Chris Wallace Biography

Christopher Wallace, son of renowned American journalist Mike Wallace, has made a name for himself as a respected journalist and television news anchor. Best known as the host of the popular Sunday morning talk show ‘Fox News Sunday’ on the Fox network, Chris is praised for his tough and comprehensive interviews, much like his father. With a background in journalism that includes assisting Walter Cronkite during the 1964 Republican National Convention and working as a national reporter for ‘The Boston Globe’, Chris later shifted his focus to broadcast news. He served as a White House correspondent for NBC, a weekend anchor for ‘NBC Nightly News’, and the host of ‘Meet the Press’, ‘Primetime Thursday’, and ‘Nightline’. However, it is his role as the host of ‘Fox News Sunday’ since 2003 that has brought him widespread fame. Throughout his career, Chris has had the opportunity to interview prominent politicians such as Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump. In fact, he was selected to moderate the final 2016 United States presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton, as well as the first 2020 United States presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden. Chris’s exceptional work has earned him numerous accolades, including three Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Christopher W. Wallace
  • Age: 76 Years, 76 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Lorraine Martin Smothers, divorced), Elizabeth Jane Farrell ​ ​ (m. 1973
    • Father: Mike Wallace
    • Mother: Norma Kaphan
    • Siblings: Peter Wallace
    • Children: Andrew Wallace, Caroline Wallace, Catherine Wallace, James Christopher Wallace, Magan Wallace, Peter Wallace, William Wallace
  • Born Country: United States
  • TV Anchors
  • Journalists
  • Height: 5’10” (178 cm), 5’10” Males
  • City: Chicago, Illinois
  • Ancestry: Russian American
  • Grouping of People: Jewish Journalist
  • U.S. State: Illinois
  • More Facts
  • Education: Harvard University, Harvard College

Childhood & Early Life

Christopher Wallace was born on October 12, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois, US, in the Jewish family of Mike Wallace and his first wife Norma Kaphan. Being born on Columbus Day, Mike and Norma named him Christopher. Mike, a journalist, actor, game show host and media personality, was best known as one of the original correspondents for CBS’ ‘60 Minutes’. Mike and Norma divorced when Chris was a year old. He was raised by his mother and stepfather Bill Leonard, who went on to become President of CBS News. Chris’ relationship with Mike developed years later after he lost his elder brother Peter in a mountain-climbing accident in Greece in 1962.

Education and Early Career

Chris studied at the Hotchkiss School. He was in his teens when he got his early exposure to political journalism through Leonard. This saw him working as assistant to Walter Cronkite during the 1964 Republican National Convention. While attending Harvard College, Chris first reported news on-air for WHRB operated by Harvard College students. He was accepted at Yale Law School, however he joined American daily newspaper ‘The Boston Globe’ as a national reporter. His boss there described him as an “aggressive and ambitious reporter”. He turned his focus on broadcast news after noticing the impact television had on news during the 1972 Republican National Convention. He worked for WBBM-TV for sometime in the early 1970s.

Career in Network Journalism

Chris commenced his career in Network journalism with NBC in 1975. He served as a WNBC-TV reporter in New York City for 14 years before being transferred to Washington bureau of NBC where he worked as a political correspondent for NBC News. In 1982, he served as Washington co-anchor and news reader for ‘Today’ with Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley. Same year he became chief White House correspondent for NBC and served in such capacity till 1989. He remained anchor of Sunday edition of ‘NBC Nightly News’ from 1982 to 1984 and again from 1986 to 1987, and moderator of ‘Meet the Press’ from 1987 to 1988. He took a joint interview of Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan on May 18, 1985, at Camp David as part of an NBC News special. He interviewed different political personalities including Donald Trump while covering the 1988 Republican National Convention for NBC News.

In 1989, Chris departed from NBC and joined ABC. There he served as senior correspondent of ‘Primetime Thursday’ and also hosted ‘Nightline’ occasionally. He reported on the Iraqi Scud missiles attacks from Tel Aviv during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. His reporting on Primetime Live segment: Hope Sells garnered him a News and Documentary Emmy Award nomination. He left ABC in 2003 and joined Fox News where he replaced Tony Snow as host of the Sunday morning talk show, ‘Fox News Sunday’. His career as a journalist only bolstered with the network with Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes calling him one of the best interviewers in the business. Chris took part in coverage of almost all major political events during his 17 years at FOX and has also interviewed different dignitaries and US leaders. These include securing the network’s first interview with President Barack Obama in February 2009.

Notable Moments and Awards

Chris along with Special Report anchor Bret Baier and ‘The Kelly File’ anchor Megyn Kelly served as moderators during the 2016 Republican Party Presidential debate that aired on Fox News on March 3, 2016. Chris was selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) as moderator of the final 2016 Presidential debate between Donald Trump and ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. With this Chris became the first Fox News anchor to become a moderator in a general election presidential debate. His tough questioning to both Trump and Clinton during the debate held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on October 19, 2016, earned Chris praise from both sides of the aisle. The first interview of Donald Trump after he was elected President of the US was taken by Chris in 2017. He won a News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Interview, the first News and Documentary Award in the history of Fox News, for his July 2018 interview with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Over the years, Chris has received several other awards including two more News & Documentary Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.

Recent Career and Personal Life

He covered the September 2018 Supreme Court hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexually assaulting several women including Christine Blasey Ford. The latter accused that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were attending high school. Chris promoted the 2019 biographical documentary film ‘Mike Wallace Is Here’, made on his father, on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ in July 2019. His heated conversation with American conservative commentator Katie Pavlich on January 27, 2020, on Fox News Sunday on whether additional witnesses should be permitted to testify during the 2020 Impeachment trial of Donald Trump in the Senate drew attention. He also garnered considerable social media attention and news attraction for his July 19, 2020, interview with President Donald Trump outside The White House where he held the President accountable and fact-checked the latter in real time. He was again selected by CPD to moderate the first 2020 United States presidential debate that was held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 2020 with President Trump facing former Vice President Joe Biden. The debate was referred as chaotic by Chris who tried to gain control and maintain order several times amidst frequent interruptions from President Trump. He was part of Martha McCallum and Bret Baier’s Election night coverage of 2020 United States presidential election on Fox News on November 3 that year. Chris has also authored several books throughout his career.

In Popular Culture

The character of Chris has been portrayed in popular culture, including by Tom Hanks in a Saturday Night Live skit during the Third Presidential Debate Cold Open in 2016, and by Beck Bennett in 2020. He was also featured in the 2019 film ‘Bombshell’, where his character was portrayed by Marc Evan Jackson.

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