Cindy Sheehan

Photo: Ben Schumin

After a U.S. Army soldier named Casey Sheehan was killed in action in Iraq in 2004 his mother, Cindy Sheehan became one of the loudest anti-war voices in America .

What made her different from others, though, was that Cindy Sheehan was not content to simply join protest rallies or write letters. She set up a makeshift camp outside President George w. Bush’s, Texas ranch.

Her protest drew international attention, but made her many enemies as well as allies.

In 2006, Cindy Sheehan wrote a memoir called Peace Mom. I met her during one of her visits to Washington DC.

So here now from 2006. Cindy Sheehan.

Cindy Sheehan is 64 now. She

hosts a weekly radio show and has a blog called “Cindy’s Soapbox.”

You may also like these episodes:

Mary Tillman

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Karen Armstrong

Who is God?

Photo: Vogler

Who is the all-knowing, all-powerful deity who, despite having different names, is at the heart of every major religion?

A former Roman Catholic nun who has become one of the world’s most renowned religious scholars, Karen Armstrong in 1994, wrote a book called A History of God.

This was the first of many conversations I had with her over the next few years.

So here now, from 1994, Karen Armstrong.

Karen Armstrong is 77 now. In 2014, she was made an honorary Doctor of Divinity by McGill University.

You may also like these episodes:

Robert Schuller
Jim Bakker

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

The Amazing Kreskin

He’s not a psychic nor a fortune teller. The Amazing Kreskin is a mentalist, perhaps the best known mentalist in the world.

But is he for real ?

After years of hearing people conjecture about his skills, Kreskin in 1996 wrote a book called How To Be a Fake Kreskin.

Listen to this interview and then you decide: fake, or real?

So here now, from 1996, The Amazing Kreskin.

The Amazing Kreskin turned 87 earlier this month. He still performs and is seen on TV regularly. He lives in New Jersey.

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Helen Thomas

At most news organizations, the White House beat is a coveted plum assignment.

But it’s a difficult, stressful, and highly competitive job. Most correspondence last only a few years at best.

One exception was UPI correspondent Helen Thomas. She covered the White House for over 50 years, and covered 10 presidents from Kennedy to Obama.

I met her in 1999 when, at the age of 79, she wrote a memoir called Front Row At The White House

So here now from 1999, Helen Thomas.

Helen Thomas died in 2013 at age 92.

You may also like these episodes:

Sam Donaldson
Jim Brady

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Richard Leakey

Photo: Rob Bogaerts / Anefo

Where did modern humankind come from?

Scientists,, scholars, and experts have been trying to find the answer for generations.

One of the most prominent among them was Kenyan-born Richard Leakey.

His parents, Louis and Mary Leakey, we’re also renowned paleoanthropologists whose work centered on finding the origins of modern humans.

In 1977, Richard Leakey co-authored at groundbreaking book called Origins. But by 1992, he had Unearthed new material the prompted him to write a sequel, called Origins Reconsidered.

And that’s what I met him.

So here now, from 1992, Richard Leakey.

Richard Leakey died earlier this month. He was 77.

You may also like these episodes:

Jane Goodall
James Watson

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

bell hooks

Photo: Alex Lozupone

How and where do race, gender, class, art, and capitalism come together?

That question was at the heart of some 30 books written by author bell hooks.

That was actually the pen name that Gloria Jean Watkins adopted for herself.

But being a black female activist and feminist also often made her a target.

In her 1999 book Remembered Rapture hooks recalled some of her challenges as a writer and activist and that’s when I have the chance to meet her for the first of our several conversations.

So here now from 1999 bell hooks.

bell hooks died last month. She was 69.

You may also like these episodes:

Alice Walker
Maya Angelou

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Dexter Scott King

Dexter Scott King was only 7 years old in 1968 when his father Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated.

But his memories of his late father remain sharp and crisp.

And those deeply personal recollections sometimes contrast with the public views of Martin Luther King Jr.

In 2003 at the age of 42, Dexter Scott King wrote a book called Growing Up King, and that’s when I had a chance to meet him and talk with him.

So here now from 2003 Dexter Scott King

You may also like these episodes:

Andrew Young
Coretta Scott King

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Wolfgang Puck

Photo © Glenn Francis

When you think of America’s great present-day chefs and restaurateurs, there are only a handful of names that immediately come to mind.

And one of them is Wolfgang Puck.

While he may be best known for his acclaimed Spago restaurant, Puck has also written a number of cookbooks, he’s a TV and he’s the official caterer for the Academy Awards.

I met him a little over thirty years ago, in the fall of 1991, when he was on tour for his cookbook adventures in the Kitchen.

And get ready. You’re going to be very hungry in just a few minutes.

So here now, from 1991, Wolfgang Puck.

Wolfgang Puck is 72 now. He lives in Los Angeles.


You may also like these episodes:

Emeril Lagasse
Julia Child

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Michael Crichton

Jon Chase photo/Harvard News Office

He earned a medical degree from Harvard, but instead of pursuing a career in medicine, Michael Crichton became a writer.

And as a reader, I’m really glad he did.

I had read some of Michael Crichton’s books, and enjoyed the movie “The Andromeda Strain,” that was based on one of them, but I had never interviewed him, until November 1990 when “Jurassic Park” was published.

“Jurassic Park:” the movie was released in 1993, starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum.

So here now, from 1990, Michael Crichton.

Michael Crichton died in 2008 at age 66.


You may also like these episodes:

William Peter Blatty
James Patterson

Buy Books / Media from Amazon

Mary Beth Whitehead

Surrogate parenting has become commonplace in America and other countries. It has helped countless numbers of couples become parents.

But it took until the late 1980s for an American Court to rule on the legal validity of surrogate motherhood.

It came in the case of an infant girl dubbed Baby M.

A woman named Mary Beth Whitehead gave birth to baby M, after her eggs were fertilized by a man named Bill Stern. He and his wife Elizabeth for unable to have a child of their own.

The trouble arose when Whitehead, after giving birth, decided she wanted to keep the baby.

A protracted court battle ensued, and ultimately the Sterns won custody of the baby.

Whitehead wrote a book in 1989, telling her side of the story. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 1989, Mary Beth Whitehead;

In 2004, Baby M, Melissa Stern, turned 18 and legally terminated Marybeth whiteheads parental rights.


You may also like these episodes:

Jan & Robby DeBoer

Buy Books / Media from Amazon