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Fredricka Whitfield in 2015
|Education||Howard University (1987) (B.A.)|
|Spouse(s)||John Glenn (m. 1999)|
Early life and education
Whitfield is the daughter of American middle distance runner and Olympian Mal Whitfield. Whitfield attended Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, Maryland, graduating in 1983. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Howard University’s School of Communications in 1987. While attending Howard, she served as a news anchor for campus radio station WHUR. In 2002, Whitfield was selected as the Howard University School of Communications Alumna of the year.
Prior to joining CNN, Whitfield was a correspondent for NBC News and served as an Atlanta-based correspondent for NBC Nightly News from 1995 to 2001. She worked for other news programs at NBC including Today; she was a morning and afternoon anchor as well as an assignment reporter.
Since joining CNN in 2002, Whitfield has covered several major stories. She was the first anchor to break the news of the death of Ronald Reagan. She has reported the devastating Asian tsunami which occurred in December 2004. Whitfield also reported from the Persian Gulf region during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Whitfield has been married to John Glenn, the director of photography at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, since 1999. She gave birth to a son in January 2005, and to fraternal twins, daughter Nola and son Gilbert, in November 2012.
In 2014, Whitfield's televised interview with comedian Joan Rivers came to an abrupt end when Whitfield criticized Rivers’ comedy as being mean-spirited and for wearing a vintage fur, despite Whitfield’s own usage of leather shoes. Whitfield acknowledged the controversy during a subsequent broadcast, calling her segment with Rivers "one of the most talked about interviews ending abruptly with an exit".
On June 13, 2015, Whitfield described the gunman who attacked police in Dallas, Texas, as "courageous and brave" on air, when she thought he might be part of a coordinated terrorist attack. The next day she claimed she misspoke but made no formal apology for the initial statement. The following day, Whitfield issued a formal on-air apology, saying she terribly misused those words and was sincerely sorry.
- "CNN Profiles - Fredricka Whitfield - Anchor". CNN.
- "Navy SEALs in Afghanistan; Dance fever". CNN. July 6, 2005. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
- Darci Miller (November 19, 2015). "Three-Time Olympic Track Champion Mal Whitfield Dies at 91". Team USA. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
- Yahr, Emily (July 7, 2014). "Joan Rivers storms out of CNN interview, but was she genuinely upset?". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
- "Israeli Forces Raid Missile Site in Gaza; Germany Vs. Argentina for the World Cup; Flight Diverted to Remote Island Due to Odor; Winter Fun in the Desert; John Walsh Launches New Show On CNN; World Cup Fever Still Alive in U.S." CNN. July 13, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
- Josh Feldman (June 14, 2015). "CNN Anchor Offers On-Air Explanation for Calling Dallas Attack "Brave"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
- "CNN anchor apologizes a second time for 'offensive' remarks". KDFW. June 15, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2020.