Jones was born in 1974 in Dallas, Texas, and was raised in the Dallas suburb of Rockwall and the city of Austin, Texas. His father is a dentist and his mother a homemaker. In his video podcasts, he says that he is of Irish, German, Welsh, mostly English, and partially Native American descent. He played as a lineman on his high school's football team and graduated from Anderson High School in Austin in 1993. As a teenager, he read conspiracy theorist Gary Allen's book None Dare Call It Conspiracy, which had a profound influence on him. He described it as "the easiest-to-read primer on The New World Order". After high school, Jones briefly attended Austin Community College but dropped out.
Jones began his career in Austin working on a live, call-in format public-accesscable television program. In 1996, Jones switched to radio, hosting a show named The Final Edition on KJFK (98.9 FM). While running for Congress, Ron Paul was a guest on his show several times.
When the Oklahoma City bombing took place in 1995, Jones began accusing the federal government of having caused it: "I understood there's a kleptocracy working with psychopathic governments--clutches of evil that know the tricks of control". In 1998, he released his first film, America Destroyed by Design.
In 1999, Jones tied with Shannon Burke for that year's poll of "Best Austin Talk Radio Host", as voted by readers of The Austin Chronicle. Later that year, he was fired from KJFK-FM for refusing to broaden his topics. The station's operations manager said that Jones's views made it difficult for the station to sell advertising. Jones said:
It was purely political, and it came down from on high [...] I was told 11 weeks ago to lay off [Bill] Clinton, to lay off all these politicians, to not talk about rebuilding the church, to stop bashing the Marines, A to Z.
He began broadcasting his show by Internet connection from his home. In early 2000, Jones was one of seven Republican candidates for state representative in Texas House District 48, an open swing district based in Austin, Texas. Jones said that he was running "to be a watchdog on the inside" but withdrew from the race after a couple of weeks.
In July of that year, a group of Austin Community Access Center (ACAC) programmers claimed that Jones used legal proceedings and ACAC policy to intimidate them or try to get their shows thrown off the air. On July 15, 2000, Jones infiltrated the Cremation of Care, which he called "a ritualistic shedding of conscience and empathy" and an "abuse of power".
In 2001, Jone's radio show was syndicated on approximately 100 stations. After the 9/11 attacks, Jones began to promote the conspiracy theory that the Bush administration was behind the attack. As a result, several stations that had carried his program dropped Jones, according to Will Bunch.
Jones at a protest in Dallas in 2014
On June 8, 2006, while on his way to cover a meeting of the Bilderberg Group in Ottawa, Jones was stopped and detained at the Ottawa airport by Canadian authorities. They confiscated his passport, camera equipment, and most of his belongings. He was later allowed to enter Canada legally. Jones said about his immigration hold: "I want to say, on the record, it takes two to tango. I could have handled it better."
On September 8, 2007, Jones was arrested while protesting at 6th Avenue and 48th Street in New York City, when his group crashed a live television show featuring Geraldo Rivera. He was charged with operating a megaphone without a permit, and two other persons were also cited for disorderly conduct. One of Jones' fellow protesters was reported as saying, "It was ... guerrilla information warfare."
On June 6, 2013, Jones addressed the media for the annual Bilderberg conference, held that year in Watford, England. He gave an hour-long speech to around 2,000 protesters in the grounds of The Grove hotel, where he was "rapturously welcomed", "surrounded by cameras and peppered with questions".
On July 6, 2017, alongside Paul Joseph Watson, Jones began hosting a contest to create the best "CNN Meme", for which the winner would receive $20,000. They were responding to CNN reporting on a Reddit user who had created a pro-Trump, anti-CNN meme.
On January 23, 2018, Jones announced he would be working with author Neil Strauss on his upcoming book, titled The Secret History of the Modern World & the War for the Future.
The Alex Jones Show is broadcast nationally by the Genesis Communications Network to more than 100 AM and FM radio stations in the United States. In 2010, the show attracted around 2 million listeners each week.
According to journalist Will Bunch, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, the show has a demographic heavier in younger viewers than other conservative pundits due to Jones's "highly conspiratorial tone and Web-oriented approach". Bunch has also stated that Jones "feed[s] on the deepest paranoia". According to Alexander Zaitchik of Rolling Stone magazine, in 2011 he had a larger on-line audience than Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh combined.
InfoWars and other sites
Jones is the publisher and director of the InfoWars website. The InfoWars website receives approximately 10 million monthly visits, making its reach more extensive than mainstream news websites such as The Economist and Newsweek.
After InfoWars was banned from Facebook for violations of its policies agaisnt harassment and hate speech, Jones used another site, NewsWars, to get around the ban. Jones also operates the PrisonPlanet.com website.
