Journalist Sharon Emily Epperson was born on April 12, 1968 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her father, Dr. David E. Epperson, served as a dean at the University of Pittsburgh; her mother, Cecelia T. Epperson, was a schoolteacher in the Pittsburgh Public School System. Epperson graduated from Pittsburgh’s Taylor Allderdice High School in 1986. She launched her career as a reporter while a participant in the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s first high school journalism workshop during her sophomore year and later worked as an intern for three summers at her hometown paper “The Pittsburgh Press.” She went on to graduate with her bachelor's degree in sociology and government from Harvard University in 1990, and her Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in 1993. While in college, Epperson interned as a journalist with several prominent papers, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.
From 1993 to 1996, Epperson worked as a correspondent for Time magazine, where she covered business, culture, social issues and health in the New York bureau. She was then hired by CNBC in 1996 as a correspondent in the business news division. Epperson was subsequently named CNBC’s senior commodities and personal finance correspondent. She reports on personal finance for CNBC and other NBCUniversal properties. She has also reported on global energy, metals and commodities markets from the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange since 2005.
In 2000, Epperson was hired as an adjunct assistant professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where she teaches a course on professional development for graduate students interested in pursuing media careers.
In addition to reporting for CNBC, Epperson is a regular contributor on NBC's "Today" and Today.com and appears frequently on NBC Nightly News, MSNBC and NBC affiliates nationwide. She also reports for Public Television's "Nightly Business Report." Epperson has been featured in numerous publications, including USA Weekend, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Self, Essence, Ebony and Time magazine. She is the author of the 2007 book The Big Payoff: 8 Steps Couples Can Take to Make the Most of Their Money -- and Live Richly Ever After.
Epperson won the Alliance for Women in Media's 2014 Gracie Award for Outstanding Online Host for her "Financial Advisor Playbook" video series on CNBC.com, which was the second time she has been honored by this organization. In addition, she has received numerous other honors: the Vanguard Award from the National Urban League Guild, All-Star Award from the Association of Women in Communications, Trailblazer of the Year Award from the New York Association of Black Journalists, first place honors from the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Silver World Medal from the New York Festivals.
She and her husband, Christopher John Farley, also an award-winning journalist and author, live in Westchester County, New York, with their two children.
Sharon Epperson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 17, 2014.