Norah O'Donnell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Norah O'Donnell
Norah O’Donnell 2019 (cropped).jpg
O'Donnell in July 2019
Norah Morahan O'Donnell

(1974-01-23) January 23, 1974 (age 48)
EducationGeorgetown University (BA, MA)
OccupationTelevision journalist
Years active1996–present
Notable credits
Geoff Tracy
(m. 2001)

Norah Morahan O'Donnell[1] (born January 23, 1974) is an American television journalist who is currently anchor of the CBS Evening News and a correspondent for 60 Minutes. She has worked with several mainstream media outlets throughout her career, including as former co-anchor of CBS This Morning, Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News, and a substitute host for CBS's Sunday morning show Face the Nation.

Early life and education[edit]

O'Donnell was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Noreen Bernadette (O'Kane) and Francis Lawrence O'Donnell, a doctor and US Army officer.[2] Her parents are both of Irish descent, with roots in Derry, Belfast, and Donegal (meaning she is descended from both sides of the Irish Border). Three of her grandparents were immigrants, and her maternal grandfather lived in the U.S. illegally for 16 years.[1][2] When Norah was three, her family moved to San Antonio, Texas.[3] When she was 10, the family spent two years in Seoul, living in Yongsan Garrison as her father was assigned to work there. While an elementary student, she started her career in broadcasting by giving videotaped English lessons for the Korean Educational Development Institute.[4] The family moved back to San Antonio, where she attended Douglas MacArthur High School, from which she graduated in 1991.[5] She then went on to attend Georgetown University, where she graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and a Master of Arts degree in liberal studies in 2003.[6][7][8]


O'Donnell in 2008
O'Donnell speaks to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the US State Department in April 2021

O'Donnell worked as a staff writer for Roll Call, where she covered Congress.[9] She spent twelve years of her career at the NBC networks. A commentator for the Today Show, Chief Washington Correspondent for MSNBC, and a White House correspondent for NBC News, O'Donnell was also a contributing anchor for MSNBC Live and an anchor on Weekend Today. O'Donnell reported for various NBC News broadcasts, including NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Dateline NBC, and MSNBC. O'Donnell filled in for Chris Matthews as host of Hardball with Chris Matthews and was a regular pundit for The Chris Matthews Show.

Since joining CBS, she has served as anchor in several of its highest-rated shows, filling in for Scott Pelley on the CBS Evening News multiple times, the first being October 10, 2011. She was chief White House correspondent in 2011 and 2012, and became a co-anchor on CBS This Morning in fall of 2012. On May 6, 2019, Susan Zirinsky, president of CBS News, announced that O'Donnell had been named anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News beginning on July 15, 2019,[10] will also be the lead anchor of political events for the network and continue as a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes.[11] She becomes the third woman after Connie Chung and Katie Couric to serve as the program's weeknight anchor. Her last broadcast of CBS This Morning was on May 16, 2019.[12] On April 8, 2022, O'Donnell had extended her contract with CBS News to keep as anchor of CBS Evening News, through the 2024 election and afterward.[13]

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,[15] restaurateur Geoff Tracy (owner of D.C. restaurant Chef Geoff's), whom she married in June 2001. They met while attending Georgetown together. On May 20, 2007,[16] O'Donnell and Tracy became the parents of twins, whom they named Grace and Henry.[17] 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.[18]


In fall 2016 O'Donnell was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer. The official diagnosis was 'melanoma in situ' meaning the cancer was contained to the epidermis and had not yet spread to the dermis and metastasized. She underwent surgery soon after where a "three-inch-long piece of skin from the upper left corner of [her] back" was excised. She later stated that she now gets regular skin check-ups "every three to four months" and "multiple skin biopsies" due to her high risk. In the years since her diagnosis O'Donnell has become a skin care advocate, encouraging others, especially women, to get regular dermatological check-ups and take better care of their skin by practicing good skin care routines such as using sunscreen. She talked openly about her diagnosis with her dermatologist live on CBS This Morning in 2017.[19]

Awards, recognition, and controversy[edit]

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 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.[20]

She won an Emmy as part of NBC News' Election Night coverage team in 2008 for the category Outstanding Live Coverage of a Breaking News Story – Long Form.[21] She was also awarded an Emmy in 2018 for her six-month investigation and report on "Sexual Assault in the Air Force Academy" for CBS This Morning in the category Outstanding Investigative Report in a Newscast. That same year, this story was given an honorable mention from the White House Correspondents' Association for the Edgar Allan Poe Award.[22]

On August 15, 2022, O'Donnell tweeted that her source, a "DOJ official", denied that the FBI was in possession of Donald Trump's passports, contradicting a claim by the former president that they were "stolen" during the August 8 FBI search of Mar-a-Lago.[23] But the FBI did have them, and returned the passports to Trump later that day.[24]


  1. ^ a b "On The Set with Norah O'Donnell - Irish America". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Stated on Finding Your Roots, January 13, 2021
  3. ^ Impressive! S.A. TV alumna joins CBS News by Jeanne Jakle. San Antonio Express-News, June 16, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Norah O'Donnell revisits her childhood home in South Korea {CBS This Morning, posted to YouTube on Jun 22, 2017}
    "Norah O'Donnell revisits her childhood home in South Korea". CBS News. June 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Jakle, Jeanne (October 2, 2012). "S.A.'s Norah O'Donnell perking up 'This Morning'". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  6. ^ "Norah O'Donnell". CBS News. February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  7. ^ Norah O'Donnell Guest Speaker Archived October 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Staff (June 16, 2011). "Norah O'Donnell Gets CBS White House Beat". NewsCheckMedia LLC. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  9. ^ Abbey, Alison (February 9, 2018). "CBS This Morning Co-host Norah O'Donnell On Truth In Journalism And Sunday Traditions". Parade. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  10. ^ ""CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell" to debut July 15". CBS News. United States: CBS Corporation. June 23, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  11. ^ "CBS News announces anchor changes at "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Evening News"". Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  12. ^ "Norah O'Donnell's teary-eyed 'CBS This Morning' farewell: 'The best is yet to come'". USA Today. May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  13. ^ Gajewski, Ryan; Weprin, Alex (April 8, 2022). "Norah O'Donnell Lands New CBS Deal to Extend 'Evening News' Run". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  14. ^ Norah O'Donnell on Colbert Late Show stating that she was 10 years old at the time (LSSC, posted to YouTube on Nov 18, 2017)
  15. ^ "N.Y. beckons, but a power couple still finds sense of home in Northwest D.C." The Washington Post. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  16. ^ "O'Donnell. Posted February 24, 2008; retrieved January 22, 2009". Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  17. ^ Lynch, Lorrie (September 2, 2007). "Who's News: Norah O'Donnell". USA Weekend.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ O'Donnell profile in The Washingtonian
  19. ^ "I'll Never Forget Where I Was When I Learned I Had Melanoma". Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  20. ^ "Sigma Delta Chi Awards - Society of Professional Journalists". Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  22. ^ "2018 Winners | White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA)". White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA). Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  23. ^ "Trump thanks FBI, DOJ after passports they "stole" are returned". Newsweek. August 16, 2022. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  24. ^ "FBI Returns Trump's 3 Passports Seized In Mar-A-Lago Search". HuffPost. August 16, 2022. Retrieved August 23, 2022.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by CBS Evening News anchor
July 15, 2019 - current
Succeeded by