Famous 20th Century Journalists

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century Journalists, including Christopher Hitchens, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Svetlana Alexievich, George Orwell and Alexandre Trudeau

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson.
Famous As: Journalist and Author
Birthdate: July 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Louisville
Died: February 20, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson was an American author and journalist. He is credited with creating his own subgenre of New Journalism called the gonzo journalism. The author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was later adapted into a film, Thompson was famous for his lifelong use of drugs and alcohol. His books have had a major impact on counterculture.

 2 Truman Capote

Truman Capote.
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 30, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: August 25, 1984
Truman Capote is best known for his novella Breakfast at Tiffany's, which was made into a movie that starred Audrey Hepburn, and the non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. His short story Shut a Final Door won the O. Henry Award. He was a lifelong friend of author Harper Lee.
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 3 Dan Rather

Dan Rather.
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: October 31, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wharton, Texas
Dan Rather shot to fame when he saved thousands of people during Hurricane Carla through the first radar weather report. Subsequently, he had a 24-year stint on CBS Evening News. He was fired following the Killian documents controversy and then joined AXS TV, hosting shows such as Dan Rather Reports

 4 Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite.
Famous As: Broadcaster
Birthdate: November 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint Joseph
Died: July 17, 2009
TV journalist Walter Cronkite, named “The most trusted man in America," is remembered for his 19-year association with CBS Evening News and his catchphrase "And that's the way it is.” His U.S. space program reports made him the only non-NASA person to receive the Ambassador of Exploration award.

 5 Christiane Amanpour

Christiane Amanpour.
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: January 12, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
British-Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour is best known as the anchor of the CNN interview show Amanpour. She has also hosted PBS’s Amanpour & Company. She was criticized for her biased and pro-Muslim coverage of the Bosnian War. She has also been a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression.

 6 George Orwell

George Orwell.
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Motihari, Bihar, India
Died: January 21, 1950

The king of dystopia and satire, George Orwell, the pen name adopted by Eric Arthur Blair, was a well-known novelist and critic of the 20th century. A man with a strong mind of his own, Orwell never backed down from stating his views on the socio-political climate he lived in, which he expressed profusely through his influential essays and novels.

 7 Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson.
Famous As: Television Personality, Gourmet, Food Writer
Birthdate: January 6, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Daughter of Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigella Lawson has written several bestselling cookbooks and hosted many culinary shows. Winner of the British Book Award and the Guild of Food Writers Award, Nigella has previously worked as an editor and freelance journalist and also owns a cookware range.
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 8 Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem.
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 25, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio

Hailing from a humble background, Gloria Steinem went on to become a celebrated journalist and an iconic feminist. Founder of the New York magazine and Ms Magazine, her life has been dedicated to writing, talking and fighting for women’s rights, gender equality, legalisation of abortion, among other things. She brought issues like female genital mutilation to the forefront in America.

 9 Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly.
Famous As: Talk Show Host & Radio Personality
Birthdate: September 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City

Bill O'Reilly is an American author, journalist, and former TV host. The host of Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly played a major role in the success of Fox News Channel during his time at the channel. He is also credited with founding the No Spin News podcast, which he has been hosting since 2017.

 10 Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford.
Famous As: TV Host, Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris

Kathie Lee Gifford achieved celebrity status by working as a television presenter. She then became a singer-songwriter and author, cementing her place in the entertainment industry. Also known for her charity work, Kathie serves as an ambassador for Childhelp, a non-profit organization working towards preventing child abuse.

 11 Lucy Hawking

Lucy Hawking.
Famous As: Journalist, Novelist, Writer
Birthdate: November 2, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: England
Lucy Hawking, daughter of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking, has been a journalist with New York Magazine, The Times, and The Telegraph. She has also authored several children's books, such as George's Secret Key to the Universe. She is the VP of National Star College and also works for autism research.

 12 James May

James May.
Famous As: TV Presenter
Birthdate: January 16, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bristol, United Kingdom

James May is an English journalist and television presenter. May is known for co-presenting the popular factual television show Top Gear alongside Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson. James May is credited with co-founding the independent TV production company W. Chump and Sons.

 13 Jill Wendy Dando

Jill Wendy Dando
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: November 9, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weston-super-Mare, England
Died: April 26, 1999

 14 Michael Portillo

Michael Portillo.
Famous As: Journalist, Political Leader
Birthdate: May 26, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hertfordshire
Former Conservative MP from Enfield Southgate, and Kensington and Chelsea, Michael Portillo, later hosted the BBC documentaries Great British Railway Journeys and Great Continental Railway Journeys. A Thatcherite and an EU-sceptic, he gave rise to the term "Portillo moment" when he lost the Conservative Enfield Southgate seat in 1997.

