written by Kevin Max


This year, the “Today” show celebrated sixty years on air with passersby gawking through the studio windows of NBC at the Rockefeller Center. At the same time, “Today” co-host and Oregonian, Ann Curry, is moving into her fifteenth year with the show and her second year in the iconic morning show’s top job.

Curry, 55, grew up in Ashland and later went to journalism school at the University of Oregon. She worked in broadcast media in Medford and then Portland before moving into bigger markets in Los Angeles and New York, where she now lives.

On a professional level, interviews with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Sudan president Omar al-Bashir and poet Maya Angelou have shaped her career. On a personal level, getting back to Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is grounding. Though people are increasingly aware of Oregon’s beauty way out yonder, she says, there is still some remedial work to do. “People still say ‘Ore-gone’ as if it went somewhere.”

1859 put the questions to the questioner after she shot a recent segment for “Today.”

TOP 5

1. I have not found theater anywhere that beats the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I would go there as a high school student and remember just being bowled over. I still come back for the festival every year.

2. I love to drive along the Columbia River Gorge with anything from Vivaldi to The Who on full blast. It’s so spectacular, you can feel your chest expand. People outside of the Pacific Northwest don’t realize just how beautiful Oregon is.

3. On every corner in Portland, you’re going to get great coffee. I just love the coffee culture. It’s a high-octane, full-buzz kind of culture. And you know that the coffee is made with care. You still don’t find that in many places.

4. In the fall, when the temps are brisk and you’re in between rain seasons, I love to walk through the University of Oregon campus. I feel 18 again. There’s an energy, an openness on campus, and you feel that anything’s possible.

5. I know it’s cliché, but I love going to the coast. There’s a tiny town called Oceanside, and we used to go there. There is one store and a post office. I hope it’s still that way.