Howie Carr: Wikis


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Howie Carr

Howie Carr by Paul Keleher.jpg

Birth name Howard Louis Carr, Jr.
Born January 17, 1952 (1952-01-17) (age 57)
Portland, Maine
Style Current events
Country United States

Howard Louis "Howie" Carr, Jr. (born January 17, 1952) is an American journalist, author, and conservative radio talk-show host based in Boston with a listening audience rooted in New England.




Howie Carr has presented a weekday radio talk-show on Boston's WRKO since 1994. The show, titled The Howie Carr Show, can be heard throughout northern and central New England but is available to a worldwide audience via live streaming on Carr's official website.

The day after President Clinton's testimony in the Supreme Court Case Clinton v. Jones, C-SPAN broadcast Carr's radio program in its entirety.

On July 9, 2007, it was reported that Carr had reached an agreement to move his show to Boston's WTKK, starting on October 1 2007. Greater Media, owner of WTKK, was said to have signed him for a five-year deal, though Entercom denies this has happened.[1] Carr would move to morning drive-time radio, airing from 5:30 to 9 a.m. But legal decisions prevented Carr from making the jump and on November 15, 2007, Entercom announced that Carr would return to their airwaves on Friday November 16, in his current 3 to 7 pm time slot.[2] Carr's current contract expires in 2012.


Carr is a columnist for the Boston Herald, but in early 2006, Carr also became a book author with the publication of his New York Times-rated best-selling book, The Brothers Bulger, about Billy Bulger and James "Whitey" Bulger. Carr has also announced the writing of another book, subject not yet disclosed, due out in 2010 or 2011.

As well as being heard on WRKO (AM 680), he is syndicated throughout New England and streamed on-line through his Web site. He has interviewed numerous politicians, authors, and celebrities. He has also worked as a reporter and commentator for Boston television stations WGBH and WLVI.

From 1980 to 1981, Carr was the Boston City Hall bureau chief of the Boston Herald American, and he later worked as the paper's State House bureau chief. As a political reporter for WNEV (now WHDH) in 1982, his coverage of then-mayor Kevin White was so relentless that after the mayor announced he wasn't running again, he told the Boston Globe that one of the things he enjoyed most about his impending retirement was not having Carr chase him around the city.

In 1985, Carr won the National Magazine Award, the magazine industry's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, for Essays and Criticism. In television, he has been nominated for an Emmy Award. Carr played a radio show host in the 1998 John Travolta film, A Civil Action.

For years Carr has had a feud with former Boston Globe and Herald guest columnist Mike Barnicle, calling him a "hack" and saying he (Carr) wanted to be the Herald's "nonfiction columnist"[3] (Barnicle resigned from the Boston Globe over allegations of plagiarism and fabrication of stories.)[4]

A Boston Globe column by Steve Bailey stated that Carr gave out Barnicle's home phone number, an allegation Carr denies. Barnicle called Carr "a pathetic figure", and asked "Can you imagine being as consumed with envy and jealousy toward me for as long as it has consumed him?"[5]

In 1998, Don Imus said that Mrs. Carr was having an affair with boxer Riddick Bowe. Mrs. Carr retained professor Alan Dershowitz as her lawyer. The parties reached an undisclosed settlement. In a 2007 column, Carr alleged that Imus' statements were incited by Barnicle. According to Carr, Barnicle told Imus that Carr had said Imus "would die before his kid got out of high school". Carr denies having said this.[6]

In 2002, the Boston Herald and Carr were the subjects of a lawsuit by Superior Court Judge Ernest Murphy. The newspaper reported that Murphy had said of a fourteen-year-old rape victim: "She can't go through life as a victim. She's 14. She got raped. Tell her to get over it." He was also alleged to have said of a 79-year-old robbery victim: "I don't care if she's 109." Carr, in a front-page column on February 20, 2002, criticized Murphy as handing down lenient sentences in bail decisions in rape cases and included references to his daughters, wondering what Murphy would do if it was one of his offspring that had been the victim. Murphy denied all of the allegations and claimed the newspaper libeled him, ruining his physical and emotional health and damaging his career and reputation as a good man. Ultimately, Murphy won the suit, proving the libel, and was awarded a $2.09 million payment. During the trial, when asked what his reaction was to the Carr column, Murphy had said he "wanted to kill him".[7]

Following the lawsuit, the Boston Herald reported Murphy's letter and a demand for $3.26 million (the court award, plus pre- and post-judgment interest) in its headlines because it was written on official court stationery. The libel case was based on his actions as a judge and therefore the Bar Association, when contacted by the media, stated that since it was his actions as a public official that were at the heart of the libel, it was appropriate for him to use the stationery.Judge Murphy's libel case

Personal life

Carr was born at the Maine Eye and Ear Infirmary (now Holt Hall) at Bramhall and Congress Streets in Portland, Maine, to Frances Stokes Sutton and Howard Louis "Del" Carr, Sr. Carr was raised by an aunt in Portland. Howard Louis Carr, Sr. died on October 1, 2008 at the age of 103.[1]

