William James O’Reilly, Jr. or Bill O’ Reilly is a widely popular TV host, historian, author, journalist, columnist, and political commentator. He is most famous for his program, The O’Reilly Factor which was aired on the Fox News Channel. In addition, O’Reilly also worked for the CBS News and ABC News as well as the host for Inside Edition. Before joining the Independence Party of New York, O’Reilly was a supporter of the Republicans.
O’REILLY’S ORIGINS AND PERSONAL LIFE
O’Reilly was the son of William James, Sr. and Winifred Angela O’Reilly and brother to his sister Janet. His ancestors were of the Irish descent with a bit of English blood. O’Reilly’s family originally lived in Fort Lee, New York but they eventually transferred to Levittown in Long Island.
O’Reilly’s education started at St. Brigid parochial school in Westbury. Afterwards, he attended Chaminade High School in Mineola. While attending high school, O’Reilly was active in sports particularly baseball.
After finishing high school, O’Reilly proceeded to study at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. There he was a part of the National Club Football Association and a contributor to the school’s newspaper, The Circle. When he became a junior, O’Reilly transferred to Queen Mary College at the University of London but still finished his degree in history in Marist College.
His first job after college graduation was as an English and history instructor at Monsignor Pace High School. Afterwards, he took up a master’s degree in broadcast journalism at Boston University. While finishing his masters, O’Reilly worked as a reporter and columnist for various publications like Boston Phoenix. O’Reilly also went to Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where he finished a masters degree in public administration.
O’Reilly married his wife Maureen E. McPhilmy in 1992. They had two children named Madeline and Spencer. He and his wife filed for divorce in 2011.
Throughout his career, O’Reilly had been involved in a number of issues like the alleged sexual harassment that he did on his former produced and the supposedly physical abuse he inflicted on his ex-wife.
O’Reilly’s career in television news started at WNEP-TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was notable for the investigative work that he did for WFAA-TV in Dallas which earned him a Dallas Press Club Award. His next job was in Denver where he was stationed at KMGH-TV and later on, at KATU in Portland, WFSB in Connecticut, and WNEV-TV in Boston. In 1980, he started hosting 7:30 Magazine aired by WCBS-TV in New York and later on, his career as a CBS correspondent was launched.
Some of the most notable coverages of O’Reilly while working for CBS was that of the Falklad Islands in Buenos Aires and the wars in El Salvador. His next job was as a correspondent for ABC News in 1986. The work provided by O’Reilly for the network mostly included giving news briefs and acting as a general assignment reporter for ABC News Programs.
O’Reilly also became Inside Edition’s producer before becoming its anchor. There he became one of the first Americans who covered the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the first to do an exclusive interview with the murderer Joel Steinberg.
As soon as he finished his studies in Harvard, O’Reilly became the anchor of The O’Reilly Report which would later on become the O’Reilly Factor. His show would earn the highest rank in three major U.S. 24-hour cable news television channels.
Despite his career on television, O’Reilly pursued his hosting stints on radio talk show. It continued until 2009, where his radio program was aired by more than 400 radio stations supported by millions of listeners across the country.
Though he became successful in his chosen career, O’Reilly was not free from being plagued with issues. Some people thought that he distorted some of the facts that he reported.