NPR ‘Founding Mother’ Linda Wertheimer Retires


NPR Senior National Correspondent Linda Wertheimer, a pioneering figure in public radio, has announced her retirement. The news was delivered to staff in a memo from NPR’s interim Chief Content Officer Edith Chapin. Wertheimer spent more than five decades with the broadcaster.

She started her radio career with the BBC in London before joining New York’s WCBS. Joining NPR to be director for All Things Considered, Wertheimer eventually moved to the host chair. Throughout her tenure she served as a reporter and host for many programs, covering some of the most important stories in American politics.

Wertheimer holds the special honor of being the first reporter to broadcast live from the US Senate chamber.

In her own words, Wertheimer reflected on her journey from NPR’s inception, where she was among the first news hires. She reminisced about her collaborations with iconic colleagues like Cokie Roberts, Nina Totenberg, Susan Stamberg, Bob Edwards, and Scott Simon, highlighting the camaraderie and pioneering spirit that defined NPR’s early years.

Wertheimer’s narrative captures the essence of NPR’s growth, driven by a blend of energy, innovation, and a commitment to journalistic excellence initiated by figures like Bill Siemering and Cleve Matthews.

Chapin expressed, “None of us would be here today without Linda’s commitment to telling the story fully, creatively and with curiosity. We stand on her shoulders, hoping that each of us can do for NPR what she has done for decades.”

Linda Wertheimer closed by saying, “I have had a great ride over more than fifty years – and now that ride is over.”


  1. Happy retirement Ms. Linda. I was an avid, voracious NPR donor and listener for decades.

    I’ve raised daughters who thrived in the NPR world including listening to Ms. Linda’s coverage/facilitating of headlines and stories.

    About 15 or so years ago NPR (and PBS, too for that matter) steered hard left. It lost me as a faithful donor and listener. Gradually, my daughters decreased their fandom, too.

    I digress. I wish Ms. Linda joy and enlightment in life beyond the 9 to 5.


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