|Intro||American radio journalist|
|Is||Radio personality Journalist|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Journalism|
|Birth||7 September 1961, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA|
Michele L. Norris (/ˈmiːʃɛl ˈnɔːrɪs/ MEE-shel NOR-iss; born September 7, 1961) is an American journalist, currently working as an opinion columnist with The Washington Post.
From 2002 until 2011, she was co-host of the National Public Radio (NPR) evening news program All Things Considered. Norris was the first African-American female host for National Public Radio (NPR).
Norris is also a member of the Peabody Awards board of directors, which is presented by the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Norris was born in Minnesota, to Betty and Belvin Norris Jr.; Belvin served in the Navy in World War II. Michele attended Washburn High School in Minneapolis, and went on to attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she first studied electrical engineering, but then transferred to the University of Minnesota where she majored in journalism and mass communications.
At the University of Minnesota, Norris wrote for the Minnesota Daily, and then became a reporter for WCCO-TV.
Norris wrote for The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times. In 1990, while at The Washington Post, Norris received the Livingston Award for articles she wrote about the life of a six-year-old boy who lived with a crack-addicted mother in a crack house.
From 1993 to 2002, Norris was a news correspondent for ABC News, winning an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for coverage of the September 11 attacks.
Norris joined the National Public Radio (NPR) evening news program All Things Considered on December 9, 2002, becoming the first African-American female host for NPR. In 2015, Fortune described Norris as "one of [NPR's] biggest stars." Norris worked alongside Melissa Block, and Robert Siegel.
Norris' coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath won acclaim early in her time at NPR. She moderated a Democratic Presidential debate in Iowa, alongside Steve Inskeep and Robert Siegel. In 2008, Norris teamed with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep for The York Project: Race & The '08 Vote. Inskeep and Norris share a Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award silver baton award. In her time hosting Norris interviewed a wide range of politicians and celebrities including President Barack Obama, Susan Rice, Quincy Jones, and Joan Rivers among others.
Norris announced on October 24, 2011, that she would temporarily step down from her All Things Considered hosting duties and refrain from involvement in any NPR political coverage during the 2012 election year due to her husband's appointment to the Barack Obama 2012 presidential re-election campaign. On January 3, 2013, NPR announced that Norris had stepped down as a regular host of All Things Considered and would instead serve as an occasional host and special correspondent.
The Race Card Project
The Race Card Project was a project Norris began in 2010 in collaboration with NPR, inviting people to submit comments on their experience of race in the United States in six words. Norris and collaborators won a 2014 Peabody Award for the project.
In December 2015, Norris left NPR to focus on the Race Card Project. In July 2020, Simon & Schuster announced a book deal for the project. The currently untitled book is based Norris' collection of hundreds of thousands of hidden conversations for The Race Card Project archive. It will be followed by a related children’s book.
The Grace of Silence
Norris is also the author of The Grace of Silence, a memoir and reported non-fiction book that started as an extension of an NPR series about race relations in the United States called the Race Card Project. In the book Norris uncovers secrets about race including in her family. In the book Norris writes of discovering her father’s shooting by a Birmingham police officer and also her maternal grandmother’s job as an itinerant Aunt Jemima.
- 2006 Emmy Award for ABC News coverage of the September 11 attacks
- 2006 Peabody Award for ABC News coverage of the September 11 attacks
- 2009 Journalist of the Year, National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), citing Norris's coverage of the 2008 U.S. presidential election
- 2013 Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, University of Michigan
- 2014 Peabody Award for Norris's NPR series The Race Card Project
Norris lives in the District of Columbia with her husband, Broderick D. Johnson, the former White House Cabinet Secretary for President Barack Obama, and her daughter, son, and stepson.