Don Lemon in 2013
March 1, 1966 |
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
|Residence||New York City, New York, U.S.|
Louisiana State University
Lemon was born in 1966 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was educated at Baker High School, a public high school in the small city of Baker in East Baton Rouge Parish. He majored in broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Louisiana State University. While in college, Lemon worked as a news assistant at WNYW in New York City.
In his early career, Lemon reported as a weekend anchor for WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama, and WCAU in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; anchor and investigative reporter for KTVI St. Louis; and anchor for WBRC Birmingham, Alabama.
Lemon reported for NBC News' New York City operations, including working as a correspondent for Today and NBC Nightly News and an anchor on Weekend Today and MSNBC. In 2003, he began at NBC O&O station WMAQ-TV (5 in Chicago), and was a reporter as well as local news co-anchor.
Lemon joined CNN in September 2006. Lemon has been outspoken in his work at CNN, criticizing the state of cable news and questioning the network publicly. He has also voiced strong opinions on ways that the African-American community can improve themselves, which has caused some controversy. Since 2014, he has hosted CNN's New Year's Eve special from New Orleans.
During an on-air interview with members of Bishop Eddie Long's congregation in September 2010, Lemon said that he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child, and that it was not until he was thirty years old that he told his mother about it.
In his memoir, Transparent, Lemon came out as gay and discusses colorism in the black community, and the sexual abuse he suffered as a child. He has Creole ancestry (his great-grandfather was of French descent) in addition to Nigerian, Cameroonian, and Congolese ancestry. In 2015, over 30,000 people signed a petition demanding that Lemon be fired from CNN following a controversial remark he made regarding police behavior.
Honors and awards
Lemon won an Emmy Award for a special report on the real estate market in Chicago. He received an Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the capture of the D.C. area sniper, and a number of other awards for reports on Hurricane Katrina, and the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
Lemon was voted as one of the 150 most influential African-Americans by Ebony magazine in 2009. However, in 2014 Lemon was named to a list of worst journalist in a Columbia Journalism Review ranking.
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- Don Lemon: Address; Distinguished Alumnus Award, Brooklyn College.
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- Lemon, Don (September 25, 2010). "CNN: Don Lemon - "I Was Attacked By A Pedophile"". YouTube. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
- Folkenflik, David (May 16, 2011). "Livelihood 'On The Line,' Anchorman Reveals He's Gay". NPR. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- Carter, Bill (May 15, 2011). "Gay CNN Anchor Sees Risk in Book". The New York Times.
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- "familyhistoryinsider.com". Archived from the original on June 3, 2015.[unreliable source?]
- "More than 30,000 sign petition urging CNN to fire anchor Don".
- "Anchors & Reporters - Don Lemon". CNN. 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
- Laurence Watts (September 15, 2011). "Interview: Don Lemon, CNN's openly gay anchorman". Pink News. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
- "CNN NEWSROOM transcript". CNN.com. April 18, 2009.
- "Worst Journalism of 2014 transcript".
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