Norah Morahan O'Donnell
January 23, 1974
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Education||Douglas MacArthur High School|
|Alma mater||Georgetown University|
|Geoff Tracy (m. 2001)|
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. She is the former Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News and the substitute host for CBS's Sunday morning show Face the Nation.
O'Donnell was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Francis O'Donnell, a doctor. Her parents are both of Irish descent. When Norah was 3, her family moved to San Antonio, Texas. When she was 10, the family spent two years in Seoul, living in Yongsan Garrison as her father was assigned to work there. The family moved back to San Antonio where she graduated from Douglas MacArthur High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and a master's degree in liberal studies from Georgetown University.
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 has 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, 2012.
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."
O'Donnell lives in Washington, D.C. and New York City's Upper West Side neighborhood with her husband, restaurateur Geoff Tracy (owner of D.C. restaurant Chef Geoff's), whom she married in June 2001. On May 20, 2007, O'Donnell and Tracy became the parents of twins, whom they named Grace and Henry. 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. O'Donnell is a Roman Catholic.
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.
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.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."
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." 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.'"