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Guy Raz 2016

Guy Raz

Guy Raz is an independent producer who has been described by the New York Times as "one of the most popular podcasters in history."

He's the founder and CEO of Built-It Productions and the creator and the creative force behind How I Built This. He's also the former host and co-creator of TED Radio Hour.

Guy is also the co-founder of Tinkercast, a children's media company that produces audio podcasts and educational content for kids. Guy co-created and hosts one of those programs, Wow in the World—the number one kids podcast in English.

He's also the creator/host of Wisdom from the Top, a podcast about leadership and The Rewind on Spotify, a program about music.

Together, Guy's programs are heard by nearly 19 million listeners a month.

In 2017, Raz became the first person in the history of podcasting to have three shows in the top 20 on the Apple Podcast charts.

He's been a regular guest on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and is a two-time, New York Times bestselling author. His books include How I Built This and Wow in the World: The How and Wow of the Human Body (co-authored with Mindy Thomas.)

Previously, Raz was weekend host of NPR News' signature afternoon newsmagazine All Things Considered. During his tenure (2009-2012), he transformed the sound and format of the program, introducing the now-signature "cover story" and creating the popular "Three-Minute Fiction" writing contest.

Raz started his career as an intern on All Things Considered with NPR in 1997. He would go on to work as a production assistant, studio director all the way to foreign correspondent and breaking news host.

His first job in journalism was as assistant to the legendary news reporter Daniel Schorr.

In 2000, at the age of 25, Raz was made NPR's Berlin bureau chief where he covered Eastern Europe and the Balkans. During his six years abroad, Raz covered everything from wars and conflict zones to sports and entertainment. He reported from more than 40 countries including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Macedonia, and the ongoing conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Raz also served as NPR's bureau chief in London, and between 2004-2006 as CNN's Jerusalem correspondent. During this time, Raz chronicled everything from the rise of Hamas as a political power to the incapacitation of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. In 2006, Raz returned to NPR to serve as defense correspondent where he covered the Pentagon and the US military.

For his reporting from Iraq, Raz was awarded both the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Daniel Schorr Journalism prize. His reporting has contributed to two duPont awards and one Peabody awarded to NPR. He's been a finalist for the Livingston Award four times. He's won the National Headliner Award and an NABJ award, in addition to many others. In 2008, he spent a year as a Nieman journalism fellow at Harvard University where he studied classical history.

As a host and correspondent, Raz has interviewed and profiled more than 10,000 people including Bill Gates, Condoleezza Rice, Jimmy Carter, Shimon Peres, General David Petraeus, Al Gore, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Eminem, Taylor Swift, and many, many others.

Raz has anchored live coverage on some of the biggest stories in recent years, including the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Newtown School Shootings, and the 2012 presidential election.

He has also served as a Ferris professor of journalism at Princeton University, a Shapiro fellow at George Washington University, and an adjunct professor of journalism at Georgetown.

  • As college students in the late 1980s, Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan launched two projects that came to define their trajectories as entrepreneurs: the "punky but poppy" band Chunk, and the scrappy record label, Merge. For decades, the partners juggled the demands of managing their own band while negotiating record deals and recording dates for other indie artists. But the two worlds also collided in happy ways: touring in their own band was a great way for Mac and Laura to discover new talent, and they also learned that musicians tend to trust a label more if its founders play in a band. Today, Chunk is still going strong as Superchunk, and Merge has morphed into one of the most influential labels in indie music, with bands like The Mountain Goats, Spoon, and Arcade Fire.
  • As part of NPR's series One-Hit Wonders/Second-Best Songs, Guy Raz recommends "Ascension Day" by Talk Talk. The group is mostly known for its 1984 hit, "It's My Life."
  • The singer, as widely known for her eccentric outfits and behavior as she is for her voice, is easily the most famous Icelander in the world. Inspired by childhood adventures walking among lava fields, Bjork's music is full of stories about pitch-dark forests and tiny sparks that live within them. Her music may prove challenging to listen to, but there are always moments of beauty and transcendence.
  • Rather than create a live album spanning its greatest hits, the legendary Athens, Ga., band picked out an unlikely assortment of 39 songs known mostly to R.E.M. diehards. Hear Live at the Olympia in its entirety for the week leading up to the collection's Oct. 27 release.
  • In 1968, Van Morrison released what would become a seminal recording in the history of popular music: Astral Weeks. It is Van Morrison's most praised album — although it was almost shelved by his record label. This year, he's performing every song from the album in select cities, and host Guy Raz caught up with him during his stop in Washington, D.C.
  • Take one part Billie Holiday, two parts Doris Day, toss in a little island indie-pop and you get Zee Avi, a 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Malaysia who's just released her eponymous debut album. Avi talks to Guy Raz about her musical influences.
  • William Fitzsimmons
  • Asleep In The Bread Aisle is the latest release from rapper Asher Roth, who grew up white in the suburbs. Roth says he hopes his work — as well as the person he happens to be — will challenge the hip-hop community.
  • Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the lead single off its seminal album Nevermind, heralded the dominance of grunge over the music of the time.