Famous American Journalists

America as a nation is known for the considerable press freedom allowed to its journalists. Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, became one of the nation’s early journalists when he started a successful newspaper in Philadelphia. Another one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Thomas Paine also ventured into journalism in the wake of American independence. The rise of the wire services in the 19th century had a profound effect on American journalism. Prominent personalities like Charles Anderson Dana, William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer revolutionized the world of journalism with their innovations. Also in the 19th century, Samuel Cornish and John Brown Russwurm started the first African-American periodical called ‘Freedom's Journal’ to support and uplift the black community. In the 20th century, Bob Woodward revitalized and popularized the concept of investigative journalism while Norman Kingsley Mailer emerged as a proponent of the alternative press movement. The growing impact on the internet in the 21th century has given birth to newer forms of journalism with the likes of Evan Smith co-founding online investigative newsrooms. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous American journalists.

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.
6
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.
4
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.

 3 William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst.
4
Famous As: Newspaper Baron
Birthdate: April 29, 1863
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: August 14, 1951

William Randolph Hearst was an American newspaper publisher, businessman, and politician. He is credited with developing America's largest newspaper chain, Hearst Communications. Today, Hearst Communications has grown into a multinational business information and mass media conglomerate. William Randolph Hearst’s life and work inspired the creation of Charles Foster Kane, the main character in the 1941 drama film, Citizen Kane.

 4 Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters.
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 25, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Barbara Walters is an American retired television personality and broadcast journalist. Renowned for her popularity with viewers, Walters appeared as the host of several popular TV shows. A pioneer for women in broadcasting, Walters became the first woman to co-host shows like Today and ABC Evening News. In 1996, she was named in TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars list.

 5 Dan Rather

Dan Rather.
4
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

 6 Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells.
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
Civil rights and women's rights activist Ida B. Wells is remembered for speaking up against the lynching of Blacks in the U.S. She was born a slave and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She later co-founded the NAACP. She also co-owned and wrote for Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

 7 Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite.
4
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.
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 8 Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan.
4
Famous As: American Football Player, Television Presenter
Birthdate: November 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Michael Strahan is a journalist, television personality, and former professional American football player. Strahan helped the New York Giants, where he spent his entire 15-year National Football League (NFL) career, win the Super Bowl XLII. After retiring from football, Michael Strahan co-hosted the talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan, for which he received a couple of Daytime Emmy Awards.

 9 Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem.
4
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.

 10 Lester Holt

Lester Holt.
6
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marin County, California, United States

Lester Holt is an American journalist who is the face of 'NBC News' since 2000. He hosts and co-hosts some of NBC's important programs, such as Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News. In 1990, he was honored with the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his work. In 2015, he was made an inductee of the California Hall of Fame.

 11 Gretchen Carlson

Gretchen Carlson
4
Famous As: Television Host
Birthdate: June 21, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Anoka, Minnesota, USA

Known for her stints on Fox News and CBS News, TV journalist Gretchen Carlson made headlines when she accused Fox CEO Roger Ailes of having sexually harassed her earlier, eventually causing him to resign. The former Miss America is also a skilled classical violinist and a Juilliard alumna.

 12 Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly.
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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.

 13 Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver.
6
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: November 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Famous American journalist, Maria Shriver, is recognised for her long association with NBC. Her documentary series The Alzheimer’s Project earned rave reviews and she later founded the nonprofit organization, 'The Women's Alzheimer's Movement'. As the former First Lady of California– she was married to Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was the governor of California– she involved herself in numerous charity works.

 14 Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell.
4
Famous As: Writer, Journalist
Birthdate: September 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fareham, Hampshire, England
Malcolm Gladwell is best known for his bestselling books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. He has also written for The New Yorker and The Washington Post. His writings encompass subjects such as psychology, economics, and sociology. Gladwell has also co-founded a podcast company and hosts the podcast Revisionist History.

 15 Erin Andrews

Erin Andrews.
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: May 4, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lewiston, Maine, United States

Erin Andrews is an American television personality and sportscaster. She is the lead sideline reporter for Fox Sports' NFL broadcasting team. Also known for her charitable work, Andrews played a key role in the Huddle to Fight Hunger campaign, which aimed to raise funds for Feeding America, a non-profit organization. She also serves as an inspiration to those fighting cancer.

