John Rabe Host, Off-Ramp

John Rabe bio photo
Contact John Rabe

John Rabe is the creator and host of Off-Ramp, KPCC's weekend news and arts magazine program, which has been named "best local public affairs show" by two national journalism associations.

Prior to his time on Off-Ramp, Rabe was KPCC's host for "All Things Considered" and the station's housing & healthcare reporter, for which he garnered many awards – including several Golden Mikes.

Rabe began his career as a commercial DJ in high school in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, then found his niche as reporter and anchor at WKAR, Michigan State University's public radio station, where he earned his BA in English.

Rabe has also worked in public radio in South Florida, at WHYY in Philadelphia, and Minnesota Public Radio. He came to KPCC in 2000. Off-Ramp debuted in 2006.

He lives with his husband and Irish terriers in the foothills of Mt Washington, north of downtown LA.


Stories by John Rabe

Cactus County Cowboys exclusive Off-Ramp performance

Will Ryan, leader of the Cactus County Cowboys, calls their brand of music "Cowboy Skiffle." They entertained Mickey Rooney, Margaret O'Brien, Rose Marie, and the rest of the crowd at the Southern California Motion Picture Council's annual holiday banquet, but Off-Ramp host John Rabe got a special preview as they were warming up. In this iteration, Ryan -- the voice of Tigger for 16 years -- is joined by Westy Westenhofer, John "Presto" Reynolds, "Chaparall Katie" Cavera, "Buckaroo Benny" Brydern, and "Cactus Chloe" Feoranzo.

Chris Butler's point-and-shoot delays Rabe's gratification

At Merry Karnowsky Gallery's Vivian Maier exhibit, Off-Ramp host John Rabe ran into photographic revolutionary Chris Butler. He took Rabe's photo on an old-fashioned point-and-shoot and won't process the film for MONTHS.

More photos by outsider icon Vivian Maier come to LA gallery

Vivian Maier was a nanny for most of her life in Chicago, but now after John Maloof stumbled across her negatives at auction, she's one of the world's biggest art stories.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly unloads his memory

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) A California Republican lawmaker and outspoken gun rights advocate has been cited for trying to bring a loaded handgun onto a Sacramento-bound flight. TSA spokesman Nico Melendez says Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks had a Colt .

Happy New Year from Off-Ramp

Team Off-Ramp -- John, Kevin (above), Raghu, James, Sam, and Jerry -- wishes you a happy, safe, and - fingers crossed - prosperous 2012!

Walking Out of History

From 1914 to 1916, Ernest Shackleton and his crew had one of the most unbelievable adventures in history. They set out to cross Antarctica, but got stuck in the ice for two years, and were rescued only after one of the most remarkable open-boat journeys in history. What's so unbelievable and remarkable? Every one of the crew survived, by dint of Shackleton's leadership qualities. "Walking Out of History," from Off-Ramp host John Rabe, tells their story with readings, interviews with two of today's leading explorers, and the actual voices of the crewmembers.

Rabe gives thanks to the LAPL

As we end 2011, I have many things to be thankful for, but the LA Public Library's online photo archive is the one I'm going to single out. It's a treasure. I know I can rely on it to flesh out any historical web articles with oftentimes little-seen photos of Southern California's rich past.

Words with Friends bugs ... Rabe

Words with Friends should be called Words with Fair Weather Friends.

Kevin Roderick on Los Encinos Park, which faces closure

The state is considering closing the small Los Encinos State Historic Park to save money.

Reconsidering 'A Christmas Carol'

You might think “A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens’ fable of redemption, is just a part the holiday. But in fact, it pretty much started the whole thing.

Rethinking "A Christmas Carol"

Every year, Off-Ramp broadcasts "A Christmas Carol Redux," and every year, we get a few complaints. Some people just don't like you to poke their traditions to see what's inside. And in the case of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, there's a whole lot inside, including a reasonable charge of anti-Semitism.

Rabe is a St Marianne Cope miracle spoilsport

Ummm ... doesn't anybody out there, like an EDITOR, think this story deserves at least one "allegedly?" Even a "purportedly," or that old standby "church officials say?"

Margaret O'Brien and the SoCal Motion Picture Council

She was one of the biggest box office draws of her time, and she's devoted much of the rest of her life to charity. I've always wanted to meet Margaret O'Brien and Monday night I'll get my chance because she's a special guest at the Southern California Motion Picture Council's 75th annual holiday banquet.

Judge James Reese - 92-year old advocate for troubled kids

On Off-Ramp, we like to talk with witnesses to history, people who bring history alive, instead of leaving it on the dry pages of a book. Retired Judge James Reese is one of these voices of history. He was raised in the segregated south, served in the Army during WW2, became one of the relatively few black lawyers in LA in 1946, and was Ray Charles' legal counsel for two years before becoming LA's first black Superior Court commissioner. Later, he became a Superior Court judge. At 92, he's still hearing arbitration cases and has a new calling: a USC mentoring program for at-risk kids who can't read and write. Off-Ramp host John Rabe spoke with Judge Reese at his law office.

Dylan Thomas and Dylan Brody, or "A Child's Secular Christmas in America"

A Christmas story from Dylan Brody, the playwright, humorist, author, and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. (The story was recorded at Friday Entertainment and The Improvisation in Hollywood, and appears on Brody's CD "True Enough.")