Soledad O’Brien Biography
Soledad O Brien [real name] María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien, is an American broadcast journalist and executive producer, currently the anchor for Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien. This is a nationally syndicated weekly political show that is owned by Hearst Television. She is also the chairwoman of Starfish Media Group.
Starfish Media Group is a multi-platform media production company and distributor that she founded in 2013. O’Brien has been on MSNBC, CNN, Al Jazeera America, HBO, and TechTV as an anchor and correspondent. She co-anchored CNN’s American Morning from 2003 to 2007. She was also the anchor on CNN’s morning news program, Starting Point from the year 2012 to 2013.
She became special correspondent on the Al Jazeera America news program, America Tonight in 2013. In the same year, O’Brien also became a correspondent on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
Soledad O’Brien Age
She was born María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien on September 19, 1966 in St. James, New York, U.S. She is 52 years old as of 2018.
Soledad O’Brien Family | Soledad O’Brien Siblings
O’Brien was born in a family of six as the fifth child of Edward Ephrem O’Brien, a mechanical engineering professor at SUNY Stony Brook and Estela O’Brien, a French and English teacher at Smithtown High School West. Both ofher parents were immigrants who met while they were students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
In Maryland before 1967, interracial marriage was illegal , so O’Brien’s parents married in 1958 in Washington, D.C where marriage laws were less restrictive. They then moved to Long Island, to the town of St. James and began their family.
Her siblings are all graduates of Harvard University. They are: law professor Maria Hylton (born 1960), GE corporate lawyer Cecilia Vega (born 1961), businessman Tony O’Brien (born 1962), eye surgeon Estela Ogiste (born 1964), and anesthesiologist Orestes O’Brien (born 1967).
Soledad O’Brien Marriage | Soledad O’Brien Husband | Bradley Raymond
She got married to Bradford “Brad” Raymond, the co-head of investment banking at Stifel in 1995. The couple has four children: two daughters and twin sons.
Since turning 13, O’Brien has been riding horses as a hobby. She now enjoys doing it with her family. Soledad and her husband run a foundation called PowHERful Foundation formerly called then Starfish Foundation, and before that the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation. It mentors women to send them to college. The foundation began in 2011.
Soledad O’Brien Children
O’Brien is a mother of four, two daughters and twin sons. They are Sofia Elizabeth Raymond born on October 2000, Cecilia Raymond born on March 2002, Charles Raymond and Jackson Raymond born on August 2004 respectively.
Soledad O’Brien Career
She started her career in journalism as a medical reporter on WXKS-FM in Boston. This is because of her background as a pre-med student in college.
Soledad O’Brien NBC News
She began her career at WBZ-TV as an associate producer and news writer the then NBC affiliate in Boston. In 1991, she joined NBC News and was based in New York as a field producer for the Nightly News and Weekend Today. For three years, she worked as a local reporter and bureau chief for KRON, the San Francisco NBC affiliate. She was a reporter on “The Know Zone,”at KRON.
She anchored MSNBC’s weekend morning show and the cable network’s technology program ‘The Site’, starting in 1996 and during the dot-com boom. The show aired on weeknights from the spring of 1996 to November 1997. It was unique in that she interacted with a virtual character named Dev Null. The character was played by Leo Laporte in a motion-capture suit.
O’Brien co-anchored the NBC News program, Weekend Today with David Bloom from July 1999 to July 2003. In that time, she contributed reports for the weekday ‘Today Show’ and for weekend editions of NBC Nightly News. O’Brien also covered notable stories as John F. Kennedy Jr.’s plane crash and the 1990s school shootings in Colorado and Oregon.
Soledad O’Brien CNN
She moved to CNN, and from July 2003 to April 2007 was co-anchor of American Morning, a CNN program. It was CNN’s flagship morning program which aired live from New York City. She covered the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. In the coverage, she interviewed the then head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael Brown.
Soledad O’Brien Starting Point
In January 2012, O’Brien an anchor of Starting Point, also a CNN program. This was after CNN canceled American Morning and replaced it with two new programs, Early Start and Starting Point in 2011. She began the job from 2nd January 2012 to March 2013. The announcement that she would leave the program to start Starfish Media Group production company was made on 21st February 2013 hence, her last episode was on 29th March 2013.