A 2017 piece for German magazine Der Spiegel by Veit Medick indicated that two-thirds of Jones' funds derive from sales of a successful range of his own products. These products are marketed through the InfoWars website and through advertising spots on Jones' show. They include dietary supplements, toothpaste, bulletproof vests and "brain pills," which hold "an appeal for anyone who believes Armageddon is near", according to Medick.
In August 2017, Californian medical company Labdoor, Inc reported on tests applied to six of Jones' dietary supplement products. These included a product named Survival Shield, which was found by Labdoor to contain only iodine, and a product named Oxy-Powder, which comprised a compound of magnesium oxide and citric acid; common ingredients in dietary supplements. Labdoor indicated no evidence of prohibited or harmful substances, but cast doubt on Infowars' marketing claims for these products, and asserted that the quantity of the ingredients in certain products would be "too low to be appropriately effective".
On a segment of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver stated that Jones spends "nearly a quarter" of his on-air time promoting products sold on his website, many of which are purported solutions to medical and economic problems claimed to be caused by the conspiracy theories described on his show.
Jones believes that global warming is part of a plan by the World Bank to control the world economy though a carbon tax.
Jones has been the center of many controversies. In 2009, Jones claimed that a convicted con man's scheme to take over a long-vacant, would-be for-profit prison in Hardin, Montana was part of a FEMA plot to detain US citizens in concentration camps. Jones was in a "media crossfire" in 2011, which included criticism by Rush Limbaugh, when the news spread that Jared Lee Loughner, the perpetrator of the 2011 Tucson shooting, had been "a fan" of the 9/11 conspiracy film Loose Change of which Jones had been an executive producer.
In March 2018, six families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as well as an FBI agent who responded to the attack filed a defamation lawsuit against Jones for his role in spreading conspiracy theories that had caused survivors to be harassed, stalked and threatened. By February 2019, ten families had joined in lawsuits that had won a series of court rulings that would require Jones to testify under oath and open his business records for examination. Later that month Jones was ordered to undergo a sworn deposition as part of the case. The judge also ruled that three other defendants must face deposition, people who are "critical to Infowars business operations." Previously Jones was ordered to turn over internal financial, business and marketing documents related to the operations of Infowars.
In March 2019, Jones acknowledged that the deaths were real during a sworn deposition in the defamation suit stating: "And I, myself, have almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged, even though I've now learned a lot of times things aren't staged".
2013 television interviews
In January 2013, Jones was invited to speak on Piers Morgan's CNN show after promoting an online petition to deport Morgan because of his support of gun control laws. The interview turned into "a one-person shoutfest, as Jones riffed about guns, oppressive government, the flag, his ancestors' role in Texan independence, and what flag Morgan would have on his tights if they wrestled." The event drew widespread coverage, and according to The Huffington Post, Morgan and others such as Glenn Beck "agreed that Jones was a terrible spokesman for gun rights". Jones's appearance on the show was a top trending Twitter topic the following morning.
On June 9, 2013, Jones appeared as a guest on the BBC's television show Sunday Politics, during a discussion about conspiracy theories surrounding the Bilderberg Group meetings with presenter Andrew Neil and journalist David Aaronovitch. A critic of such theories, Aaronovitch implied that, since Jones had not been killed for exposing conspiracies, they either do not exist or that Jones is a part of them himself. Jones began shouting and interrupting, and Andrew Neil ended the interview, describing Jones as "an idiot" and "the worst person I've ever interviewed". According to Neil on Twitter, Jones was still shouting until he knew that he was off-air.
Relationship with Donald Trump
In December 2015, Jones says he initially "formed a bond" with Donald Trump, after the presidential candidate appeared on The Alex Jones Show, with Trump stating "Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down."
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton criticized Trump for his ties to Jones. Jones said that Trump called him on the day after the election to thank him for his help in the campaign. Since Trump took office, it has been claimed Jones communicates with the President through aides, something which Chief of Staff John Kelly had reportedly tried to block.
In April 2018, Jones publicly criticized President Trump during a livestream, after Trump announced a military strike against Syria. During the stream, Jones also stated that Trump had not called him during the prior six months.
In a February 2019 interview with Joe Rogan, Jones expressed mixed sentiments about Trump, stating:
I don't dislike Donald Trump and I think he's done some good things, on trying to do peace and trying to get jobs back to America, but I hate Donald Trump because I got behind him [...] and then he became my identity.
In February 2017, the lawyers of James Alefantis, owner of Comet Ping Pong pizzeria, sent Jones a letter demanding an apology and retraction for his role in pushing the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. Under Texas law, Jones was given a month to comply or be subject to a libel suit. In March 2017, Jones apologized to Alefantis for promulgating the conspiracy theory and retracted his allegations.
