Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: From Bullets to Balance Sheets

Now on the Radio Diaries Podcast: As a teenager, Kamari Ridgle was a drug dealer and drive-by shooter until a near-death experience led him to his true love…accounting.

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Featured story: New Podcast: The Square Deal

Meet George F. Johnson, President of the Endicott Johnson Corporation, and one of the nation’s leading ‘welfare capitalists.’ Plus, What the LeBron?

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Featured story: Podcast: Fly Girls

In the early 1940s, the government launched an experimental program to train women pilots. They were known as the WASPs, the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

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Diaries We give people tape recorders and help them document their own lives in their own words

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My So-Called Lungs

Laura Rothenberg tried to live a normal life, with lungs that betrayed her and the awareness that she might not live to see her 30th birthday.

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Juan: 16 Years Later

16 years ago, Juan reported on his life as a recent Mexican immigrant living in poverty in Texas. In his new diary, Juan takes us on a tour of the life he has built since he first crossed the Rio Grande. It looks a lot like the typical American dream: a house, 2 cars, 3 kids—except for the fact he’s still living illegally in the U.S.

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Portraits Extraordinary stories from ordinary places

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Walter Backerman, Seltzer Man

Once there were thousands of seltzer men in New York City. Today, Walter Backerman is one of the last.

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The Last Man on the Mountain

In the 1990s, Arch Coal began mining Pigeonroost Hollow. Now Jimmy Weekley is the last person left there.

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Histories Weaving together oral histories and archival tape to bring the past to life

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Identical Strangers

Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein were both born in New York City and adopted as infants. When they were 35-years-old, they met, and found they were “identical strangers.”

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Becoming Nelson Mandela

Mandela was a lawyer, freedom fighter, leader of the African National Congress, and finally, president.

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