Childhood & Early Life
Shepard Smith was born as David Shepard Smith Jr. on January 14, 1964, in Holly Springs, a trading centre in Mississippi, USA. His father, David Shepard Smith Sr, was a cotton merchant while his mother, Dora Ellen Anderson, was an English teacher.
As a child, he liked talking and mixing with people. In 1977, while studying at Marshall Academy, he started working as a weekend soda jerk at a drugstore. In the same year, he developed an interest in journalism while watching the television coverage of Elvis Presley’s funeral.
In 1982, he graduated from school. In the same year, his parents divorced and he moved with his mother and brother to Florida. By then, he was determined to become a journalist, as he was fascinated by the technology involved with news coverage.
Possibly in 1982, he returned to his home state to study broadcast journalism at the School of Journalism and New Media under the University of Mississippi. There, he was immediately identified by his professor as one having a great future.
At the end of his junior years at the University of Mississippi, he moved to Florida with an internship. But when the school years began, he decided not to return, thus dropping out of college two credits shy of receiving his degree in journalism.
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In 1985, Smith began his career as a reporter at WCJB-TV in Gainesville, Florida. Later, he joined WJHG-TV (NBC) in Panama City Beach, Florida and then WBBH-TV in Fort Myers, WSVN-TV in Miami and WCPX-TV in Orlando. Thereafter, he served as a news reporter for the syndicated program, ‘A Current Affair’.
In October 1996, when the Fox News Channel was founded, he joined the organization as a New York-based general assignment reporter and senior correspondent. During his long association with the channel, he has covered almost all the major events around the world.
In 1997, he was sent to the United Kingdom to cover Princess Diana’s funeral. Next in 1998-1999, he covered President Clinton’s impeachment and trial. Also in 1998, he served as a correspondent at the Los Angeles based Fox News Edge and in April 1999 covered the Columbine High School massacre.
From September 13, 1999, he began to serve as the main anchor of ‘Fox Report’, continuing to do so until he was replaced by Jon Scott in June 2018. Initially it was a seven-night-a-week television news program; but from October 2013, it was relegated to weekends.
During the 2000 Presidential election, he was sent to Florida to cover the ballot counting controversy.
In June 2001, he served as a media witness to Timothy McVeigh’s execution. On September 11, he covered the attack on the World Trade Center, reaching the site within minutes. When in October 2001, United States invaded Afghanistan, he thoroughly covered the war. In March 2003, he also covered the war against Iraq.
From 2002, he began to host ‘Studio B with Shepard Smith’, an afternoon news/opinion/talk program, which focuses on the day's events. In the following year, he covered the Columbia Shuttle disaster.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, he traveled to the city, staying there for over a week, providing coverage on the event and its aftermath. Also in the same year, he covered the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
In the summer of 2006, he traveled to the Israel-Lebanon border to provide coverage of the Middle East conflict. In the following year, he signed a new contract with Fox News Chanel, receiving a huge jump in his annual salary.
In 2008, he covered the United States Presidential election, reporting from various locations like the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention. In addition, he also provided live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates and anchored FOX Broadcast Company's Election Night coverage.
In 2013, he became the managing editor of Fox News's new breaking news division. Also in the same year ‘Studio B with Shepard Smith’ was re-launched as ‘Shepard Smith Reporting’, a program he continues to host to this day.
Family & Personal Life
In 1987, Smith married Virginia Donald, with whom he studied at the University of Mississippi. They divorced in 1993 and had no children.
In 2017, he confirmed that he is a gay. Later, it was revealed that he has a long time relationship with fellow Fox News employee, Giovanni Graziano, commonly known as "Gio."