Michael May

Michael May is the senior producer of the NPR Story Lab. In this role, he works with newsroom staff to pitch and produce innovative projects, including podcasts, videos, web stories, and new series for broadcast.

Before coming to NPR in 2015, May was no newcomer to radio. He got hooked on producing radio in 1998 when he went to Moscow in search of Oleg Lundstrem, the lone jazz musician that continued to perform during the Stalin years. The resulting story aired on All Things Considered. Since then, May has been a daily news reporter at KUT, an editor at Weekend America and Latitude News, a managing editor for the Texas Observer, a contributing producer for WBUR's iLab, and, most recently, a radio instructor at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

May has won a Third Coast Audio Festival Gold Award, three National Headliners Awards (including one Grand Prize award), and two Edward R. Murrow awards for his radio work.

May graduated from Grinnell College with a bachelor of arts in history. He plays guitar, was a founding member of Austin's Minor Mishap Marching Band, and enjoys biking, kayaking, and skiing.

George Foreman at 25 years old was a fearsome champion: 6 foot 4, biceps thick and gnarled as oak, a permanent scowl on his face and a right hand that flattened every opponent he faced.

So when Muhammad Ali challenged him in 1974 for a championship fight dubbed the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), most bets were on Foreman.

Ali was seven years older and past his prime. He'd had his title stripped after refusing the Vietnam draft in 1967 and was struggling to become a contender again.

Cameron Robert/NPR

Editor's note: This story contains some explicit language.

The connection between Killer Mike and George Clinton might not seem immediately obvious. One is a 42-year-old Atlanta rapper who, alongside El-P in Run the Jewels, sells out shows across the country without the boost of radio play. The other, now 75, founded the pioneering groups Parliament and Funkadelic in the '60s and presided over a funk empire whose onstage manifestations included dozens of musicians and a spaceship that descended from the rafters.

Editor's note: This story contains some explicit language.