 15 Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond
Famous As: Television presenter, Writer, Journalist, Autobiographer, Children's writer
Birthdate: December 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Solihull

 16 Gloria Borger

Gloria Borger.
Famous As: Political Analyst & Journalist
Birthdate: September 22, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Rochelle, New York
Emmy-nominated journalist Gloria Borger serves as the CNN chief political analyst and is best known for appearing on The Situation Room. She has previously worked as a national political correspondent for CBS News and been part of the CBS shows 60 Minutes II and Face the Nation.

 17 Gary Webb

Gary Webb
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: August 31, 1955
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Corona
Died: December 10, 2004

 18 Edward R. Murrow

Edward R. Murrow.
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: April 25, 1908
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Guilford County, North Carolina, United States
Died: April 27, 1965

 19 Julie Chen

Julie Chen
Famous As: Presenter, Television producer, Journalist
Birthdate: January 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Queens

 20 Bal Thackeray

Bal Thackeray
Famous As: Politician, Journalist, Painter
Birthdate: January 23, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mumbai
Died: November 17, 2012

Legendary Indian politician Bal Thackeray, or Balasaheb Thackeray, was the patriarch of one of the most influential political families of India and the founder of the Shiv Sena. He went from being a cartoonist to the godfather of Maharashtra, though his overtly regional and Hindu nationalist ideals were often criticized.

 21 Martha Gellhorn

Martha Gellhorn.
Famous As: Journalist & Writer
Birthdate: November 8, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: St. Louis
Died: February 15, 1998

 22 Naga Munchetty

Naga Munchetty.
Famous As: Television Presenter
Birthdate: February 25, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Streatham
Journalist Naga Munchetty is known for hosting shows such as BBC Breakfast, Victoria Derbyshire, and Newsnight. She previously hosted BBC World News and Working Lunch and also won Celebrity Mastermind. She is also a skilled golfer and plays jazz trumpet and the piano. She publicly criticized Trump for his racism.

 23 Jamie Hyneman

Jamie Hyneman
Famous As: Television presenter, Journalist, Linguist, Wrangler, Machinist
Birthdate: September 25, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Marshall

 24 Brian Williams

Brian Williams.
Birthdate: May 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ridgewood, New Jersey, U.S.
Brian Williams is best known for his 10-year stint as the host of NBC Nightly News. In 2015, he was suspended for his controversial coverage of the Iraq War back in 2003. The Walter Cronkite Award-winning jorunalist was later demoted and worked as a breaking news anchor on MSNBC.

 25 Maria Bartiromo

Maria Bartiromo.
Famous As: TV Journalist
Birthdate: September 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Maria Bartiromo, who has worked with CNN, CNBC, Fox, is best known as the host of On the Money with Maria Bartiromo and Closing Bell. She is the first journalist to report live from the NY Stock Exchange and has earned two Emmys and an Excellence in Broadcast Journalism Award.

 26 Sanjay Gupta

Sanjay Gupta
Famous As: Surgeon, Neurosurgeon, Journalist, Screenwriter
Birthdate: October 23, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Novi

Born to Indian-origin parents in the U.S., Sanjay Gupta is an acclaimed neurosurgeon and medical writer. He has also had a successful stint as a medical reporter for CNN, covering medical issues at wars and disasters. He has played himself in the movie Contagion and is a skilled accordion player.

 27 Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk.
Famous As: Novelist & Journalist
Birthdate: February 21, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pasco, Washington

Freelance journalist and author Chuck Palahniuk specializes in what he calls transgressional fiction. His popular novel Fight Club was adapted into a film starring Brad Pitt and also won awards such as the Oregon Book Award for Best Novel. Though critics call his books nihilistic, he himself calls them romantic.

 28 Connie Chung

Connie Chung.
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: August 20, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
TV journalist Connie Chung is known for her interviews on NBC, CNN, and CBS. She has hosted shows such as Good Morning America, Eye to Eye with Connie Chung, and CBS Evening News. Her interview of a fireman during a rescue mission after the Oklahoma City bombing was deemed inappropriate.

 29 Dana Loesch

Dana Loesch.
Famous As: Political Commentator
Birthdate: September 28, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Missouri

 30 Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly
Famous As: Radio personality, Lawyer, Political activist, Journalist
Birthdate: August 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Louis
Died: September 5, 2016

American attorney and author Phyllis Schlafly was a major figure of paleoconservativism and was against feminism, LGBT rights, and abortion. She was also behind the STOP ERA campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment, and her life and times were portrayed in the series Mrs. America, which had Cate Blanchett playing her.

 31 Robert Capa

Robert Capa.
Famous As: Photographer, Photojournalist
Birthdate: October 22, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: May 25, 1954

Robert Capa was a Hungarian-American photojournalist and war photographer. Regarded as the greatest adventure and combat photographer of all time, Robert Capa is best remembered for covering five major wars, namely Second Sino-Japanese War, Spanish Civil War, World War II, First Indochina War, and the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In 1947, he was honored with the prestigious Medal of Freedom.

