Facts about Bill O'Reilly
Bill O’Reilly Biography
Bill O’Reilly was the longtime host of the political opinion show The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News network until he was forced out in 2017 on the heels of a long-running sexual harrassment scandal.
Bill O’Reilly spent a decade as a reporter and anchor in smaller U.S. TV markets before landing a job as a correspondent with ABC News in 1986. He then hosted the tabloid news and gossip show Inside Edition from 1989-94, and in 1996 signed on with FOX to host his own show of political commentary.
It didn’t take long for his in-your-face style to catch on, and his self-appointed position as the “common man” battling the outrages of intellectual elites. His so-called “no spin zone” garnered him a huge audience and made him the #1-ranked show on cable news. (In 2002 he also launched a radio show, The Radio Factor.) He became a reliable booster of right-wing causes and Republican presidents like George W. Bush and Donald Trump, while slamming Barack Obama and anyone else he regarded as a soft-headed liberal. His provocative on-air style seeped into his public life as well: O’Reilly’s feuds with comedian Al Franken (later a U.S. senator) and National Public Radio’s Terry Gross grew into modern media legends.
Although right-of-center politically, O’Reilly drew ire from some conservative groups for his defense of homosexuality and his sometimes-more-liberal positions on environmental issues. Meanwhile, he kept busy writing best-selling books like The No-Spin Zone (2001) and The O’Reilly Factor (2002). He also launched a super-successful line of co-written and ghost-written historical books, ranging from Killing Lincoln (2011) to Hitler’s Last Days (2015).
In April of 2017, The New York Times reported that Fox News has stood behind Bill O’Reilly as he settled at least five sexual harrassment suits from female co-workers for a total of about $13 million. The story cited “a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls.” (Fox News’s longtime chairman, Roger Ailes, had been forced out by similar sexual harrassment charges months earlier.) O’Reilly denied the allegations, but advertisers began to abandon his show; O’Reilly went on a sudden “vacation,” and on April 19, 2017, Fox News announced that he would not be returning to the network.
Per his official bio from Fox News, Bill O’Reilly “graduated with a B.A. in history from Marist College and went on to earn his master’s in broadcast journalism from Boston University and another master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government”… Other pundits and columnists of the same era include Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh and Maureen Dowd.