Friday, September 19, 2014

Soledad O'Brien Celebrates 48th Birthday

Birthdate: September 19, 1966
Birthplace: Saint James, New York
Mother: Estella, a Black Cubana (Afro-Cuban), was a French and English teacher.
Father: Edward, an Australian (from Toowoomba, Australia) of Irish descent, was a mechanical engineering professor.

Soledad's parents, both immigrants, met at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland in 1958 and married in 1959. Interracial marriage was illegal in Maryland then, so the couple was married in Washington, D.C.

Her full name is Maria de la Soledad Teresa O'Brien. From Spanish, her first name would translate as, "The Blessed Virgin Mary of Solitude." When she started working in TV, many people recommended that she change her name, but she refused.

Soledad attended Smithville High School in New York and has a BA from Harvard University. Soledad is the fifth of six children, all of whom graduated from Harvard University

O’Brien served as an anchor and special correspondent for CNN starting in 2003 and was the co-anchor of CNN’s flagship morning program, “American Morning,” and then the anchor of “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.”

After leaving CNN to start her own production company, Starfish Media Group, Soledad O'Brien joined Al Jazeera America in 2013. She contributes short-form segments as Special Correspondent to Al Jazeera America’s primetime current affairs magazine program America Tonight and Starfish will produce hour-long documentary specials. Soledad also reports for HBO's Real Sports program.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Soledad O'Brien's THE WAR COMES HOME Debuts Tonight

CNN's new Soledad O'Brien special, “The War Comes Home,” will focus on veterans returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq coping with post traumatic syndrome, rage, and thoughts of suicide.

The special follows Delon Beckett and Garrett Combs, two returning veterans at a time that the Veterans Administration is under intense criticism for its failure to help American troops back from war. One in five veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffers from post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, or severe depression, according to a Rand Corporation study cited by CNN. Almost 8,000 veterans commit suicide each year, and 22 veterans take their own lives each day, according to the VA.

In the special, Beckett and Combs are invited to join an innovative, Malibu-based therapy program called Save a Warrior. Founded and led by veteran Jake Clark, it uses equine therapy, transcendental meditation, and physically and emotionally demanding trust exercises to help vets.

The special is produced by O'Brien's Starfish Media Group and will be shown on CNN starting tonight, Tuesday, August 12 at 9 p.m. ET.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Soledad O'Brien: Keynote Speaker At Women’s Leadership Conference

Soledad O’Brien was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Women’s Leadership Conference, a non-profit event held at MGM Grand Hotel Casino in Las Vegas August 6 and 7.

The theme of the 2014 conference is “Women Inspiring Women.” The two-day conference will offer a wide range of learning opportunities, career guidance and personal growth tools.

A winner of multiple Emmy and Peabody awards, Ms. O’Brien is well-known for several critically acclaimed and successful documentary series on CNN, including “Black in America” and its follow-up, “Latino in America.” She will continue to produce those documentaries and other content through Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company she launched in June 2013.

Starfish Media is dedicated to presenting empowering personal stories that explore the often divisive issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity. Ms. O’Brien has also won numerous journalism awards for her documentaries “Latino in America 2,” the story of a Latina boxer who dreams of Olympic glory; “Gay in America: Gary and Tony have a baby,” and “Unwelcome, the Muslims Next Door.”

Named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists and one of Newsweek Magazine’s “10 People who Make America Great,” Ms. O’Brien recently entered into a multifaceted partnership with HBO. As part of the Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel team, she will have the opportunity to bring her distinctive style of storytelling to the world of sports. In addition to appearing on the award-winning program, the deal with HBO encompasses a first-look opportunity for scripted projects and long-form programming concepts with Ms. O’Brien’s Starfish Media Group.

In 2013, Ms. O’Brien joined Harvard University as a Distinguished Fellow and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the foundation for The National Archives.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Ms. O’Brien and her husband, Brad, created The Starfish Foundation to help disadvantaged young women get to and through college. This year they will provide funding and support to 25 deserving young women.

The Women’s Leadership Conference is open to women of all ethnicities, professions and social backgrounds, locally and nationally, and the men who support them. The MGM Resorts Foundation is the conference’s presenting sponsor. Proceeds of the conference after costs will be donated to one or more local nonprofit agencies devoted to the welfare and development of women and girls.


Friday, August 8, 2014

'The War Comes Home' on CNN August 12

Starfish Media presents its first documentary project, The War Comes Home, Tuesday, August 12th,  at 9:00pm EST on CNN.

Soledad O'Brien follows two veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as they participate in Save A Warrior, a program dedicated to helping soldiers who return home with Post Traumatic Stress.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Live Q&A With Soledad O'Brien Tonight

Soledad O'Brien will be taking your questions during a Live Google Hangout tonight (8/7/14) at 8:30pm ET about the upcoming The War Comes Home.

Go to

In the documentary, Soledad O'Brien follows two veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as they participate in Save A Warrior, a program dedicated to helping soldiers who return home with Post Traumatic Stress.

The program is the first documentary project from O'Brien's Starfish Media and will premiere August 12 at 9:00pm EST on CNN.