Childhood & Early Life
Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson was born on May 16, 1969, in San Francisco, California, U.S., to artist Lisa Lombardi and former U.S. ambassador to Seychelles, Richard Warner Carlson. Richard also worked as a ''gonzo'' reporter and later became the director of the 'Voice of America' and the president of the 'Corporation for Public Broadcasting.'
His brother, Buckley Peck Carlson (later, Buckley Swanson Peck Carlson) is 2 years younger than him. Carlson's parents divorced in 1976. The children stayed with their father when their mother left the family to live a "bohemian" life. Following this, she had very little contact with the family. She later married artist Michael Vaughn.
Carlson's father, too, remarried in 1979. His second wife, Patricia Caroline Swanson, was the daughter of the owner of 'Swanson Enterprises.' She was a divorcee when Richard married her. She later legally adopted Carlson and his brother.
Carlson and his brother grew up in La Jolla, California. They had moved there when he was in first grade. He attended the 'La Jolla Country Day School.'
Carlson then attended the 'St. George's School,' a boarding school in Midtown, Rhode Island. He completed his BA in history from the 'Trinity College' in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1991.
After his application to join the 'Central Intelligence Agency' was rejected, Carlson's father motivated him to become a journalist.
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Carlson's first job was that of a fact-checker for the national conservative journal 'Policy Review.' Dissatisfied with the working standards there, he quit and moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he worked as a reporter for the 'Arkansas Democrat-Gazette' newspaper.
Around the same time, Carlson wrote several articles and a book titled 'People vs. Crime: How Citizens Can Restore Order to America's Streets.' However, he was not confident of the book’s success. He thus canceled the book deal.
In 1995, he joined the 'Weekly Standard' magazine. Additionally, Carlson has written columns for 'New York,' 'Reader's Digest,' 'Esquire,' 'The New Republic, 'The New York Times Magazine,' and 'The Daily Beast.'
Carlson made a transition to TV in 2000, co-hosting the short-lived show 'The Spin Room.' He had joined the show accidentally. As mentioned in his 2003 book, a receptionist had approached him during lunch one day, asking him what he knew about the O.J. Simpson trial. He knew nothing, but the receptionist wanted him to shoot for the ‘48 Hours’ episode that day, as no one else was available. Within the next few hours, Carlson had a job at ‘CNN.’
In 2001, Carlson began co-hosting the ‘CNN’ debate program 'Crossfire' with Robert Novak, representing right-wing views, while hosts James Carville and Paul Begala represented the left. Carlson simultaneously hosted the ‘PBS’ weekly public affairs show 'Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered.'
In 2003, 'Warner Books' published Carlson's memoir, 'Politicians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News.'
In January 2005, ‘CNN’ announced Carlson's termination and the cancellation of his show 'Crossfire.' It happened in the wake of his argument with comedian Jon Stewart when he appeared on the show in October 2004. According to 'The New York Times,' ‘CNN's decision was driven by Stewart's intervention. Even though the channel chief, Jonathan Klein, supported Carlson's views against Stewart, he had to let Carlson go.
Denying the news of his termination, Carlson said that he had already resigned long before Stewart had appeared on 'Crossfire.'
On June 13, 2005, Carlson began his stint as the host of the early evening show 'Tucker' ('The Situation with Tucker Carlson') on ‘MSNBC.’ He reported the 2006 Lebanon War live. Carlson also hosted a late-afternoon program for the network on the 2006 'Winter Olympics' and an ‘MSNBC’ program titled 'Special Report: Mideast Crisis.'
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He was a regular panelist on the ‘MSNBC’ newscast 'Verdict with Dan Abrams.'
In 2006, Carlson participated in the third season of 'Dancing with the Stars,' partnering with Elena Grinenko. The duo was eliminated on September 13.
Due to low ratings, ‘MSNBC’ canceled 'Tucker' on March 10, 2008. In May 2009, Carlson joined 'Fox News' as a contributor. He often appeared as a panelist on the 'Fox' late-night satire show 'Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld' and was also seen in the “All-Star Panel” segment of 'Special Report with Bret Baier.'
He replaced Sean Hannity when he was absent from his show 'Hannity.' Carlson produced a special for 'Fox News,' titled 'Fighting for Our Children's Minds.'
In 2009, Carlson was named a senior fellow at the 'Cato Institute,' but he later pulled out from the organization and is no longer associated with it. On January 11, 2010, he co-founded (along with American political advisor and publisher Neil Patel) and served as the initial editor-in-chief of the news site 'The Daily Caller.' The site was financed by conservative activist Foster Freiss.
In April 2013, Carlson joined Alisyn Camerota and Clayton Morris as a co-host on the conservative news talk-show 'Fox & Friends Weekend.'
On November 14, 2016, Carlson started hosting the 'Fox News' nightly political talk-show 'Tucker Carlson Tonight,' which had replaced the network's news program 'On the Record.' 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' soon recorded the highest ratings for that time slot. It later took over the 9 p.m. slot after replacing Megyn Kelly's show and recorded the highest ratings for that slot, too.
'Tucker Carlson Tonight' was moved to the 8 p.m. slot on April 19, 2017, after the network canceled 'The O'Reilly Factor.' Following this, the show became the highest-rated show in the history of the channel.
In May 2017, on behalf of Carlson, literary and creative agency 'Javelin' signed a two-book deal with the 'Threshold Editions' of the publishing company 'Simon & Schuster.’ The first book in the series, 'Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution,' released in October 2018 and was a “New York Times Best Seller.”
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Family & Personal Life
Carlson is married to his high-school sweetheart, Susan Andrews, since 1991. Their wedding was held at the chapel of the 'St. George's School,' a school they had earlier attended together. They have four children: Lillie (born in 1995), Buckley (born in 1997), Hopie (born in 1999), and Dorothy.
Carlson is an Episcopalian and has been following abstinence since 2002.
In his memoir, he revealed that he had been falsely accused of rape by a mentally ill woman he did not know. The woman had also apparently stalked him.
To display his opposition to the Iraq war, Carlson did not cast his vote in the 2004 election. He is a strong opponent of abortion and immigration.
He is a good friend of Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof.
Carlson is also fan of the rock band 'Grateful Dead' and has attended several of their concerts.
In 2012, Carlson, along with his brother, filed a lawsuit to acquire his estranged mother's oil and gas royalties in several counties. She died in October 2011. It was not known whether her husband, Vaughn, had died or not.
In 2013, a handwritten will was found, in which Vaughn had stated that Lisa had left all of her estate solely to him. Interestingly, she had left one dollar each for Carlson and his brother.
In 2018, a group of activists from 'Smash Racism D.C.' vandalized Carlson's car and painted an anarchist symbol on his driveway.