Renee Montagne

Host, Morning Edition

Renee Montagne is co-host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the U.S. She has hosted the newsmagazine since 2004, broadcasting from NPR West in Culver City, California, with co-host Steve Inskeep in NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Montagne is a familiar voice on NPR, having reported and hosted since the mid-1980s. She hosted All Things Considered with Robert Siegel for two years in the late 1980s, and previously worked for NPR's Science, National and Foreign desks.

Over the years, Montagne has done thousands of interviews on a wide range of topics: Kurt Vonnegut on how he transformed surviving the WWII firebombing of Dresden into the novel Slaughterhouse Five; National Guardsmen on how they handle the holidays in Iraq; a Hollywood historian on how the famous hillside sign came to be; Toni Morrison on the dreams and memories she turned into novels; and Bud Montagne, Renee's father, remembering the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Montagne traveled to Greenwich, England, in May 2007 to kick off the yearlong series, "Climate Connections," in which NPR partnered with National Geographic to chronicle how people are changing the Earth's climate and how the climate is impacting people. From the prime meridian, she laid out the journey that would take listeners to Africa, New Orleans and the Antarctic.

Since 9-11, Montagne has gone to Afghanistan five times, traveling throughout the country and interviewing farmers and mullahs, women and poll workers, the president and an infamous warlord. She spent a month during the summer of 2009 reporting on the Afghanistan politics and election. She has produced three series: 2002's "Recreating Afghanistan"; 2004's "Afghanistan Votes"; and 2006's "The War: Five Years On."

In the spring of 2005, Montagne took Morning Edition to Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul ll. She co-anchored from Vatican City during a historic week when millions of pilgrims and virtually every world leader descended on the Vatican.

In 1990, Montagne traveled to South Africa to cover Nelson Mandela's release from prison, and continued to report from South Africa for three years. In 1994, she and a team of NPR reporters won a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of South Africa's historic presidential and parliamentary elections.

Through most of the 1980s, Montagne was based in New York, working as an independent producer and reporter for both NPR and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter/editor for Pacific News Service in San Francisco. She began her career as news director of the city's community radio station, KPOO, while still at university.

In addition to the duPont Columbia Award, Montagne has been honored by the Overseas Press Club for her coverage of Afghanistan, and by the National Association of Black Journalists for a series on Black musicians going to war in the 20th century.

Montagne, the daughter of a Marine Corps family, was born in California and spent much of her childhood in Hawaii and Arizona. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, as a Phi Beta Kappa. Her career includes serving as a fellow at the University of Southern California with the National Arts Journalism Program, and teaching broadcast writing at New York University's Graduate Department of Journalism.

If you want a peek into the history of drugstores, there's the History of Pharmacy Museum at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, in Tucson, Ariz. A hand-carved wood prescription counter helps recreate the look of a small-town pharmacy in the 1800s. And some of the old-timey medicines give you a sense of what the place must have smelled like. "There's a compound called asafoetida. The common name is 'devil's dung.' It has a terrible smell," says museum curator Richard Wiedhopf. ...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. "Batman V. Superman" opens today, also the senator from Vermont versus Superman. Patrick Leahy has a cameo in the movie as a senator in a congressional hearing on whether Superman is a tyrant or a hero. It's not the first time the Batman fan, Leahy, traded D.C., for DC Comics. Once, he stood up to the Joker. (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE DARK KNIGHT") PATRICK LEAHY: (As...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__2uT1cZWkY You wouldn't expect a Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic to take you to the sort of place that's wedged between a 99-cent store and a boarded-up meat market. But that's exactly where I sat down for lunch with Jonathan Gold — at a downtown Los Angeles eatery called El Parian. "Are you all OK with goat?" he asks. "We should all get half-orders of the birria — which is basically like a roast goat stew. But if somebody would rather have carne asada —...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: President Obama will announce his nomination to the Supreme Court later this morning. He will be making that announcement in the White House Rose Garden at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. No one yet knows who that nominee will be of course, but whoever it is will be bound to face a tough fight. Republicans have vowed not to even consider President Obama's nominee. With us now is NPR political reporter Scott...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne. It's a lot more likely you will spot a yeti this Halloween than in its legendary Himalayan habitat. Still, our government wants you to be prepared. In 1959, the American Embassy in Nepal issued instructions for mountain climbers hoping to spot a yeti. Get a permit. Take a photograph. Don't shoot. And turn over everything to Nepalese authorities. For more tips on yeti expeditions...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: House Republicans vote later today on whether Paul Ryan will lead them as speaker. The last time Republicans tried to elect their next speaker of the House, the meeting ended in chaos after the front-runner, Kevin McCarthy, suddenly withdrew. This time around, Paul Ryan has already secured the support of most Republicans. That includes a majority of the most conservative and rebellious faction, the...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The expression but is it art got new meaning over the weekend at a modern gallery in Italy when one exhibit was taken out with the garbage. It was titled "Where Shall We Go Dancing Tonight?" and consisted of empty champagne bottles, confetti and cigarette butts strewn across the floor, which did not look much like art to the cleaning crew, especially since there had...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Say the name Malala and instantly one thinks of a heroine known to millions, the schoolgirl from Pakistan's lush, once idyllic Swat Valley who dared speak out when the Taliban invaded her home and tried to prevent girls from going to school. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) MALALA YOUSAFZAI: The Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends, too. They thought that the bullet...

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