William James “Bill” O’Reilly, Jr. is the host of The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, which is the most watched cable news television program in America. During the late 1970s and 1980s, he worked for CBS News and ABC News. From 1989 to 1995, he was anchor of the entertainment news program Inside Edition.
O’Reilly is widely considered a conservative commentator though some of his positions diverge from conservative orthodoxy. O’Reilly is a registered “Independent” and characterizes himself as a “traditionalist”. O’Reilly is the author of ten books, and hosted The Radio Factor until early 2009.
O’Reilly was born on September 10, 1949, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City to parents William James, Sr., (deceased) and Winifred Angela Drake O’Reilly, from Brooklyn and Teaneck, New Jersey, respectively. Bill O’Reilly’s ancestors on his father’s side lived in County Cavan, Ireland, since the early eighteenth century, and those on his mother’s side were from Northern Ireland. The O’Reilly family lived in Fort Lee, New Jersey, when their son was born. In 1951 his family moved to Levittown, on Long Island.
He attended St. Brigid parochial school in Westbury, and Chaminade High School, a private Catholic boys high school in Mineola During his high school years After graduating from high school in 1967, O’Reilly attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He spent his junior year of college abroad, attending Queen Mary College at the University of London. O’Reilly received his bachelor of arts degree in history in 1971. During his time at BU, O’Reilly also was a classmate of future radio talk show host Howard Stern, whom O’Reilly noticed because Stern was the only student on campus taller than he was. In 1995, having established himself as a national media personality, O’Reilly was accepted to Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; he received a master of public administration degree in 1996. At Harvard, he was a student of Marvin Kalb.
At WFAA-TV in Dallas, O’Reilly was awarded the Dallas Press Club Award for excellence in investigative reporting. He then moved to KMGH-TV in Denver, where he won a local Emmy Award for his coverage of a skyjacking.
In 1989 O’Reilly joined the nationally syndicated King World (now CBS Television Distribution). He became the program’s anchor three weeks into its run, after the termination of original anchor David Frost. In addition to being one of the first American broadcasters to cover the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, O’Reilly also obtained the first exclusive interview with murderer Joel Steinberg and was the first television host from a national current affairs program on the scene of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. To anchor The O’Reilly Report in October 1996. The program is routinely the highest-rated show of the three major U.S. 24-hour cable news television channels and began the trend toward more opinion-oriented prime-time cable news programming.
Until early 2009, O’Reilly hosted a radio program that had more than 3.26 million listeners and was carried by more than 400 radio stations. According to the talk radio industry publication Talkers Magazine, O’Reilly was No. 11 on the “Heavy Hundred,” a list of the 100 most important talk show hosts in America. Conservative Internet news site NewsMax’s “Top 25 Talk Radio Host” list selected O’Reilly to the No. 2 spot as most influential host in the nation.
Until tomorrow: St. Patrick’s day is coming!