Gretchen Carlson

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Gretchen Carlson
Gretchen carlson cropped retouched.jpg
Carlson in 2006
Born Gretchen Elizabeth Carlson
(1966-06-21) June 21, 1966 (age 50)[1]
Anoka, Minnesota, U.S.
Alma mater Stanford University
(B.A., Sociology, 1990)
Occupation Former host of The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson
(Fox News Channel)
Known for
Religion Lutheran
Spouse(s) Casey Close (m. 1997–present)[2]
Children 2

Gretchen Elizabeth Carlson (born June 21, 1966[1]) is an American television commentator and author. She was crowned the 1989 Miss America while representing her native state of Minnesota. She continues to work with the Miss America Pageant and has served as a national celebrity spokesperson for March of Dimes.

Carlson graduated from Stanford University with honors before embarking on a career in television. Gaining experience as anchor and reporter for several local network affiliates, she joined CBS News as a correspondent in 2000 and became the co-host of the Saturday edition of The Early Show. In 2005, she moved to Fox News Channel and became the co-host of the morning show Fox & Friends along with Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade. In 2013, she announced her departure from Fox & Friends and soon thereafter launched a new program called The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson.

Her contract with Fox News expired on June 23, 2016. On July 6, she filed a lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes claiming sexual harassment.[3]

Early life[edit]

Carlson was raised in a Lutheran family in Anoka, Minnesota, the daughter of Karen Barbara (Hyllengren) and Lee Roy Carlson.[4][5] She is of Swedish descent.[6] Her father owned a car dealership with her uncle.[4] She has two brothers and one sister.[4] Her grandfather was the pastor of the then second-largest Lutheran church in the United States.[7] She graduated from Anoka-Hennepin School District 11's Anoka High School, where she was the 1984 class valedictorian.[8] One of her childhood nannies was Michele Bachmann, the future Republican congresswoman.[9]

Growing up, Carlson was an accomplished violinist, winning numerous local and national competitions. She performed as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra as an 8th grader and was the concertmistress for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony. She spent five summers studying at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, Colorado. Winner of several concerto competitions at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, she was also featured as a soloist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.[10]

In 1984, Carlson was elected as one of the Anoka Homecoming attendants.[10] She won the title of Miss Minnesota in 1988 [11] and became the third woman from Minnesota to win the Miss America title. For the talent competition, she played Zigeunerweisen, the violin composition of Sarasate.

Carlson graduated from Stanford University in 1990 with a degree in sociology (organizational behavior). While at Stanford University, she studied abroad at Oxford University.[12]

In September 2011, Carlson was named to the inaugural class of the Anoka High School Hall of Fame.[10][13]


Carlson originally gained recognition as the co-anchor of the Saturday edition of The Early Show on CBS along with Russ Mitchell. She joined CBS News as a correspondent in 2000 and began working on The Early Show in 2002. Before her tenure at CBS, she served as a weekend anchor and reporter for KXAS-TV in Dallas, Texas, and was an anchor and reporter at WOIO-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, and for WCPO-TV, in Cincinnati. She began her television career in Richmond, Virginia, as a political reporter for WRIC-TV.[12] She began her media career in a franchise called Neighborhood News.

Carlson was moved to Fox & Friends initially as a weekend substitute host. But on September 25, 2006, a shifting of anchors, which included E.D. Hill moving to the 10 a.m. hour of Fox News Live, opened a weekday slot on Fox & Friends, which she filled. She co-hosted with Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade for several years. She left Fox & Friends in September 2013 to anchor a one-hour daytime program, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, beginning in the fall of 2013, taking part of the slot opened by Megyn Kelly's move to primetime.[14][15]

In July 2014, Carlson appeared in the movie Persecuted as journalist Diana Lucas.