She completed a documentary titled ‘Latino In America’ in 2009. It was documenting the lives of Latinos living in America. O’Brien continued working as a reporter for CNN, mainly hosting “In America” documentaries. She occasionally filled in for Anderson Cooper on Anderson Cooper 360. During CNN’s coverage of the primaries and caucuses in the 2008 United States presidential race, O’Brien also anchored exit poll coverage. She filled in for Paula Zahn on Paula Zahn Now before Paula left CNN in 2007.
In July 2007, she anchored Black in America, a CNN special. It documented the successes, struggles, and complex issues faced by black men, women and families 40 years after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. In the first installment, she investigated how James Earl Ray, an armed robber and escaped convict, had spent a year on the run just a month before his path collided with Dr. King in Memphis, Tennessee.
In “The Black Woman & Family”, she explored the varied experiences of black women and families. She investigated the disturbing statistics of single parenthood, racial disparities between students, and also the devastating toll of HIV/AIDS. Its fifth installment aired in December 2012.
Soledad O’Brien Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
In June 12, 2013, it was announced that she was joining HBO’s Real Sports as a correspondent with Bryant Gumbel sports news magazine.
Soledad O’Brien Starfish Media Group
She formed the production and distribution company, Starfish Media Group in June 2013. Starfish Media Group signed a deal to produce a series of hour-long documentary specials for Al-Jazeera America.
She became a host of the Hearst TV show, Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, which is produced by Starfish Media Group. In addition to its broadcast availability, it is carried by A&E on Sunday mornings a network Hearst partly owns.
In 2011, she was also inducted as an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She was a moderator of National Geographic Bee, replacing Alex Trebek who moderated for 25-plus years from 2013 to 2016. In 2014, she co-taught a Harvard University Graduate School of Education class with Professor Joe Blatt on “Advancing the Public Understanding of Education.” She hosted PBS NewsHour Weekend, filling in for Alison Stewart on May 1, 2016,
She appeared on PBS’s TV genealogy program, Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s Finding Your Roots on January 12, 2016. Its focus was on O’Brien’s Irish ancestry.
Soledad O’Brien Net Worth
The Award-winning journalist has an estimated net worth of $8 million.
Soledad O’Brien PowHERful Foundation
This is a foundation formed by O’Brien and her husband Brad Raymond in 2011. It aims at giving financial assistance, mentorship, and support to young women so they can get through college and also explore career options. It was started right after Hurricane Katrina. When O’Brien was in New Orleans, she noticed a lot of people who needed specific help, but they were always cut short.
She saw a lot of analogies in education, especially for the young women that she was meeting. Someone would be willing to give a scholarship but in most cases it was just a couple of thousand dollars, not enough to actually get one to and through school. They really decided that they would be very intentional and very specific about making sure that they were taking on young women and helping them complete their studies.
They began by giving young women wrap-around services. They made sure they had opportunities and had mentors in different capacities. They also made sure that they had financial support and in some cases tutoring support and opportunities to get internships. They also took care of those things that they knew could make a tangible difference in their success.
Soledad O’Brien Honors
- 1995: Local Emmy, Co-Host Discovery Channel’s The Know Zone
- 1997: Hispanic Achievement Award in Communications
- 2000: Newsweek, Critical Más: 20 for 2000
- 2000: People, 50 Most Beautiful
- 2004: People en Español, 50 Most Beautiful
- 2005: Black Enterprise, Hot List
- 2005: Catalina magazine, Groundbreaking Latina of the Year
- 2005: Peabody Award, CNN coverage of Hurricane Katrina
- 2006: Newsweek, “15 People Who Make America Great”
- 2007: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), President’s Award
- 2007: Gracie Allen Award
- 2008: Morehouse School of Medicine, Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award, first recipient
- 2008: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Goodermote Humanitarian Award for Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
- 2009: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service Award
- 2010: National Association of Black Journalists, Journalist of the Year
- 2010: Edward R. Murrow Award, RTDNA/UNITY Award for Latino in America
- 2010: Peabody Award, CNN coverage of BP oil spill
- 2011: Emmy, Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story Long Form for Crisis in Haiti on the 2010 Haiti earthquake
- 2016: Vanderbilt University, The Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal
- Irish American Magazine, Top 100 Irish Americans” (twice)
- Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
- Emmy, 2012 election
- Emmy, “Kids on Race”
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Soledad O’Brien Interview
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