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Howie Carr

Howard Louis[1][2] "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 hosted a weekday radio talk-show on Boston's WRKO (AM 680) since 1994. The show, titled The Howie Carr Show, is syndicated to stations throughout northern and central New England and can be heard elsewhere via live streaming on Carr's official website.

In 2007, Carr reached an agreement to move his show to Boston's WTKK, to appear during morning drive-time. This was litigated and Carr remained on WRKO[3] under a new contract that expires in 2012.

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

In 2010, WRKO suspended Carr for a week for repeated on-air criticism of station management.

Carr has worked as a reporter and commentator for Boston television stations WGBH and WLVI.


Carr is a columnist for the Boston Herald.

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's second book, titled Hitman, was released in April 2011. About Johnny Martorano, the book also was rated a best-seller by the New York Times. A third book, titled Hard Knocks, was released in January 2012.

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, 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 Heralds "nonfiction columnist"[4] (Barnicle resigned from the Boston Globe over allegations of plagiarism and fabrication of stories.)[5] 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?"[6] 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.[7] 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".[8] 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.[9]

Personal life

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

Howie Carr graduated from Deerfield Academy and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). At UNC, Carr was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and wrote at student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel.[10][11]

Carr has been married twice. His first marriage produced two daughters. After his divorce, he met and married his second wife, Kathy. Since 1993, he has lived in Wellesley, Massachusetts with his wife and their three daughters: Carolyn (born 1994), Charlotte (born 1995), and Christina (born 1997).[11]

In March 2007, Carr had a melanoma removed from his forehead.[12]

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. More recently, Carr has undergone cosmetic surgery, including liposuction, hair restoration, and varicose vein removal, apparently for promotional consideration.

"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.
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.[13] Carr was the "winner" of the plate #9823 in 2004.[14]

Awards and recognition

  • Placed 51st on Talkers Magazines list of the 2011 "Heavy Hundred".[15] The list ranks talk-show hosts from around the U.S. whom this trade journal considers the most popular, influential, or entertaining. Carr has been in this list since 2007,[16] falling to 56th in 2009.
  • Was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2008.[17]



  • The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century, New York: Warner Books, 2006 (ISBN 0-446-57651-4).
  • Hitman: The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano: Whitey Bulger's Enforcer and the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld, New York: Forge Books, 2011 (ISBN 0-765-32639-6).



  • 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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