane Rehm


“The Diane Rehm Show”, United States Diane Rehm has chosen to culminate her momentous radio career shortly after the contentious 2016 United States general election finally draws to a close. Rehm will leave behind a legacy as one of the United States’ foremost news interviewers and as a fierce advocate for women in the media. “Diane has left an indelible imprint on public media, rewriting the rules of success not only for women in the profession, but for broadcasters across the entire system,” says WAMU 88.5 American University Radio’s general manager, J.J. Yore. “In a media climate often overwhelmed by caustic sound bites and careless social media chatter, her commitment to fostering thoughtful conversation on today’s most important issues makes her both a worthy candidate for this honor and a treasure to us all.” Despite growing fame, Rehm never wavered when it came to mentoring and hiring other women into the profession. Her program has provided a national platform for women at all stages of their careers. Rehm has and continues to be a mentor to younger producers, interns, colleagues, and volunteers. And, her career inspires and will continue to inspire an entire generation of women in media. Rehm was born to Turkish immigrants of Arab descent in the 1930s. While a young stay-at-home mom, Rehm decided to volunteer at her local radio station. She had no college degree. She didn’t even have any experience in journalism. But, it didn’t stop her. She moved up: from unpaid volunteer to part-time producer to the host of “The Diane Rehm Show” for the last 35 years. Now, 2.4 million people tune in every week to hear “The Diane Rehm Show”. In the 1990s, Diane Rehm was diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, a disease which makes speech strained and difficult. While most radio and media personalities would see this as a major setback, Rehm was never deterred. Instead, she used her radio platform to shed light on the disease: she discussed her diagnosis on “The Diane Rehm Show” and wrote about it in her memoir, Finding My Voice. Looking back on her illustrious career, Rehm has spoken with Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, medical researchers, economists, artists, and personalities of all kinds. She became the first radio journalist of any gender to interview a sitting President in the White House when she interviewed President Bill Clinton. Perhaps President Barack Obama said it best when he awarded her the National Humanities Medal: “In probing interviews with everyone from pundits to poets to Presidents, Ms. Rehm’s keen insights and boundless curiosity have deepened our understanding of our culture and ourselves.” Follow on Twitter: @drshow

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