In April 2017, the Chobani yogurt company filed a lawsuit against Jones for his article that claims that the company's factory in Idaho, which employs refugees, was connected to a 2016 child sexual assault and a rise in tuberculosis cases. As a result of the lawsuit, Jones issued an apology and retraction of his allegations in May 2017.
In March 2018, Brennan Gilmore, who shared a video he captured of a car hitting anti-racism protesters at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, filed a lawsuit against Jones and six others. According to the lawsuit, Jones said that Gilmore was acting as part of a false flag operation conducted by disgruntled government "deep state" employees in promotion of a coup against President Trump. Gilmore alleges he has been receiving death threats from Jones' audience.
Leonard Pozner, father of a Sandy Hook shooting victim who has been forced to move several times to avoid harassment and death threats accusing him of being a crisis actor, has filed a defamation suit against Jones in Texas. Jones was found to be in contempt of court even before the trial started, failing produce witnesses and materials relevant to the procedures. Consequently, Jones and Infowars were fined a total of $126,000 in October and December 2019.
On July 24, 2018, YouTube removed four of InfoWars videos citing "long-standing policies against child endangerment and hate speech", and issued a "strike" against the InfoWars channel. YouTube also suspended the channel's ability to live stream. On July 27, 2018, Facebook suspended Jones's profile for 30 days, and also removed the same videos, saying they violated Facebook's standards against hate speech and bullying. On August 3, 2018, Stitcher Radio removed all of his podcasts stating that he was involved in harassment or encouraged it.
On August 6, 2018, Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify removed all content by Alex Jones and InfoWars from their platforms for violating their policies. YouTube removed various channels associated with InfoWars, including The Alex Jones Channel, which had amassed 2.4 million subscriptions prior to its removal. On Facebook, four pages that were associated with InfoWars and Alex Jones were removed due to repeated violations of the website's policies. Apple removed all podcasts associated with Jones from its iTunes platform and its podcast app. On August 13, 2018, Vimeo removed all of Jones' videos because they "violated our terms of service prohibitions on discriminatory and hateful content". Facebook cited instances of dehumanizing language about immigrants, Muslims and transgender people, as well as violence glorification, as examples of hate speech policy violations.
Jones' accounts have also been removed from Pinterest,Mailchimp and LinkedIn. As of early August 2018, Jones still had active accounts on Instagram,Google+ and Twitter. Jones tweeted a Periscope video calling on others to get their "battle rifles" ready against antifa, the mainstream media, and Chicom operatives. In the video he also says, "Now is time to act on the enemy before they do a false flag." Twitter cited this as the reason to suspend his account for a week on August 14. On September 6, 2018, Jones was permanently banned from Twitter and Periscope after confronting and berating CNN reporter Oliver Darcy. On September 7, 2018, the InfoWars app was removed from the Apple App Store for "objectionable content". He was banned from using PayPal for his business transactions, with PayPal citing "instances that promoted hate or discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions, which run counter to our core value of inclusion," in their announcement.
Alex Jones' InfoWars was discovered to be available on Roku devices in January 2019 a year after its removal from multiple streaming service providers. Roku indicated that they do not "curate or censor based on viewpoint." Roku indicated that it had policies against content that is "unlawful, incited illegal activities, or violates third-party rights" and that InfoWars was not in violation of these policies. However, following a social media backlash, they removed InfoWars and stated "After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform."
In March 2019, YouTube terminated the Resistance News channel due to it reuploading live streams from the deleted InfoWars channel. On May 1, 2019, Facebook barred Jones from using both its Facebook and Instagram services.
Jones has three children with ex-wife Kelly Jones. The couple divorced in March 2015. In 2017, Kelly sought sole or joint custody of their children due to her ex-husband's behavior. She claimed "he's not a stable person" and "I'm concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress" (Adam Schiff). His attorney responded by claiming that "he's playing a character" and describing him as a "performance artist". On his show, Jones denied playing a character and he called his show "the most bona fide, hard-core, real McCoy thing there is, and everybody knows it". In court, Jones clarified that he generally agreed with his attorney's statement, but that he disagreed with the media's interpretation of the term "performance artist". Kelly was awarded the right to decide where their children live while he maintains visitation rights.
^Collins, Ben (July 25, 2018). "YouTube issues warning to Infowars founder Alex Jones, takes down four videos". NBC News. Retrieved 2018. Two of the videos featured anti-Muslim content, including one in which Jones claimed that Muslims had invaded Europe. Another was flagged for anti-transgender content in which Jones appeared to threaten transgender people. The fourth showed an adult man and a young boy engaged in a physical altercation under the title "How To Prevent Liberalism."