Margot Adler, a longtime correspondent for NPR who was also a recognized authority on, and a longtime practitioner of, neo-pagan spiritualism, died on Monday at her home in Manhattan. She was 68.
Her death, from cancer, was announced by NPR.
Ms. Adler joined NPR, then known as National Public Radio, in 1979 and was variously a general-assignment reporter, the New York bureau chief and a political and cultural correspondent.
She was the host of NPR’s “Justice Talking,” a weekly program about public policy broadcast from 1999 to 2008, and was heard often on “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition.”
She reported on a wide array of subjects, among them the Ku Klux Klan, the AIDS epidemic, the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Sandy, the Harry Potter phenomenon and the natural world.
Ms. Adler was also a self-described Wiccan high priestess who adhered to the tradition for more than 40 years.
She was the author of “Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today” (1979), a book that both documented contemporary pagan movements and was credited with helping ignite heightened interest in them.
Reviewing the volume in The New York Times Book Review, Richard Lingeman called it “a comprehensive account,” adding: “Given the lurid connotations the subject has acquired,” Ms. Adler’s book stood as “a healthy corrective.”
The daughter of Kurt Alfred Adler and the former Freyda Nacque, Margot Susanna Adler was born on April 16, 1946, in Little Rock, Ark., and reared on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Her father was a psychiatrist who helped continue the work of his father, the distinguished Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler, who was first an ally and later an ideological adversary of Freud.
Ms. Adler graduated from the High School of Music and Art and enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was active in the free speech, civil rights and antiwar movements.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from Berkeley, she received a master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. In 1982, she was a Nieman fellow at Harvard.
Before joining NPR, Ms. Adler was affiliated with WBAI in New York, serving as the original host of “Hour of the Wolf,” a show exploring the work of noted science fiction writers. The show has been hosted by Jim Freund since 1974.
Ms. Adler’s husband, John Lowell Gliedman, a psychologist, computer consultant and science writer whom she married in 1988, died in 2010. Survivors include their son, Alex Dylan Gliedman-Adler.
Her other books include “Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair With the Immortal Dark Side,” published this year, and a 1997 memoir,“Heretic’s Heart: A Journey Through Spirit & Revolution.”
Ms. Adler was drawn to neo-paganism in the early ’70s, she said, because its invocation of ancient goddesses appealed to her feminism and its ecological concerns resonated with her love of nature.
In her sprawling apartment, on Central Park West, she maintained a pagan shrine in her bedroom and had formerly helped lead “a small coven” in the living room, The Times reported in 1991.
Though witchcraft was for Ms. Adler a serious endeavor, it also furnished an outlet for her constitutional puckish humor. To report a Halloween piece for NPR, she once outfitted herself with vampire teeth and took to the microphone.
She drew the line, however, at the rustic, gnarled-handled broom she kept in her kitchen. In 1991, when a reporter from The Times visited her apartment, Ms. Adler declared in no uncertain terms that she was not to be photographed alongside it.