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Shepard Smith (American broadcaster) Bio, Facts 

Shepard Smith

Born name: David Shepard Smith Jr.
Date of Birth: January 14, 1964
Place of Birth: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Height: 1.7 m
Nationality: American
Education: University of Mississippi, Marshall Academy
Occupation: News anchor
Employer: Fox News (1996–2019)
Spouse(s): Virginia Donald (m. 1987–1993)
Partner(s): Giovanni Graziano (2012–present)

David Shepard "Shep" Smith Jr. (born January 14, 1964) is an American broadcast journalist. He joined the Fox News Channel at its 1996 inception and is known for his former role as the chief anchor and managing editor of its breaking news division. Smith is the former host of Fox News' evening newscast, The Fox Report with Shepard Smith, and Studio B. In October 2013, Shepard Smith Reporting replaced Studio B. Smith's ratings were consistent with those of his Fox News Channel colleagues, continually finishing ahead of his competitors at 3:00 p.m.

Early life
Smith was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, the son of Dora Ellen Anderson, an English teacher, and David Shepard Smith Sr., a cotton merchant. He attended Marshall Academy in Holly Springs. After high school, his parents split and he moved to Florida with his mother. He went on to attend the University of Mississippi, where he studied journalism, but left two credits away from graduation. He frequently returns to the university during college football season and delivered the university's annual commencement address on May 10, 2008.

Journalism career
Smith signed his first television contract with WJHG-TV in Panama City Beach, Florida, in 1986. He worked as a reporter for WBBH-TV in Fort Myers, reporter/anchor in Miami with WSVN, and as a reporter at WCPX-TV (now WKMG-TV) in Orlando. In Los Angeles, California, he was a correspondent for A Current Affair. He joined the Fox News Channel at its inception in 1996.

Smith has been assigned to cover many major news stories during his career. In 1997, he reported on the death and funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. In November 2000, he was sent to Florida to cover the Florida ballot counting controversy during the United States presidential election. In 2001, he traveled to Terre Haute, Indiana, to be one of the media witnesses to the execution of Timothy McVeigh. In late August 2005, he spent a little over a week in New Orleans, Louisiana, to provide news reports on the events and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Fox Report with Shepard Smith was a top-rated newscast in cable news and was ranked third in U.S. cable news programs. Smith tied for second (along with Dan Rather and Peter Jennings) as the most trusted news anchor on both network and cable news in a 2003 TV Guide poll. In addition to anchoring Fox News Channel's flagship news program, Smith also anchors most prime time news presentations provided by Fox News for the broadcast Fox television network.

On November 19, 2007, The New York Times reported that Smith had signed a three-year contract giving him between US$7 million and US$8 million per year. This contract placed him in the same pay league as Brian Williams of NBC and Charles Gibson of ABC. He renewed his contract with Fox on October 26, 2010, for another three years.

On September 12, 2013, Smith and Fox News announced that, along with another multi-year renewal of his contract, his role in Fox News would shift. He would become the managing editor of Fox News' new breaking news division and the host of Shepard Smith Reporting. Both Studio B and The Fox Report were phased out, and in October 2013 Shepard Smith Reporting began airing in the 3 p.m. ET time slot.

In November 2017, as a Fox News host, Smith debunked the alleged Uranium One scandal, infuriating viewers who suggested he should work for CNN or MSNBC. Fox News primetime host Sean Hannity, who had days earlier characterized Uranium One as one of the "biggest scandals in American history," later called Smith "clueless", while Smith stated, "I get it, that some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining. I get that. I don't work there. I wouldn't work there." Through 2019, no evidence of wrongdoing has been found after four years of allegations surrounding Uranium One.

On March 15, 2018, Fox News re-signed Smith to a new multi-year contract.

On October 11, 2019, after working at Fox News for 23 years — since its first broadcast in 1996 — Smith abruptly announced on Shepard Smith Reporting that he was leaving the network. Among Smith's final comments was that he and his colleagues had "endeavored to deliver [news reports] to you, while speaking truth to power without fear or favor, in context and with perspective." Many journalists and related professional organizations lamented the loss of the reporting by Smith on Fox News and noted that he has not "retired", but that, after a hiatus, he will resurface to continue making contributions elsewhere.

Speculation arose quickly regarding possible implications of Attorney General William Barr having met privately with Rupert Murdoch just days before Smith's abrupt departure.

Appearances in film
Smith appeared as himself in the 1997 film Volcano. Video of Smith anchoring on Fox News during the opening moments of the March 2003 Iraq War was also used in the film Fahrenheit 9/11.

Personal life
Smith married Virginia Donald, a University of Mississippi classmate, in 1987. They divorced in 1993 with no children.

In 2017, Smith confirmed in a speech that he is gay, but never thought of himself as "in the closet", stating, "I don't think about it. It's not a thing. I go to work. I manage a lot of people. I cover the news. I deal with holy hell around me. I go home to the man I'm in love with." A reporter covering the speech wrote, "Smith believes his sexuality is a piece of his personal story, but not the most defining factor."

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Categories: 1964 births,20th-century American journalists,21st-century American journalists,American television news anchors,American television reporters and correspondents,Fox News people,American social commentators,Gay men,Journalists from Mississippi,LGBT people from Mississippi,LGBT broadcasters from the United States,LGBT journalists from the United States,People from Holly Springs, Mississippi,University of Mississippi alumni

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