Unflappable and always impeccably attired, Charlie Rose manages a whirlwind schedule of interviews with the world’s most talented and influential people for his eponymous PBS program. He also makes time for weekends at his house in Bellport, Long Island, visits to his native North Carolina, and his army of friends around the globe. The secret? He sleeps only four hours a night and doesn’t waste a minute in between. Last year Rose was waylaid by heart surgery in Paris (Bernard-Henri Lévy wrangled an emergency appointment with his cardiologist); three months later he was back on the set. As he launches a new interview series dedicated to exploring advances in science, the restless journalist took some time to talk about some of his favorite things.
• Ninety percent of the wine I drink is red. That was the one advantage of being operated on in France—I was able to drink wine after the surgery.
• I’m a good traveler because I can fall asleep instantly. I carry an eye mask and take a nap the second I get on the plane.
• I love Casio watches. I probably have 15 of them. But people give me expensive watches as gifts because they’re embarrassed for me.
• I own a Mini Cooper Convertible. It’s roomy enough for me and I can park it anywhere. Ever since I could drive I’ve had a convertible.
• The one thing I wish I had is a small place on a beach somewhere within four hours of Manhattan.
• Philip Roth, Lucien Freud, Jasper Johns—I’d love to have them on my show, but they hardly ever do interviews.
• I found the table for my show in 1991. I think it cost $4,000. Most sets cost a million dollars—Frank Gehry designed Michael Eisner’s and he uses it once a month!