RADIO // Off The RailLeonard Lopate
Originally aired 1/8/10
Leonard Lopate is host of the public radio talk show The Leonard Lopate Show, broadcast on WNYC. Consummate Brooklynite and New Yorker, he attended Brooklyn College and later Hunter College, where he trained as a painter, studying with Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko, before working in advertising for fifteen years. But when he was given a chance to host his first talk show on WBAI in 1977, he discovered his true calling, which has become his life's work. Lopate's show airs from noon to 2pm every weekday, and typically consists of four interviews ranging from 20-40 minutes in length, covering a broad range of topics including jazz and gospel music, food and wine (he is the winner of two James Beard Awards), literature, the arts, science and history. Lopate has interviewed politicians, poets, painters, novelists, filmmakers, actors, dancers and more than a few Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. Recently, right after his show on WNYC, Lopate came to visit AIR's headquarters to discuss his life and work. Phong entices Lopate to discuss his early career as an artist and how his marriage, his family, including his equally formidable brother Phillip, his mentors and his homes and studios have all influenced his development. Lopate takes us through his most memorable interviews, both the highs and lows, from Barack Obama to cranky art world egoists (39 minutes).
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