 16 Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart.
4
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 3, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Elizabeth Smart is a child safety activist who gained national attention when she was kidnapped from her home at the age of 14. She was held captive for nine months before she was rescued by the cops. Smart went on to become an activist and works against human trafficking and abduction. In 2011, she became the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.

 17 Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: February 6, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Webster, South Dakota, United States

 18 Jack London

Jack London.
4
Famous As: Novelist & Journalist
Birthdate: January 12, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: November 22, 1916

Jack London was an American novelist, social activist, and journalist. A pioneer of American magazines and commercial fiction, London was one of the first authors from the US to become an international celebrity. His life and work inspired several films, such as the 1943 movie Jack London and 1980 film Klondike Fever. He was also portrayed in several TV series.

 19 Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts
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Famous As: Broadcaster
Birthdate: November 23, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tuskegee, Alabama, United States

A former basketball and tennis player, Rubin Roberts began her career as a sports anchor and reporter for a Mississippi channel, WDAM-TV, eventually joining ESPN as sportscaster, concurrently serving as a featured reporter for Good Morning America. In 2005, she left ESPN to become a co-anchor for Good Morning America, currently serving as an anchor for the same program.

 20 Jenna Bush Hager

Jenna Bush Hager.
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: November 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dallas
Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former American president George W. Bush, has been a teacher and a journalist. She has written several books, has worked with UNICEF, and has also co-hosted NBC shows such as The Today Show. She has also served as an editor for Southern Living magazine.

 21 David Muir

David Muir.
8
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: November 8, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Syracuse, New York
Multiple Emmy- and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning anchor David Muir is best known as a co-host of 20/20 and ABC's World News. His coverage of the 9/11 attacks earned him a National Headliner Award. One of the most-watched U.S. journalists, he was named to People's 2014 Sexiest Men Alive list. 

 22 Joan Didion

Joan Didion
4
Famous As: Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist
Birthdate: December 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States

 23 Tamron Hall

Tamron Hall.
6
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 16, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Luling, Texas, United States

Broadcast journalist and television talk show host Tamron Hall is best known for her eponymous award-winning syndicated daytime talk show. She has previously worked for NBC News and MSNBC. An alumnus of Temple University, she is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. She is actively involved in anti-domestic violence campaigns.

 24 Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy
4
Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: November 9, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

 25 Kaitlan Collins

Kaitlan Collins.
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Famous As: Journalist, Writer, Blogger
Birthdate: April 7, 1992
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Prattville, Alabama

Kaitlan Collins is one of the most popular and influential American journalists of the current generation. As a White House correspondent for CNN, Collins traveled to at least six different countries with Donald Trump. She made headlines when she questioned Trump about Vladimir Putin, for which she was forbidden from attending a Trump administration press conference in 2018.

 26 Gary Webb

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

 27 Julie Chen

Julie Chen
4
Famous As: Presenter, Television producer, Journalist
Birthdate: January 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Queens

 28 Jesse Watters

Jesse Watters.
4
Famous As: Political Commentator
Birthdate: July 9, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Jesse Watters is best known for his aggressive ambush journalism and for his vox pop interviews featured in the "Watters' World” segment of the show The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News. A seasoned political commentator, he has also hosted the talk shows The Five and Outnumbered.

 29 Gwen Ifill

Gwen Ifill
6
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 29, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: November 14, 2016

 30 Chris Hansen

Chris Hansen.
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: September 13, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Chris Hansen is an American YouTube personality and television journalist known for his work on the popular news magazine/reality legal show, Dateline NBC. The winner of eight Emmy Awards, Hansen's work on one of Dateline NBC's former segments To Catch a Predator, which focused on zeroing in on potential Internet sex predators, received much appreciation.

 31 Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly.
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: May 5, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cochrans Mills, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 27, 1922

Nellie Bly was an American industrialist, journalist, inventor, and charity worker. She is remembered for her circumnavigation of the world in 72 days. She is also known for pioneering a new kind of investigative journalism as she worked undercover from within a mental institution to report on the institution. Nellie Bly’s life and work have inspired several works of art.

 32 Keely Shaye Smith

Keely Shaye Smith.
4
Famous As: Journalist, Wife of Pierce Brosnan
Birthdate: September 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vallejo, California
Keely Shaye Smith, wife of Pierce Brosnan, was initially an NBC correspondent for Unsolved Mysteries. She also co-created the gardening show Home Green Home. She has, along with her husband, testified before the Environmental Protection Agency, supporting the new Climate Change Bill, and has co-directed the award-winning documentary Poisoning Paradise.