 32 Geraldo Rivera

Geraldo Rivera.
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 4, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Journalist and TV personality Geraldo Rivera is best known for hosting the talk show Geraldo. He has also been part of the TV special The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults and the shows Geraldo at Large, Geraldo Rivera Reports, and The Five. He has authored several books, such as Willowbrook.

 33 Colette

Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, France
Died: August 3, 1954

Colette was a French author who received a nomination for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. She is remembered for her novella Gigi, which inspired the 1958 movie and the 1973 musical of the same name. Her life and work have inspired several films, including the 2018 biographical drama film Colette, where Keira Knightley played the title role.

 34 Meghan McCain

Meghan McCain.
Famous As: Columnist & TV Host
Birthdate: October 23, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Phoenix

The daughter of popular American politician John McCain, Meghan McCain has established herself as a noted columnist and TV personality, working for TV channels like Fox News, ABC News, and MSNBC. As an author, she has had a major impact upon the release of books, such as Dirty Sexy Politics and My Dad, John McCain. She also supports gay rights.

 35 Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
Famous As: Novelist, Aviator & Journalist
Birthdate: June 29, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: July 31, 1944

French writer, poet, aristocrat, and journalist, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, is best remembered for his novella, The Little Prince. He was a pioneering aviator as a young man. A successful commercial pilot before World War II, he joined the French Air Force at the start of the war. Equally successful as a writer, he won several of France's highest literary awards.

 36 Henry Graham Greene

Henry Graham Greene.
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berkhamsted, England
Died: April 3, 1991

English author Henry Graham Greene, better known as Graham Greene, is remembered for his pathbreaking Catholic novels and thrillers. He was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in Literature. His works include The Third Man and The Human Factor, and his Academy Award-nominated script of the film The Fallen Idol.

 37 Bart Starr

Bart Starr
Famous As: Entrepreneur, American football player, Journalist
Birthdate: January 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montgomery

 38 Richard Coles

Richard Coles
Famous As: Journalist, Radio personality
Birthdate: March 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Northampton

 39 Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee
Famous As: Journalist, Actor, Television actor, Screenwriter
Birthdate: October 25, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto

 40 Gina Lollobrigida

Gina Lollobrigida
Famous As: Actor, Photographer, Sculptor, Journalist
Birthdate: July 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Subiaco

Gina Lollobrigida is an Italian actress and photojournalist counted amongst the highest-profile European actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Considered a  sex symbol in her youth, she had a successful career both in the film and TV industries. She later built a second career as a photojournalist. She is a recipient of the NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award.  

 41 Kate Silverton

Kate Silverton
Famous As: Journalist, Television presenter
Birthdate: August 4, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Waltham Abbey

 42 Ed Sullivan

Ed Sullivan.
Famous As: Television Personality
Birthdate: September 28, 1901
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: October 13, 1974
Sports reporter and TV personality Ed Sullivan is best remembered as the host and creator of the variety show named The Toast of the Town, later renamed The Ed Sullivan Show. One of TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time, he was also a skilled columnist.

 43 Carol Thatcher

Carol Thatcher
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: August 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London

 44 Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer.
Famous As: Novelist, Journalist and Screen Writer
Birthdate: January 31, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Long Branch, New Jersey, United States
Died: November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer was an American journalist, novelist, essayist, filmmaker, actor, and playwright. A prolific writer, Mailer had at least one best-selling book in each of the seven decades post Second World War. Overall, he had 11 best-selling books in a career spanning over 60 years. A recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, Mailer is regarded as an innovator of New Journalism.

 45 Fearne Cotton

Fearne Cotton
Famous As: Television presenter, Voice actor, Journalist, Disc jockey
Birthdate: September 3, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Northwood

 46 Jim Cramer

Jim Cramer.
Birthdate: February 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wyndmoor
TV host Jim Cramer is best known for presenting the CNBC show Mad Money. He previously owned a hedge fund and was an editor for SmartMoney magazine. He has also launched TheStreet.com, authored several books, and appeared in movies such as Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

 47 Daniel Pearl

Daniel Pearl.
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: October 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Died: February 1, 2002

Daniel Pearl was an American journalist who was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan. He was kidnapped when he visited Pakistan to investigate the alleged links between Al-Qaeda and British citizen Richard Reid. Since his death, several institutions and schools have been named after him. His parents formed the Daniel Pearl Foundation in 2002 to continue his mission.

 48 Hedda Hopper

Hedda Hopper.
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 2, 1885
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: February 1, 1966

 49 Eric Bolling

Eric Bolling
Famous As: Presenter, Television presenter, Baseball player, Journalist
Birthdate: March 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago

 50 Trish Regan

Trish Regan.
Famous As: Television Host, Journalist
Birthdate: December 13, 1972
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampton, New Hampshire, U.S.