Chris Wallace Biography & Facts
Christopher Wallace (born October 12, 1947) is an American journalist, and television news anchor of the Fox News program Fox News Sunday. Wallace is known for his tough and wide-ranging interviews, for which he is often compared to his father, 60 Minutes journalist Mike Wallace. As a teenager, Wallace became an assistant to Walter Cronkite during the 1964 Republican National Convention. After graduating from Harvard University, he worked as a national reporter for The Boston Globe where he was described by his boss as an "aggressive and ambitious reporter". After seeing the impact television had on news at the 1972 Republican National Convention, he focused on working on broadcast news, first at NBC (1975–1988) where he served as a White House correspondent alongside contemporaries CBS's Lesley Stahl and ABC's Sam Donaldson. Wallace also worked the anchor for NBC Nightly News and host of Meet the Press. He then worked for ABC, where he served as an anchor for Primetime Thursday and Nightline (1989–2003). Wallace is the only person to have served as host and moderator of more than one of the major U.S. political Sunday morning talk shows, which he did during his time at NBC. Since 2003, Wallace has hosted Fox News Sunday, where he has gained praise and acclaim for his interviews with politicians such as Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Russian president Vladimir Putin.According to a 2018 poll, he was ranked as being one of the most trusted TV news anchors in America. He made history when he was chosen to moderate the final 2016 United States presidential debate between Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, this being the first for a Fox News journalist. He received praise from both sides of the aisle for his tough questioning of both presidential candidates, with The New York Times writing, "Mr. Wallace mixed humor with scolding and persistence with patience to guide his charges toward the most substantive encounter of an unusually vicious election." He was chosen again to moderate the first 2020 United States presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. After this debate, he referred to it as chaotic and acknowledged that he should have been tighter on President Trump's interruptions from the very beginning. Wallace has won a Peabody Award, a George Polk Award, the duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award, and a Paul White lifetime achievement award.
Early life and education
Wallace was born in Chicago, Illinois, to longtime CBS 60 Minutes reporter Mike Wallace and Norma Kaphan. Wallace is Jewish; both his parents were Jewish. He was named Christopher because he was born on Columbus Day. His parents divorced when he was one year old; he grew up with his mother and stepfather Bill Leonard, President of CBS News. Leonard gave him early exposure to political journalism, hiring him as an assistant to Walter Cronkite at the 1964 Republican National Convention. Wallace did not develop a relationship with his father Mike until the age of 14.
Wallace attended the Hotchkiss School and Harvard College. He first reported news on-air for WHRB, the student radio station at Harvard. He memorably covered the 1969 student occupation of University Hall and was detained by Cambridge policemen, using his one phone call to sign off a report from Cambridge City Jail with "This is Chris Wallace from WHRB News reporting from Middlesex County Jail in custody."
Early career: The Boston Globe
Although accepted at Yale Law School, he decided to work for The Boston Globe where he was described by his boss as an "aggressive and ambitious reporter". He first covered City Hall, during the time Kevin White was mayor of Boston and later became a roving national reporter. Wallace soon focused his attention towards broadcast television news when he noticed all the reporters at the 1972 political conventions were watching the proceedings on televisions instead of in person. For a time in the early 1970s, he worked for the Chicago station WBBM-TV, which was owned and operated by CBS.
1975–1988: NBC News
Nightly News, Meet the Press
Wallace began his network journalism career with NBC in 1975, where he stayed for 14 years, as a reporter with WNBC-TV in New York City. Wallace then transferred to NBC's Washington bureau as a political correspondent for NBC News and later served as Washington co-anchor and news reader for the Today show with Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley in 1982. That same year, he also served as chief White House correspondent (1982–1989), anchor of the Sunday edition of NBC Nightly News (1982–1984, 1986–1987), and moderator of Meet the Press (1987–1988).
On May 18, 1985, as part of an NBC News special, Wallace did a joint interview with Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan at Camp David.Some journalists have described Wallace's style as confrontational. During President Ronald Reagan's news conference in March 1987, when Reagan admitted to dealing arms for hostages, Wallace asked Reagan why he had denied that Israel was involved with the arms sales to Iran "when you knew that wasn't true."In 1988, Wallace covered the 1988 Republican National Convention for NBC News where he interviewed various political figures including real estate tycoon Donald Trump questioning him about flirting with running for political office.
1989–2003: ABC News
Primetime Thursday, Nightline
Wallace left NBC in 1989 for ABC. Sam Donaldson, ABC's outgoing chief White House correspondent, said he was 'delighted' and 'very pleased' that Wallace, his journalistic rival, will be joining the network saying, 'I've always liked his work, I think he's going to be a plus.' At ABC News, Wallace was the senior correspondent for Primetime Thursday and occasionally hosted Nightline. During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, he reported from Tel Aviv on the Iraqi Scud missiles attacks. At the time, the Israeli government did not want to advertise where the Scuds landed, to prevent the Iraqis from making adjustments to their launchers. On one episode of Nightline, Wallace started describing the location in Tel Aviv where a Scud missile landed. Host Ted Koppel cut him off and asked him to point to a general area rather than give a specific location. Wallace received a News and Documentary Emmy Award nomination for his reporting on Primetime Live segment: Hope Sells.
2003–present: Fox News
Fox News Sunday
After another 14 years at ABC, Wallace left in 2003 to join Fox News. Wallace began hosting Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace in 2003 after replacing Tony Snow. Wallace along with Shepard Smith gained a reputation at FOX for their reputable status as journalists on the network. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Howard Kurtz wrote, "Fox seems to be inching toward more conventional journalism." When asked about his political opinions, Wallace stated, "Do I have political opinions? Absolutely. But I vote for the person, and I've voted for R.... Discover the Chris Wallace popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Chris Wallace books.