 33 Jamie Hyneman

Jamie Hyneman
4
Famous As: Television presenter, Journalist, Linguist, Wrangler, Machinist
Birthdate: September 25, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Marshall

 34 Brian Williams

Brian Williams.
6
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.

 35 Gayle King

Gayle King.
6
Famous As: Television Presenter
Birthdate: December 28, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chevy Chase, Maryland, United States

Gayle King is an American author and TV personality. Since 2012, King has been co-hosting CBS News' popular program, CBS This Morning. She has also been serving as CBS News' broadcast journalist. Also an editor-at-large for the famous O, The Oprah Magazine, King was included in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People in 2019.

 36 Maria Bartiromo

Maria Bartiromo.
4
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.

 37 Dana Bash

Dana Bash.
6
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: June 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Dana Bash is an American journalist. Currently working as a chief political correspondent for CNN, Dana Bash has played a major role in the success of the TV channel. She became one of the few women to be honored in a 2014 event called Women in Washington Power List, which was organized by Elle magazine.

 38 Sanjay Gupta

Sanjay Gupta
6
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.

 39 Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer.
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: December 22, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Kentucky, United States
The first female corrrespondant on 60 Minutes, a trailblazer for female journalists, a former co-host of Good Morning America and an aid to President Richard Nixon where she assisted in post-presidency memoirs, Diane Sawyer has many feathers in her cap. She bagged in a Daytime Emmy Award and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.

 40 Nancy Grace

Nancy Grace.
4
Famous As: Commentator
Birthdate: October 23, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia, United States

A popular legal commentator and television journalist, Nancy Grace has hosted many TV shows, including an eponymous nightly celebrity news show. An alumnus of the Walter F. George School of Law and New York University, she worked in a legal career before her stint in broadcasting. She is both praised and criticized for her outspoken style.

 41 Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk.
4
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.

 42 Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper.
24
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: June 3, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

As one of the leading television journalists for the past 10 years, Anderson Cooper has played a prominent role in influencing several important events in the United States of America. An openly gay man, Anderson Cooper has also served as an inspiration to the entire LGBTQ community.

 43 Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald.
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 6, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, previously a corporate lawyer, is known for his Online Journalism Award-winning investigation on Chelsea Manning’s case. He has contributed to The Guardian, the Salon, and his blog Unclaimed Territory, focusing on surveillance issues. He is also the author of bestselling books such as No Place to Hide.

 44 Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace.
5
Famous As: Journalist, TV Presenter, Host
Birthdate: May 9, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: April 7, 2012

A popular American journalist and media personality, Mike Wallace is credited with bringing important information to the household of several Americans during his illustrious career that spanned nearly 70 years; he interviewed prominent personalities like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Ayn Rand, and Salvador Dalí among others. His life and career inspired several films and he was portrayed by popular actors.

 45 Connie Chung

Connie Chung.
4
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.

 46 Dana Loesch

Dana Loesch.
4
Famous As: Political Commentator
Birthdate: September 28, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Missouri

 47 Erin Burnett

Erin Burnett.
8
Famous As: News Anchor
Birthdate: July 2, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mardela Springs, Maryland, United States

Erin Burnett is an American news anchor. Dubbed the International Superstar, Burnett has hosted her own show Erin Burnett OutFront from the borders of Afghanistan, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates; she has also worked on a number of documentaries filmed inside India, Nigeria, Russia, and Libya. She has also reported from countries like Pakistan and China.

 48 Brooke Baldwin

Brooke Baldwin.
6
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 12, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia

Brooke Baldwin is an American television host and journalist. Since 2008, Brooke Baldwin has been an important member of CNN. She has been hosting CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, which has gained popularity over the years. Also a public speaker, Brooke Baldwin speaks at important events and venues.

 49 Shannon Bream

Shannon Bream.
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: December 23, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sanford, Florida, USA

Lawyer-turned-TV journalist Shannon Bream had worked with WBTV and WRC-TV, before she began hosting Fox News @ Night. She has also won several beauty pageants earlier, such as the Miss Virginia 1990 and the Miss Florida USA 1995 titles. She has also interned under Florida congressman Bill McCollum.

 50 Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly
4
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.