Leonard Lopate

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Leonard Lopate
Leonard Lopate at the Brooklyn Book Festival.jpg
Lopate at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Festival
Bornc. 1941 (age 71–72)
ShowThe Leonard Lopate Show
Station(s)WNYC
StyleTalk show host
CountryUnited States
 
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Leonard Lopate
Leonard Lopate at the Brooklyn Book Festival.jpg
Lopate at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Festival
Bornc. 1941 (age 71–72)
ShowThe Leonard Lopate Show
Station(s)WNYC
StyleTalk show host
CountryUnited States

Leonard Lopate (born c. 1941) is host of the public radio talk show The Leonard Lopate Show, broadcast on WNYC.[1] He first broadcast on WKCR, the college radio station of Columbia University—where his brother Phillip was a student—then later at WBAI, before ultimately moving to WNYC.[citation needed]

Biography[edit source | edit]

Lopate came to radio relatively late in life. Born in Brooklyn and growing up in Williamsburg, he attended Brooklyn College and later Hunter College, where he trained as a painter (he studied with Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko), and worked in advertising for fifteen years.[2] But when he was given a chance to host his first talk show on WBAI in 1977, he was hooked, and what began as a whim has become his life's work. Arguably, Lopate's background in art and literature (as well as in the commercial world) has been a major factor in his success.

Lopate's longest running program on WBAI was "Round Midnight", a weekly late-night show, which featured interviews and free-form discussion on a variety of topics with listeners who called in to the station. The show ran through the mid-1980s, ending when Lopate moved to WNYC-FM to host a midday talk show with radio veteran Pegeen Fitzgerald, which evolved into his present-day show.

Lopate appears regularly at the 92nd Street Y, where he interviews celebrities and moderates his ongoing panel series "Comparing Notes". He has also appeared in a similar capacity at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Queens College, Brooklyn College, the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Alliance Française, and The New School; and he has created a series of discussions on literature for the international writers’ organization, PEN.[3]

His brother is the writer Phillip Lopate.

Leonard Lopate lives with his girlfriend, painter and artist Melanie Baker.[4]

The Leonard Lopate Show[edit source | edit]

Gore Vidal with Lopate recording his show in 2009.

Lopate's talk show airs on WNYC from noon to 2 pm every weekday. Segments of the show are available as podcasts found on iTunes and on the station's website.

The show's format typically consists of four interviews ranging from twenty to forty minutes in length and covers a broad range of topics including jazz and gospel music, food and wine (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. Lopate introduced two ongoing features to the program. One is called "Please Explain", in which he talks with experts on a wide variety of topics. The topics are not tied to book or movie releases and can be described as general interest. In 2006, some of the topics he delved into included sainthood, nanotechnology, insomnia, infertility and meditation.[5] The other feature is called "Underreported", in which Lopate delves deeply into political and social issues.[6]

For the show's twentieth anniversary, in 2005, Tom Brokaw interviewed Lopate about the history of the show, his goals and his interviewing style.[7]

The show was originally called New York & Company.

Notes[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ "WNYC - Lopate - Staff Bios". WNYC. Archived from the original on 2006-04-30. Retrieved 2006-04-07. 
  2. ^ "Leonard Lopate, Conversational Acrobat", by Warren St. John. New York Times, March 20, 2005.
  3. ^ "Leonard Lopate - Biography", The Connecticut Forum.
  4. ^ "The Brooklyn Fridge", Edible Brooklyn, Spring 2010 (archived 2010)
  5. ^ "Leonard Lopate - Links", Please Explain
  6. ^ "Leonard Lopate - Links", Underreported.
  7. ^ "Role-Reversal: Leonard Looks Back." WNYC - Leonard Lopate Show, March 11, 2005. Retrieved on 2007-04-15.

External links[edit source | edit]