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Bob Edwards and Gene Weingarten to speak at annual Devroy Forum April 19

March 8, 2012
 Bob Edwards  Gene Weingarten
Bob Edwards Gene Weingarten
EAU CLAIRE — Hall of Fame radio interviewer Bob Edwards and double-Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post will interview each other on stage April 19 at the 2012 Ann Devroy Memorial Forum at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Edwards has been the host of "The Bob Edwards Show" on SiriusXM Radio since 2004, along with "Bob Edwards Weekend" on Public Radio International. Prior to that, he hosted National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" for nearly 25 years. The morning show drew more than 13 million listeners each week. Edwards began his career with NPR in 1974, co-hosting NPR's "All Things Considered." Over the course of his career, he has conducted more than 30,000 interviews, with everyone from President Clinton to Johnny Cash.


The UW-Eau Claire Foundation and department of communication and journalism will host the Devroy Forum, which will start at 7 p.m. in the university's newly remodeled Schofield Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The Ann Devroy Memorial Forum and the Devroy Memorial Fund are presented in memory of 1970 UW-Eau Claire alumna Ann Devroy, whose ambition and talent led her through an extraordinary career before her death in 1997 at age 49. For the complete history of Devroy and the memorial forum created in her name, visit the forum website.

As an additional highlight of the forum, one journalism student who shows exceptional promise is selected to receive the Devroy Scholarship. This includes a three-week residency at The Washington Post and a paid summer internship at one of Wisconsin's three largest newspapers.

Weingarten, a nationally syndicated humor writer for The Washington Post, won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2008 and 2010. He worked as an editor and staff writer for The Post for 19 years before retiring in 2009, but he remains there on contract. His column "Below the Beltway" has been featured in The Post's Sunday magazine since July 2000.

"This 15th annual Devroy Forum could be the best ever, because it features the most-acclaimed radio interviewer of our time and the most-acclaimed news feature writer of our time," said Dr. Mike Dorsher, associate professor of journalism and chair of this year's Devroy Forum Committee. "I've dreamed of bringing them together for the Devroy Forum ever since hearing their interview on Bob's radio show in August 2010. This pairing of a broadcast interviewer and a print interviewer comes at the perfect time for our journalism students because we've just completed the convergence of our print and broadcast curriculums."

The National Radio Hall of Fame inducted Edwards in 2004. Other awards he has won during the course of his career include the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for radio journalism, the George Foster Peabody Award and the Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding contributions to public radio.

Edwards is the author of three books. His latest, released in September 2011, "A Voice in the Box: My Life in Radio," recounts his career as an iconic radio personality and observes the evolution of public journalism during the past 40 years. His earlier books are "Fridays with Red," which chronicles his experiences working alongside sportscaster and friend Red Barber, and "Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism."

"At last, Bob Edwards has told his story," broadcast journalism giant Bill Moyers wrote in a review. "With all the wit, candor and courage that made his journalism on NPR a favorite of millions across the country and a role model for all of us in public media. This 'Voice in the Box' is good news."

Weingarten has written four books, including his latest release of the anthology "The Fiddler in the Subway: The Story of the World-Class Violinist Who Played for Handouts … and Other Virtuoso Performances by America's Foremost Feature Writer" in July 2010. It features some of his most famous pieces, including his 2008 Pulitzer-winning story of an experiment starring world-class violinist Joshua Bell, which warns of the pitfalls of moving too quickly through life. Weingarten's other books include "The Hypochondriac's Guide to Life. And Death," "I'm With Stupid" and "Old Dogs."

"Gene Weingarten is the best writer in American journalism," humorist and author Dave Barry wrote in a review of the collection of works. "He's a master at finding a story that nobody else would have thought to pursue, researching it doggedly, and telling it in such a riveting way that you feel as though you're reading a terrific novel."

Edwards and Weingarten will be available to autograph copies of their books after their Devroy Forum joint interview and questions from the audience. The University Bookstore will sell copies of their books in April at a 20 percent discount and it will sell them for full price at the forum.

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