(born January 17, 1952) is an American
, author, and conservative radio talk-show
host based in Boston with a
listening audience rooted in New England.
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
The day after President Clinton
testimony in the Supreme Court Case Clinton v. Jones
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 saidto have
signed him for a five-year deal, though Entercom denies this has
happened. Carr would move to morning drive-time radio, airing from
5:30 to 9 a.m. But legal decisions preventedCarr from making the
jump and on November 15, 2007, Entercom announced that Carr would
returnto their airwaves on Friday November 16, in his current 3 to
7 pm time slot. Carr's current contract expires in 2012.
Carr is a columnist for the Boston
, but in early 2006, Carr also became a book author
with the publication of his New
-rated best-selling book, The Brothers
, about Billy Bulger
James "Whitey" Bulger
. As well as being heard
on WRKO (AM 680), he is syndicated throughout New England
and streamed on-line through his Web site.
interviewed numerous politicians, authors, and celebrities.
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.
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
, the magazine industry's equivalent of the
, 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
guest columnist Mike
, calling him a "hack" and saying he (Carr) wanted to
be the Herald'
s "nonfiction columnist" (Barnicle resigned
from the Boston Globe over allegations of plagiarism and
fabrication of stories.)
A Boston Globe
column by Steve Bailey stated that Carr
gave out Barnicle's home phone number, an allegation Carr denies.
Barniclecalled 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?"
In 1998, Don Imus
said that Mrs. Carr was
having an affair with boxer Riddick
. 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.
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".
Following the lawsuit, the Boston Herald
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
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.
Louis Carr, Sr. died on October 1, 2008 at the age of 103.
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").
also has two other daughters, named Suzanna and Frances, from his
first marriage. Up until early 2006, Carr referred to his wife as
. 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
Massachusetts, and thought that it would be a great name for a
woman because it wasn't likely to become popular again anytime
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
In March 2007, Carr had a melanoma
from his forehead.
In June 2009, Carr filled in for Dennis
on The Dennis Miller Show
10 2009, Carr underwent hip
replacement surgery at Massachusetts General
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
"License Plate lottery"
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.
Carr was the "winner" of the plate #9823 in 2004.
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,
- "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
- "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" - 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." He has also called Carr, "a piece-of-shit
reporter," who, "attracts the same crowd as Jerry Springer." 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.
Given by Carr
- Doug "Virgin Boy" Goudie, Carr's former
producer, now with WFXT, received
his nickname due to the fact he lived at home with his mother and
did not have a driver's license, which led Carr to surmise that he
was a virgin.
- Boston Mayor Thomas M. "Mumbles" Menino received his nickname from
his friends in Hyde Park for his poor diction before getting into City Hall. Carr has
appropriated it on the show and often plays clips of the mayor,
poking fun at him. The name is taken from the Dick Tracy cartoon character.
- Senator John "Liveshot" Kerry
received his nickname, coined by Carr, for his propensity for
seeking out a news camera.
- Senator Edward M. "Fat Boy" Kennedy received his nickname on
the show due to his weight.
"Pockets" Mavroules, D-Massachusetts, an ultra-liberal nuclear-freeze proponent who
later went to prison.
- Marty "T as in Taliban" Meehan (or
"Midas" Meehan), the liberal, anti-war, ex-Massachusetts congressman. He has since become
Chancellor of UMass-Lowell, starting in June 2007.
- William "The Corrupt Midget"
Bulger, the ex-president of the Massachusetts State Senate,
Massachusetts, and brother of fugitive mob
boss James J. Bulger. The moniker was actually hung on
Bulger by Judge E. George Daher after Bulger attempted to defund
the State's Housing Court. Referring to Governor Michael "Pee-wee" Dukakis, who was then
running for president, Daher demanded, "How's he going to stand up
to the Russians when he can't stand up to the corrupt midget?"
- "Good Time" Charlie Flaherty,
the disgraced ex-speaker of the Massachusetts House of
"Tommy Taxes" Finneran (also "Felon" Finneran), another indicted
ex-speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and now
Howie's colleague at WRKO.
- Tom "Unfortunately" Reilly, the
Massachusetts Attorney General and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial
candidate who usually begins his press conferences with the word
"unfortunately", after losing another case. The use of the word
"unfortunately" in a Reilly campaign advertisement (voiced by an
actor) has been played as a sound cut.
- Charles "Chuckles" Reardon, ex-sheriff of
- Cheryl Jacques "Rhymes with
'Fakes'", ex-state senator in Massachusetts.
- Matthew J. "Fat Matt" Amorello, the fat ex-Massachusetts Turnpike chairman.
- "Honest John" McGonigle, ex-sheriff of
- Former Lt. Governor Kerry "Muffy"
Healey (also "Little Bo Prep"), regarding accusations of
elitist attitudes. On September 20, 2006, Carr told Healey that he
would consider "benching" the "Muffy" nickname "for the duration"
of Healey's unsuccessful campaign for Governor. Earlier in the
show, Carr's board operator referred to Healey as "Muffy the
Moonbat Slayer". Carr has awarded callers
bumper stickers that read, "Don't blame me, I voted for
- Kevin "Money Fitz" Fitzgerald, ex-state representative.
Allegedly convinced a dying homeless woman to leave him money in
- Congressman Patrick "Patches" Kennedy, D-Rhode Island, son of Edward Kennedy; from the Clarence Carter song. A sarcastic jab
at the Kennedy whom Carr considers least likely to improve the
Representative Paul "Racehorse" Kujawski, D-Webster. Carr used the nickname in a Boston Herald column after Kujawski's
August 2004 arrest for drunken driving and open and
gross lewdness. According to police, he urinated on the side of
U.S. Route 20 in
Sturbridge, Massachusetts, in front of a state
- Massachusetts Governor "Coupe Deval"
Patrick, for an expensive Cadillac he
leased to replace a Crown
- John "Zip" Connolly, a former Boston FBI associate of James
Bulger's. Currently serving a ten-year sentence for perjury and
under indictment in Oklahoma for complicity in the death of Roger
- Former Massachusetts Governor Jane "The
Bride of Chuckie" Swift.
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.
- 2008 National Radio Hall of
- Received a Legislative Sentiment from the Maine Legislature in 2006, sponsored by
State Representative Chris Greeley.
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
- 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.
- Carr files suit against WRKO for trying to stop new
deal with rival - BostonHerald.com
- BostonHerald.com - Blogs: Messenger Blog» Blog
Archive » It’s official: Howie Carr back to WRKO
- Barnicle's comments re Howie Carr
- Boston.com / Latest News / Region
- Barnicle's comments on Howie Carr
- Judge Murphy libel case
- "For 'RKO hosts, on-air fight leads to off-air
laughs" - Boston Globe, March 7 2007
- Massachusetts DMV lottery
- Carr won license plate #9823 in 2004
- Kevin Weeks,
Brutal; My Life in Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob, page
- Brutal, page 203.
- Brutal, pages 205 - 206.