Famous for hosting and producing the popular National Public Radio (NPR) interview-based talk program Fresh Air, she won the 1981 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award; the 1993 Peabody Award; the 1999 Gracie Allen Award; the 2003 Edward R. Murrow Award; and the National Book Foundation's 2007 Literarian Award.
After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, she began working for Buffalo's WBFO public radio station. In 1975, her Fresh Air program debuted on Philadelphia's WHYY-FM station; ten years later, the show began its national syndication on NPR.
She had a guest voice-acting role in a 2008 episode of the hit animated television series The Simpsons.
She was raised in Brooklyn, New York, as a member of a Jewish family. She later settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and married Atlantic Monthly journalist and Village Voice music critic Francis Davis.
Though generally noted for her warm, empathetic interviewing style, Gross conducted contentious, probing interviews with Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly; politician Hillary Rodham Clinton; and political wife Lynne Cheney.