Bill O’Reilly is an American political commentator, journalist, television host, syndicated columnist and bestselling author. Best known for his eponymous Fox News program The O’Reilly Factor, his net worth is estimated at $85 million.
Bill O’Reilly Net Worth: Brief History
Bill O’Reilly was born William James O’Reilly, Jr on September 10, 1949 in New York, City. When he was 2 years old, his family relocated to Mineola, New York, a Long Island village. He graduated from Chaminade High School, a private catholic boys high school in 1967. Billy then enrolled in Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York where he majored in history. He spent his junior year abroad in the UK where he attended Queen Mary College at the University of London. He graduated from Marist College with honors in 1971. While in college, O’Reilly was a writer for the school newspaper and was also active in sports playing in the varsity baseball team.
He moved to Miami after graduation and took up a job as a high school English and History teacher for two years (1970-1972). Bill then returned to school and earned a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University where he also met the now renowned radio pundit Howard Stern. Several years after achieving a successful career in journalism, O’Reilly returned to school yet again, this time the prestigious Harvard where he earned a masters degree in public administration in 1996.
Bill O’Reilly Net Worth: Career Beginnings
O’Reilly started out by working for several local news stations, beginning at WNEP-TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He then proceeded to work for similar stations in Dallas, Denver, Portland, Oregon, Hatford, Connecticut and Boston. During these periods, he earned many awards for his reporting including his very first of many Emmys in Denver.
O’Reilly returned to New York in 1982 where he worked as a news anchor at WCBS-TV. Two years of outstanding reporting was enough to get him promoted to CBS where he worked as a news correspondent. After a controversy that occurred between him and CBS on an uncredited report, O’Reilly left CBS. At the funeral of his friend, ABC news anchor Joe Spencer who died en route a report, O’Reilly’s eulogy rendition impressed ABC News president Roger Ailes who hired him as a news correspondent shortly after in 1986. O’Reilly’s outstanding report with ABC News was rewarded with two Emmys and other coveted awards. He left after three years in 1989.
Bill O’Reilly Net Worth: Breakthrough And The O’Reilly Factor
O’Reilly’s big break came right after he left CBS and joined the then King World syndicated infotainment “Inside Edition”. After a 5 year, stint, he left for Harvard. 1996, the year O’Reilly graduated Harvard was the same year Fox News was established. In search of competent reporters, Fox News immediately hired O’Reilly who began anchoring his own political talk show The O’Reilly Report later renamed The O’Reilly Factor. The show soon garnered much viewers and fast forward to 2001 became the highest-rated cable news program in the country with an average 3 million viewers every week. Bill O’Reilly makes between $15 million and $18 million annually for his role on Fox News.
See Also: Brian Williams Net Worth
Bill O’Reilly Net Worth: Killing Book Series And Others
O’Reilly capitalized on his popularity and established other media ventures including a radio talk show “The Factor” which was extremely successful during its 7 year run from 2002 to 2009. He also began writing a weekly syndicated newspaper column which appeared in the New York Post and the Chicago Sun-Times. It was discontinued in 2013.
In addition to his award-winning contributions to TV, O’Reilly is also a prolific and bestselling author who have churned out over 20 books. He is particularly known for his Killing book series which have sparked controversies among critics, they include Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, and Killing Reagan some of which have been turned by the National Geographic channel into documented TV movies. In 2012, Forbes reported that he made over $24 million from book sales and $28 million in 2014. Apparently, on the average he makes over $25 million annually from book sales.
Bill O’Reilly Net Worth: Controversies And Divorce
Since he gained national recognition, O’Reilly’s career as well as his personal life has become awash with controversies. As a matter of fact, his Fox News eponymous talk show is focused on discussing controversial topics as they unfold, regardless, the show still banks him millions thanks to the millions that tune in to watch.
In his personal life, O’Reilly has been accused of sexual harassment more than once. The first one occurred in 2004 when Andrea Mackris an associate producer on his show filled a sexual harassment lawsuit against him demanding $60 million in damages. The duo later settled out of court with O’Reilly allegedly paying her somewhere between $2 million and $10 million. Secondly in August 2016 after his boss Roger Ailes was fired for sexual harassment accusations, O’Reilly was again accused by Andrea Tantaros.
An even more messy incidence was his contentious divorce from Maureen McPhilmy, his wife of 14 years in 2010. After the pair settled in 2011, an even more contentious custody battle followed where domestic violence accusations were made against O’Reilly. Shortly after his ex wife won the primary custody of their two kids, O’Reilly filled a $10 million lawsuit against her claiming that while they were married she used his money to fund her relationship with Jeffrey Gross, a Nassau County Police Department detective.
Bill O’Reilly is an active philanthropist with particular focus on veteran related charities.