Norah O'Donnell

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Norah O'Donnell
Born Norah Morahan O’Donnell[1]
(1974-01-23) January 23, 1974 (age 44)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Education B.A., M.A.; Georgetown University[2][3]
Occupation Television journalist
Years active 1996–present
Notable credit(s)
Title Anchor
Spouse(s) Geoff Tracy
Children 3

Norah Morahan O’Donnell (born January 23, 1974) is an American print and television journalist, currently serving as the co-anchor of CBS This Morning, a position she has held since July 2012, when she replaced Erica Hill. Before that, she spent one year as Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News in Washington, D.C., after moving to the network from NBC. She is also the substitute host for CBS's Sunday morning show Face the Nation.

Early life[edit]

O'Donnell was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Francis O'Donnell, a doctor. Her parents are both of Irish descent.[1] When Norah was 3, her family moved to San Antonio, Texas.[4] When she was 10, the family spent two years in Seoul, living in Yongsan Garrison as her father was assigned to work there.[5] The family moved back to San Antonio where she graduated from Douglas MacArthur High School.[6] She holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and a master's degree in liberal studies from Georgetown University.[3][7]


O'Donnell initially served as staff writer for Roll Call, where she covered Congress.[citation needed]

A commentator for the Today Show, Chief Washington Correspondent for MSNBC, and from September 2003 to May 2005, the White House correspondent for NBC News, O'Donnell was also a contributing anchor for MSNBC Live, and a rotating news anchor on Weekend Today. O'Donnell has done reports that have appeared on numerous NBC News broadcasts, including NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Dateline NBC, and MSNBC. O'Donnell has also filled in for Chris Matthews as host of Hardball with Chris Matthews and was a regular pundit for The Chris Matthews Show. She also co-hosted the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade on WNBC since 2007.

Since joining CBS, she has filled in for Scott Pelley on the CBS Evening News multiple times, the first being October 10, 2011.

Washingtonian Magazine has named O'Donnell as one of Washington's 100 most powerful women. O'Donnell has also been named to Irish American Magazine's 2000 "Top 100 Irish Americans" list.

O'Donnell became a co-anchor on CBS This Morning in fall 2012, replacing Erica Hill.

O'Donnell has appeared twice on the CBS series Blue Bloods, both times as herself anchoring CBS This Morning. In 2013, season 4, episode 2, "The City That Never Sleeps", she interviewed fictional actor Russell Berke, played by actor Marc Blucas.[8] In season 5, episode 7, "Shoot the Messenger," she interviewed Frank Reagan and the interim district attorney.[9]

Charlie Rose allegations[edit]

On November 20, 2017, hours after veteran journalist Charlie Rose was accused of sexual misconduct by nearly a dozen women, his "CBS This Morning" co-anchors Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell addressed the situation, calling for an end to the alleged behavior from Rose or anyone else in a position of power.

O'Donnell applauded the "courage" of these women to come forward with their stories in both The Washington Post and Business Insider, then took a moment for a "frank and honest assessment."

"Let me be very clear, there is no excuse for this alleged behavior," she said. "It is systematic and pervasive and I've been doing a lot of listening ... Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility ... This will be investigated, this has to end, this behavior is wrong."

Career timeline[edit]

Personal life[edit]

O'Donnell lives in Washington, D.C. and New York City's Upper West Side neighborhood with her husband,[10] restaurateur Geoff Tracy (owner of D.C. restaurant Chef Geoff's), whom she married in June 2001. On May 20, 2007,[11] O'Donnell and Tracy became the parents of twins, whom they named Grace and Henry.[12] Their third child, daughter Riley Norah Tracy, was born on July 5, 2008; O'Donnell noted that her daughter's first name had been suggested by Tim Russert, who died three weeks prior to Riley's birth. O'Donnell and Tracy made a cookbook for parents titled Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler, released on August 31, 2010.[13] O'Donnell is a Roman Catholic.[14]


O'Donnell won the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Breaking News Coverage for the Dateline NBC story "DC In Crisis," which aired on the night of September 11, 2001.[citation needed]

She also won an Emmy for NBC News' Election Night coverage in 2008.[citation needed]


Several conservative hosts and bloggers, most notably Glenn Beck, took issue with O'Donnell's interview of a Sarah Palin supporter during a 2009 book signing. O'Donnell (then with MSNBC) pointed out that Jackie Seal was wearing a shirt against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which Palin actually supported during the 2008 campaign. Beck ridiculed O'Donnell for "singling out a 13-year-old, and catching her off guard"; O'Donnell responded that Seal was 17 years old, and that she simply "walked the line and asked who wanted to talk on camera", and Seal volunteered.[15] Washington Post reporter David Weigel, and others, felt that O'Donnell asked a fair question. "It’s not O’Donnell’s fault", wrote commentator Steve Benen, "[that] the young woman has a limited understanding of her hero’s record."[16]

In April 2010, O'Donnell was accused of "playing the race card" after Newt Gingrich criticized Barack Obama with a basketball reference. Gingrich said: "What we need is a president, not an athlete. Shooting three-point shots may be clever, but it doesn't put anybody to work." O'Donnell questioned the implication: "What’s this suggestion about him playing basketball? That he’s not doing his job?" NBC's Savannah Guthrie added, "I thought [it] was odd ... as though we see him on the basketball court all the time; actually it’s the golf course where we see him."[17] In response to the criticism, Gingrich said, "The left is becoming a parody of itself ... she immediately said that must be a racist comment. It's relatively hard to go from 'we need somebody who is a good president more than somebody who shoots three-point shots' to 'that must have been racist.'"[18]


  1. ^ a b "On The Set with Norah O'Donnell - Irish America". Retrieved August 31, 2017. 
  2. ^ Norah O'Donnell Guest Speaker Archived October 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b Staff (June 16, 2011). "Norah O'Donnell Gets CBS White House Beat". NewsCheckMedia LLC. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ Impressive! S.A. TV alumna joins CBS News by Jeanne Jakle. San Antonio Express-News, June 16, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "Norah O'Donnell revisits her childhood home in South Korea". CBS News. June 22, 2017. 
  6. ^ Jakle, Jeanne (October 2, 2012). "S.A.'s Norah O'Donnell perking up 'This Morning'". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Norah O'Donnell". CBS News. February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  8. ^ CBS episode summary, "Blue Bloods Season 4 Review in Photos", CBS Interactive, © 2016. Cameo clip.
  9. ^ "10 Moments From Season 5 Episode 7 of Blue Bloods," CBS Interactive, © 2016.
  10. ^ "N.Y. beckons, but a power couple still finds sense of home in Northwest D.C." The Washington Post. Retrieved August 31, 2017. 
  11. ^ "O'Donnell. Posted February 24, 2008; retrieved January 22, 2009". Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2017. 
  12. ^ Lynch, Lorrie (September 2, 2007). "Who's News: Norah O'Donnell". USA Weekend. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ O'Donnell profile in The Washingtonian
  14. ^ Gotham Magazine: "Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell Keep It Real" interview by Mo Rocca June 19, 2014
  15. ^ Calderone, Michael (Do the math 1974+17=1991) (November 20, 2009). "Palin fan responds to O'Donnell interview - Michael Calderone". Politico. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  16. ^ Norah O'Donnell's Reasonable Question. Washington Monthly, retrieved January 5, 2017.
  17. ^ Brian Montopoli (April 8, 2010). "Newt Gingrich: We Need a President, Not An Athlete". CBS. Archived from the original on November 16, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Team Fox: Gingrich gripes about MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell". Washington Examiner. April 14, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 

External links[edit]