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

Fire brings air quality alert

The L.A. Basin is blanketed by a choking haze of smoke today because of the Morris Fire, and public health issued an air quality alert. This photo was taken along North Broadway, a few blocks from Chinatown, which usually presents a clear vista of the downtown skyline. Inside: tips on keeping healthy despite the smoke.

LA photographer Julius Shulman dies

The dean of Los Angeles photographers, Julius Shulman, died Wednesday night at the age of 98. Shulman was best known for his iconic shots of mid-century modern houses.

Architecture photographer Julius Shulman dies at 98

One of the world’s foremost architectural photographers, Julius Shulman of Los Angeles, died Wednesday night. He was 98 years old.

LA photographer Julius Shulman dies at 98

Julius Shulman, probably Los Angeles' most famous photographer, died Wednesday night at the age of 98. He was most famous for his photos of Modernist architecture, but he photographed all kinds of buildings, and was know for his human approach - he wanted people in his shots. KPCC's John Rabe went to his 95th birthday celebration and filed this report.

Gerald Wilson, El Chicano, and 'Viva Tirado'

"Here's a song, originally written by a Black composer in honor of a Mexican bullfighter, covered by a Chicano band steeped in Black R&B and jazz, then sampled by the first major Chicano rap artist."

Billboard Art

John checks out an exhibit of glorious Kodachrome photos of LA billboards from the 1950s and 1960s, assembled by LA's preeminent photojournalist Gary Leonard. The photos (and billboards) are like time capsules of another era.

What about the Funnies?!

John wonders what will happen to his beloved Candorville, Frazz, Peanuts, and Zits if newspapers die. He posed the question to artists and publishers at a cartoonists' convention in LA.

Southland exhibit shows off work of late Disney animator

Animator Marc Davis earned plenty of respect as one of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men." Davis created Thumper, Cinderella, Tinker Bell, and Cruella De Vil, among other famous characters. But Davis was trained as a fine artist. He spent his spare time painting subjects from bullfights and whaling to scenes from nature. His lines are sure, his draftsmanship flawless, and his colors are bold. Only now, nine years after his death, is he getting a museum show for this side of his work. KPCC's John Rabe met Marc Davis' widow, Alice, at the museum at Forest Lawn in Glendale.

Making a recession victory garden

KPCC's John Rabe chats with Frank Burkard, of Burkard Nurseries in Pasadena, about making a recession victory garden.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Patzert talks about recent weather

Temperature records are falling all over Southern California, a good time to check in with Bill Patzert, who watches the weather for JPL.

Woman celebrates 115th birthday

The world’s oldest person turned 115 years old today. KPCC’s John Rabe went to Gertrude Baines’ birthday party in L.A.’s West Adams neighborhood.

How Green Was My Valley?

UPDATE: The state of California may close Los Encinos State Historic Park, at Balboa and Ventura Blvd. in Encino, once "the hub of human habitation in the Southern San Fernando Valley," because it doesn't make enough money. No, it's not a moneymaker, but it's tranquil, fun, and rich in history. Off-Ramp talked with local historian Kevin Roderick about the park a few years ago.

Artists & fans raising money for Stan Sakai, creator of iconic rabbit samurai Usagi Yojimbo

Since 1984, Stan Sakai has been drawing Usagi Yojimbo, a comic book about a rabbit samurai. But Sakai is an independent artist and is faced with medical bills for his wife Sharon's illness.

Motorcycle Writer takes to the Off-Ramps and highways

Since John Rabe's mother would rise from the grave if he rode a motorbike, automotive writer Susan Carpenter let us wire her for sound as she drives LA's highways and offramps.