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Soledad O'Brien

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Information about Soledad O'Brien

Profile image of Soledad O'Brien

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Broadcast journalist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Black Beans And Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Late Spring, Early Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Miama, Florida
Favorite Quote:
Remember, Most People Are Idiots. If You're Listening To Them, You're Probably A Bigger Idiot.

Birthplace

Born:
9/19/1966
Birth Location:
Saint James, New York

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Broadcast journalist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Black Beans And Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Late Spring, Early Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Miama, Florida
Favorite Quote:
Remember, Most People Are Idiots. If You're Listening To Them, You're Probably A Bigger Idiot.

Birthplace

Born:
9/19/1966
Birth Location:
Saint James
See how Soledad O'Brien is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien was born on September 19, 1966 in Saint James, New York. Her father, Edward, was a mechanical engineering professor; her mother, Estela, a French and English teacher. O’Brien graduated from Smithtown High School East in 1984, and went on to attend Harvard University from 1984 to 1988, but did not graduate until 2000, when she received her B.A. degree in English and American literature.

In 1989, O’Brien began her career at KISS-FM in Boston, Massachusetts as a reporter for the medical talk show Second Opinion and of Health Week in Review. In 1990, she was hired as an associate producer and news writer for Boston’s WBZ-TV station. O’Brien then worked at NBC News in New York City in 1991, as a field producer for Nightly News and Today, before being hired at San Francisco’s NBC affiliate KRON in 1993, where she worked as a reporter and bureau chief and co-hosted the Discovery Channel’s The Know Zone. Then, in 1996, O’Brien returned to New York to host MSNBC’s new weekend morning show and technology program The Site. Although The Site was cancelled one year later, O’Brien continued to work as a reporter and anchor for a number of shows, including MSNBC’s Morning Blend and NBC News’ Weekend Today until 1999, when she was named permanent co-anchor of Weekend Today.

In 2003, O’Brien left NBC and joined CNN as the co-anchor of the network’s flagship morning program, American Morning. In 2007, she moved to CNN’s documentary division, where she primarily worked on Special Investigations Unit and In America. From 2007 to 2013, O’Brien hosted a number of CNN documentary shows, including the Black in America series, the Latino in America series, and numerous Special Investigations Unit episodes. From 2012 to 2013, she anchored CNN’s Starting Point; and, in 2013, she established the Starfish Media Group production company, which has produced segments for CNN, HBO and Al Jazeera America. O’Brien was also hired by Al Jazeera America in 2013 as a special correspondent to the network’s America Tonight.

O’Brien has authored two books: 2009’s Latino in America, and the 2010 memoir, The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities. In addition, she and her husband founded the Soledad O'Brien and Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation. O’Brien is a member of the board of directors of The After-School Corporation, the Harlem School of the Arts and the Foundation for the National Archives. She also served on the advisory board of Cyberangels, an internet safety organization.

O’Brien has received numerous awards, including the Emmy, the NAACP’s President's Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, an Alfred I. du Pont Award, and the Gracie Allen Award. In 2008, she was the first recipient of the Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award from the Morehouse School of Medicine, and was the first recipient of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Goodermote Humanitarian Award. O’Brien received the 2009 Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service Award from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. In 2010, she was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Soledad O’Brien was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 21, 2014.

See how Soledad O'Brien is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Soledad O'Brien's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Soledad O'Brien lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Soledad O'Brien describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Soledad O'Brien talks about her father's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Soledad O'Brien describes her mother's upbringing and personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Soledad O'Brien talks about how her parents met and married
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Soledad O'Brien talks about her parents' aspirations, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Soledad O'Brien lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Soledad O'Brien talks about her parents' aspirations, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Soledad O'Brien describes her home life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Soledad O'Brien describes her community in Smithtown, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Soledad O'Brien describes the sights of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Soledad O'Brien recalls her early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Soledad O'Brien describes her early personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Soledad O'Brien talks about her racial identity
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Soledad O'Brien describes her early experiences of religion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Soledad O'Brien remembers her interests during high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Soledad O'Brien recalls her decision to attend Harvard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Soledad O'Brien describes her experiences at Harvard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Soledad O'Brien remembers the diversity at Harvard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Soledad O'Brien describes her activities at Harvard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Soledad O'Brien recalls her decision to leave Harvard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Soledad O'Brien recalls her start at WBZ-TV in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Soledad O'Brien describes her parents' reaction to her decision to leave Harvard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Soledad O'Brien talks about her work ethic
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Soledad O'Brien talks about Jeanne Blake's mentorship
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Soledad O'Brien recalls the minority training program at WBZ-TV
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Soledad O'Brien recalls joining KRON-TV in San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Soledad O'Brien describes her initial challenges at KRON-TV
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Soledad O'Brien remembers her colleagues at KRON-TV in San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Soledad O'Brien recalls hosting 'The Know Zone' on the Discovery Channel
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Soledad O'Brien remembers anchoring MSNBC's 'The Site'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Soledad O'Brien reflects upon her self image
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Soledad O'Brien remembers 'Imaging America'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Soledad O'Brien describes her role at NBC News in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Soledad O'Brien recalls joining 'Weekend Today'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Soledad O'Brien reflects upon her success in the broadcast industry, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Soledad O'Brien reflects upon her success in the broadcast industry, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Soledad O'Brien talks about the skills of a successful television anchor
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Soledad O'Brien talks about her marriage
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Soledad O'Brien talks about balancing her family and career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Soledad O'Brien remembers broadcast journalist David Bloom
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Soledad O'Brien recalls joining CNN
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Soledad O'Brien remembers completing her degree at Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Soledad O'Brien talks about the history of CNN
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Soledad O'Brien describes a typical day at CNN
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Soledad O'Brien talks about her experiences of gender discrimination at CNN
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Soledad O'Brien remembers covering Hurricane Katrina for CNN
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Soledad O'Brien recalls her experiences of racial discrimination at CNN
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Soledad O'Brien recalls her transition to documentary production at CNN
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Soledad O'Brien talks about her work on 'Black in America,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Soledad O'Brien talks about her work on 'Black in America,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Soledad O'Brien reflects upon the success of 'Black in America'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Soledad O'Brien talks about CNN's documentary production team
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Soledad O'Brien reflects upon her CNN documentary series
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Soledad O'Brien talks about the depiction of African Americans in the media
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Soledad O'Brien talks about the changes in broadcast media
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Soledad O'Brien describes her plans for the future
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Soledad O'Brien talks about the importance of storytelling
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Soledad O'Brien reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Soledad O'Brien reflects upon her career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Soledad O'Brien talks about the future of media
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Soledad O'Brien describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Soledad O'Brien talks about the PowHERful Foundation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Soledad O'Brien reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Soledad O'Brien shares a message to future generations