Carlson was born into an affluent Republican family. His father, Richard Warner Carlson, was a former Los Angeles news anchor and U.S. ambassador. He was also the president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. His mother was Lisa McNear Lombardi, however she left the family when Carlson was 6 in order to pursue a Bohemian lifestyle. His father remarried Patricia Caroline Swanson, an heiress to the Swanson frozen-food fortune, four years later.
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Carlson had a predictable boarding school education at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island. He later joined the University of Trinity where he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in history. The degree gave him a broader perspective to understand political matter and this laid a foundation for his careers as a political analyst.
Carlson's first career position was that of a fact-checker for Policy Review, a national conservative journal. He then moved on to be a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, Arkansas and ultimately joined The Weekly Standard in 1995. As a journalist, he participated in columns for New York and Reader's Digest, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and The Daily Beast.
In 2002 Carlson took a position at CNN where he co-hosted the program The Spin Room and the Crossfire. He gained popularity there, often representing the right, but was most remembered for a verbal altercation with John Stewart in October 2004. Stewart proposed that Carlson and the nature of his show (Crossfire) were harming meaningful political discourse in the United States. In January 2005, CNN announced that Carlson would no longer be a member of the company and that Crossfire would be canceled.
Carlson was hired by MSNBC for the self-titled show Tucker that premiered on June 13, 2005. The show continued for three seasons before low ratings caused its cancellation on March 14, 2008. Carlson claimed that the network's audience was moving towards the left.
Carlson moved to the largely conservative Fox News channel as a contributor in May 2009. On November 14, 2016 he began hosting Tucker Carlson Tonight, which debuted as the "network's most watched telecast of the year in the time slot." It's premiere was viewed by 3.7 million people and was rated higher than On the Record, which it replaced. Forbes reported in January 2017 that the show had "consistently high ratings averaging 2.8 million viewers per night." In March of that year it was the most watched cable program in its time slot. It was the third highest-rated cable news show of any time slot in March of the next year.
Carson published a memoir in 2003 titled Politicians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News. In May of 2017 he signed an eight figure, two-book deal with Simon & Schuster. The first book, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list in October 2018.
Carlson was a contestant on season 3 of Dancing with the Stars in 2006. He was paired with professional dancer Elena Geinenko and even took a daily four-hour ballroom dance class in preparation. Despite his efforts, he was the first contestant of the season eliminated on September 13, 2006.
20 Nov, 2018
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