Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's the Birthday of Soledad O'Brien

Photo: Peter Tang/Chicago Maroon

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.

Education: Smithville High School (NY) and Harvard University (BA)

Soledad is the fifth of six children, all of whom graduated from Harvard University

She joined Al Jazeera America in 2013 as part of a deal with her new production company, Starfish Media Group. She will contribute short-form segments as Special Correspondent to Al Jazeera America’s primetime current affairs magazine program “America Tonight,” and Starfish will produce long-form documentary specials.

Soledad also reports for HBO's Real Sports program.

O’Brien had previously served as an anchor and special correspondent for CNN. She joined CNN 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.”
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