William James O'Reilly Jr, considered to be a conservative commentator, is an American journalist, author, and television host, famous with his show "The O'Reilly Factor." Here are 30 interesting facts about the renowned TV host:
He is popularly known as Bill O’Reilly, the journalist and author of many books is equally known as television host and political commentator who was paid $ 25 million to forgo his job.
He was born on September 10, 1949, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. He has a sister Janet O’Reilly.
His late father William O’Reilly Sr. was a currency accountant with Caltex, an oil company and his mother Winifred Angela O’Reilly from Teaneck, was a physical therapist until his birth.
O’Reilly attended St. Brigid parochial school, Westbury and Chaminade High School in Mineola. Leaving school he joined Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York and graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1971.
He also acquired Master of Arts degree in broadcasting journalism from Boston University in 1973 and Master of Public Administration degree in 1996 from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Management.
After spending some time as professional baseball player with New York Monarchs, he took to teaching history and English at Monsignor Pace High School between 1970 and 72.
O’Reilly started his television career with WNEP-TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania before moving on to Dallas, Denver, Portland, Oregon, Connecticut, Boston and New York.
He was awarded the 'Dallas Press Club Award’ for his excellence in investigative reporting while at WFAA-TV in Dallas.
He received two local ‘Emmy Award’ for his coverage of a skyjacking for the KMGH-TV, Denver and for an investigation of corrupt city marshals while at WCBS-TV, New York.
After he was promoted as a CBS News correspondent, he covered the wars in El-Salvador and the Falkland Islands.
He left CBS over a dispute involving veteran correspondent Bob Schieffer who incorporated an exclusive footage covered by O’Reilly of a riot in the street of Buenos Aires into his report.
He was hired by ABC News as its correspondent in 1986 after listening to his tribute to Joe Spencer his friend from ABC News on his funeral. He worked as a general assignment reporter and hosted daytime news briefs.
In 1989, he joined the nationally syndicated King World Production to become its anchor for program ‘Inside Edition’ and was one of the first American broadcasters to cover the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.
During his stay with ‘Inside Edition’ he is credited for being the first television host to be present on the scene of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and for obtaining the first exclusive interview with Joel Steinberg, the murderer of six years old Elizabeth Lisa.
His outburst at one of his co-workers during his time at Inside Edition on May 12, 2008, which surfaced on You Tube, was named as one of the Time’s ‘Top 10 celebrity meltdown.’ The rant was imitated by some of the comedy shows.
He was hired by ‘Fox News Channel’ in October 1996 to anchor ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ the news and talk show. The show had been one of highest rated cable television series until April 21, 2017, when O’Reilly was fired from the network.
On November 02, 1996, he married Maureen E. McPhilmy, a public relation executive at St. Brigid Parish of Westbury, New York. They have a daughter, Madeline and a son, Spencer.
In February 2016, he lost bid for custody of both his children after his daughter testified to forensic examiner of domestic violence. He had divorced his wife in 2011.
O’Reilly was criticized by Progressive media such as ‘MMFA’ and ‘FAIR’ for distorting facts and using misleading statistics in his reporting. On July 2008, Media Matters awarded him its first annual ‘Misinformer of the Year’ award.
On December 13, 2001, the ‘United Ways’ announced its decision to release $75 million from the ‘September 11th Fund’ in donation to the 9-11 families after O’Reilly raised the issue in his show ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’
On August 27, 2002, he accused Pepsi of glamorizing a life of guns, violence, drugs and disrespect of women with Ludacris lyrics and called for its product boycott. Subsequently Pepsi fired Ludacris.
On February 10, 2004, he apologized to the American via ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ that he was wrong about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that has made him more skeptical of the Bush administration as a result.
On October 13, 2004, O’Reilly sued Andrea Mackris, former producer of ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ for extortion allegation. He claimed that he was threatened a lawsuit unless he paid $ 60 million.
When Scott Roeder murdered George Tiller on May 31, 2009, Jay Bookman of AJC and Howard Kurtz of Washington Post accused O’Reilly of inciting the assassination. It was felt the Fox News host created an atmosphere of violence around doctor, who specialized in third-trimester abortions.
The Stephen Colbert’s satirical character on the comedy central show ‘The Colbert Report,’ incorporates aspects of the real Colbert’s life and interest but is primarily a parody of the cable news pundit, particularly former Fox News commentator O’Reilly.
O’Reilly was awarded the ‘National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Governor’s Award,’ by New England Chapter on May 10, 2008.
In 2015, O’Reilly was exposed of his claim in his book ‘Killing Kennedy’ that he was personally present at the door when Mohrenschildt committed suicide. The W.P editor Jefferson Morley cites audio recording to prove O’Reilly was 1,200 miles away in Dallas.
On April 19, 2017, the 21st Century Fox announced that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations against him. He served for 21 years at Fox News.
On April 19, 2017, it was reported that President Trump had offered him a job of working with Press Secretary and Propaganda Director to help improve the image of Trump administration.
O’Reilly is into charity work with donation to around 24 charitable organizations, many of these focus on helping veterans and wounded soldiers. It is interesting to note his father had served in the Navy’s V-12 program during World War-II.