Faith Middleton

Faith Middleton
"I think the listeners calling into my show were so impressive, so touching, so wise that they taught me about the goodness of ordinary people."
- Faith Middleton

Induction Category:
Writers & Journalists

Born: 1948

Inducted: 2012

Town: New Haven

Faith Middleton is considered an institution in the New England broadcasting region and has twice received the George Foster Peabody Award, the industry’s highest honor. Her broadcast career spans three decades as host of The Faith Middleton Show on Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR),where she has conducted over 12,000 interviews exploring the richness of life.

Middleton was born in 1948 in Hartford to Scottish parents. Her father worked in the restaurant business, and her mother worked in a variety of positions in the homes of the nation’s elite, including personal and social secretary, maid, and nanny. The family moved frequently with each of her new assignments. Middleton fondly remembers living in the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Mass., while her mother worked for the Kennedy family.

When Middleton was fourteen, both of her parents died, only one month apart. After this tragic turn of events, Middleton moved in with her twenty-seven-year-old sister and her family in Manchester, Conn. While she wanted to attend college, there was no money for tuition. A dean at Manchester High School offered to help her apply for scholarships, and she was accepted at Eastern Connecticut State University

In 1971, Middleton graduated from college with degrees in English and Sociology, but she was unsure which career to pursue. While at ECSU, Middleton had met a reporter from the Willimantic Chronicle, so she applied for a job at the paper. When she met with the editor, he was primarily concerned about her typing skills and, when Middleton replied that she had edited the school paper, he gave her a desk and a typewriter and hired her immediately as the women’s editor. Over the next several years, Middleton worked for many publications, including Manchester’s Journal Inquirer, The Providence Journal, and Connecticut MagazineMiddleton worked as editor-in-chief of Connecticut Magazine.

Middleton was then approached by Connecticut Public Radio to co-host the show On the Town and found that she enjoyed the immediate connection of broadcast radio. It was not long before she had her own show, and The Faith Middleton Show was born. Now in her 30th year as the host and executive producer of The Faith Middleton Show, Middleton is heard in prime-time six days a week in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York. In her broadcast career, Middleton has interviewed over 12,000 guests, from politicians and prisoners, to scientists, artists, academics, and the little known. Her guests have included Arthur Miller, Ray Bradbury, Mary Martin, Dave Brubeck, James Earl Jones, Desmond Tutu, Garrison Keillor, Debbie Reynolds, Annie Dillard, Joyce Carol Oates, Wally Lamb, Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Ina Garten, Gloria Steinem, Christine Baranski, Andy Rooney, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Barbara Walters, Joan Baez, and Walter Cronkite. Middleton’s warm, thought-provoking interview style is a signature feature of The Faith Middleton Show, as she covers a wide range of topics including culture, news, politics, sustainability, entertainment, poverty, work, leisure, religion, medicine, and education. She is also a regular contributor to NPR programs and was selected as NPR’s first Senior Journalist in Residence.

In addition to her Peabody awards, she is the recipient of the prestigious Ohio State University Award, the Mark Twain Award for distinguished journalism, and the Connecticut Bar Association Award. She has also been named “Best Talk Show Host” by the editors and readers of Connecticut Magazine for eleven consecutive years. Middleton describes her work as “a never ending exploration of the richness of life” and continues to conduct interviews she hopes will enlighten as well as entertain.

During This Time
1966 - Today: Struggle for Justice