He graduated from Deerfield Academy (where he was a classmate of Steven Brill, journalist and publisher, and Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He lives on Cottage Street in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with his second wife, Kathy, and their three daughters, Carolyn, Charlotte, and Christina ("Tina"). He also has two other daughters, named Suzanna and Frances, from his first marriage. Up until early 2006, Carr referred to his wife as Submit. Prior to a signing for his new book, The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century (ISBN 0-446-57651-4), at Wellesley Free Library on March 4, 2006, Carr explained that he came across the name on a headstone in the cemetery across from his house when he lived in Acton, Massachusetts, and thought that it would be a great name for a woman because it wasn't likely to become popular again anytime soon. In the early stages of their marriage, Mrs. Carr didn't want her first name to be public knowledge, hence her husband's moniker for her. For Christmas 2005, as a gift to his wife, Carr said he would stop referring to her as Submit.

In March 2007, Carr had a melanoma removed from his forehead.[8]

In June 2009, Carr filled in for Dennis Miller on The Dennis Miller Show.

On July 10 2009, Carr underwent hip replacement surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. Although Carr was supposed to be off the air for several weeks, he was able to "call in" and begin the show as if he were in the studio, although he was actually still in bed at Mass General. During the opening monologue, Carr explained that he was self-medicating on a morphine drip.

"License Plate lottery"

Carr at a book signing for his 2006 release The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century at Wellesley Free Library in his hometown of Wellesley, Massachusetts, on March 4, 2006.

In Massachusetts, a low-digit license plate was often seen as a status symbol. Politicians and those connected to them were the only people, seemingly, able to obtain these plates with four, three or sometimes even only two digits. The plates are often handed down from generation to generation, making it nearly impossible for someone that has no connections to get one. Carr, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles attends drawings for Massachusetts residents to "win" the plates.[9] Carr was the "winner" of the plate #9823 in 2004.[10]


Given to Carr

  • Howard "Lawrence" Carr - given to him by former producer Doug "VB" Goudie - Louis is his legal middle name as cited in the officially published obituary of his father Howard Louis Carr, Sr.[2]
  • "Baby-faced Assassin" - given to him in his younger years.
  • "Brittle Bastard" - attributed to his self-disclosed osteoporosis.
  • "Cap'n" - self-named after the time Carr once went out and interviewed "bums" to lampoon a Boston-area community's distribution of vouchers for the homeless. Carr would offer either money for alcohol or sizable food stamps to the homeless. The homeless men invariably chose the drink. To get the cash, Howie requested that they called him "Cap'n" before awarding the gift. It is used affectionately by the listeners and Carr.
  • "Fat Bastard" - used by listeners, often in jest, in reference to his waist size.
  • "Paper Boy" - given to him in honor of his job as a journalist.
  • "A Civil Howie" - in jest for his role in the film A Civil Action.
  • "The Last American Dishwasher" - self-named, in reference to South Americans taking the jobs that, allegedly, no American wants to do.
  • "The Clam Man" - in reference to his love of the seafood.
  • "Big Shoe Bastard"- refers to the big shoe he denies he wears since his hip-replacement surgery.
  • "Emperor of Hate" - given to him by liberal bloggers, there is a clap of thunder sound effect every time someone calls him this name during his radio broadcasts.
  • "Howie Coward"[11] - given by former South Boston mob boss Kevin Weeks. The reason for the nickname is Kevin Weeks' belief that Carr, "hid behind his computer at the Boston Herald and the microphone of his Boston radio talk show, writing and speaking words he would never dare say in person, one-on-one, to whoever he was writing or talking about."[12] He has also called Carr, "a piece-of-shit reporter," who, "attracts the same crowd as Jerry Springer."[13] The publication of Weeks' memoirs in 2006 caused a media sensation when he was revealed that the Winter Hill Gang seriously considered assassinating Howie Carr. According to Weeks, the only reason the plot did not go forth was that there was too much chance of injuring the reporter's children.[14]

Given by Carr

Awards and recognition

  • Placed 50th on trade journal Talkers Magazine's list of the 2007 "Heavy Hundred". The list ranks whom the magazine considers the most popular, influential, or entertaining talk-show hosts from around the country. Carr currently ranks 56th as of 2009. [15]
  • 2008 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee.[16]
  • Received a Legislative Sentiment from the Maine Legislature in 2006, sponsored by State Representative Chris Greeley. This was presented to him during an appearance in Bangor, Maine.



  • The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century, New York: Warner Books, 2006 (ISBN 0-446-57651-4).


  • A Civil Action (1998): The film is based on the real-life case of Anderson v. Cryovac that took place in Woburn, Massachusetts in the 1980s. Howie played a radio talk show host.


External links

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