Wade Goodwyn, a longtime National Desk reporter pἀssed away on Thursday, June 8, 2023 from cἀncer. At the time of deἀth his age was 63.
Wade covered major topics like the Oklahoma City bombing, school sh00tings, hurricanes, the American Sniper mμrder trial and the Boy Scouts s*xual abμse crisis for more than 25 years while reporting on his home state of Texas and the southwest of the United States.
John Lansing, CEO of NPR stated in an email to staff:
“He was one of NPR’s legendary voices for generations of public radio listeners including myself. Wade was a terrἰfic reporter in addition to having an incredibly distinctive storytelling voice. You always knew you were being taken on a journey by a master of our art from the first words of one of his stories. Whatever the topic, you were in for a real treat.”
Wade had a knack for drawing listeners a little bit closer to the radio with his relaxing bass. Goodwyn countered that what actually important was his writing. NPR senior editor Steve Drummond said:
“Wade as you well know was a poet. The slightest nuance, dash of color or sound he had heard while working in the field only served to enhance his words.”
Wade Goodwyn’s interest in journalism was sparked by radio storytelling. As the son of renowned historian Lawrence Goodwyn who was prominent in the civil rights struggle and produced books on grassroots populism in America, he majored in history at the University of Texas.
He moved to New York City after graduating from college to work as a political organizer. He developed an addiction to NPR affiliate WNYC there. He admitted to Current in 2016 that he became so engrossed in the voices and stories he heard that he returned to Texas to seek a freelance public radio career.
He began working as a freelancer for NPR and was given the job of covering the high-profile standoff in Waco, Texas between the federal government and the leader of a cult.
He returned to Texas to work as a freelancer, and in 1993, he was given the opportunity to cover the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco. This was his big break. He used vivid details to engage listeners in stories, especially breaking events.
Features, such as one from 2017 about a Dallas street chorus that appeared at Carnegie Hall, were as remarkable. NPR reported that some listeners were moved to tears by the narrative.
In addition, Goodwyn wrote biographies of other prominent politicians from the state, such as Beto O’Rourke, Ted Cruz, and George W. Bush. Sam and Hannah, his daughters and his wife Sharon will all survive Goodwyn. In April, he left the network.
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