On the morning of July 6, 2016, Carlson confirmed on her Twitter account that she was no longer with Fox News.[16] That day, she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, alleging that she was fired from her program for refusing his sexual advances.[17] The lawsuit also states that Steve Doocy, one of her co-hosts on Fox & Friends, "engaged in a pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment of Carlson" and that she was punished when she reported his behavior to Ailes.[18]

"Hostile enemy" comment[edit]

On Fox & Friends, during a January 10, 2007, interview with Dan Bartlett, counselor to then-president George W. Bush, Carlson labeled Democratic U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy a "hostile enemy" of the United States, "right here on the home front". Bartlett replied, "Well, we don't view Ted Kennedy as a hostile enemy. We do view him to be an open and often critic of the war. He has been from the very outset. I don't think that's anything new." Keith Olbermann chose her as that day's "Worst Person in the World" on that night's broadcast of his show Countdown,[19] while Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post called it "the Fox News exchange of the day" and asked, "Doesn't the Constitution allow for dissent?"[20]

Personal life[edit]

On October 4, 1997, Carlson married sports agent Casey Close.[21][22] They live in Greenwich, Connecticut,[23] with their two children.[24][6]

She announced on Fox & Friends on June 9, 2009, also repeated on Glenn Beck's Fox News program, that her parents' car dealership had been selected for closing as part of the General Motors reorganization and bankruptcy on June 1, 2009.[25][26] A year later the Star Tribune reported that "It took an act of Congress, a national TV appeal and maybe a little bit of history on the owners' side, but Main Motor, the Anoka car dealership that Lee and Karen Carlson's family has owned for 91 years, will keep its General Motors dealership after all."[27]


  1. ^ a b Roig-Franzia, Manuel; Highman, Scott; Farhi, Paul; Thompson, Krissah (July 22, 2016). "The Fall of Roger Ailes: He Made Fox News His 'Locker Room'—and Now Women Are Telling Their Stories". Style. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 23, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ Carter, Bill (December 4, 2009). "For ‘Today’ and ‘Fox and Friends,’ Different Approaches on Disclosure". Media Decoder (The New York Times). Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Gretchen Carlson files sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox's Roger Ailes". Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Wilken, Erin (February 15, 2010). "Lee Carlson ’56". Gustavus Adolphus College Alumni Bulletin. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Schafer, Jenny (June 29, 2010). "Gretchen Carlson: "I Don’t Want My Kids To Grow Up Feeling Entitled"". Celebrity Baby Scoop. 
  7. ^ Morad, Amanda. "Gretchen Carlson Encourages Risk-Taking at ELS". Regent University. Retrieved October 7, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Gretchen Carlson". Pageant Center. June 12, 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ Will, George (October 25, 2009). "GOP's New Lightning Rod". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "Graduate Spotlight – Gretchen Carlson" (PDF). Anoka.k12. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Miss America :: History – 1989". Miss America Organization. Retrieved January 11, 2007. 
  12. ^ a b "Fox News Personalities – Gretchen Carlson". Fox News Channel. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ Levy, Paul. "Anoka's Hall of Fame missing two big names: Keillor and Bachmann". Star Tribune. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  14. ^ "The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson Debuts September 30". Huffington Post. November 25, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  15. ^ Smith, Emily. "Hasselbeck ditching 'The View' for 'FOX and Friends'". New York Post. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  16. ^ @GretchenCarlson,, July 6, 2016
  17. ^ "Gretchen Carlson files sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes". Politico. July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Gretchen Carlson's Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes". 6 July 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  19. ^ "Carlson Earns 'Worst Person' Award". News Hounds. January 11, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2015. 
  20. ^ Kurtz, Howard (January 11, 2007). "One Last Surge". The Washington Post. pp. 4 & 5. Retrieved October 7, 2010. 
  21. ^ Going Deep: Casey Close, Alan Schwarz,, February 9, 2007
  22. ^ "Minnesota Marriage Collection, 1958–2001". Retrieved November 30, 2010. 
  23. ^ Grandjean, Patricia (November 2010). "People: Controlling Her Arc". Connecticut Magazine. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Former Michigan baseball star Casey Close remains true to himself, makes a name as a top agent". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  25. ^ Levy, Paul (June 16, 2009). "GM terminates contract with Anoka’s Main Motors". Minneapolis, Minnesota: The Star Tribune Company. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  26. ^ Froemming, Mandy Moran (June 4, 2009). "Anoka’s Main Motors being cut by GM". Anoka County Union. Coon Rapids, Minnesota: Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  27. ^ Levy, Paul. Carlsons get their car franchise back, Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 6, 2010.


External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Kaye Lani Rae Rafko
Miss America
Succeeded by
Debbye Turner
Preceded by
Katherine Killeen
Miss Minnesota
Succeeded by
Susan Johnson