Ali Velshi is known as the most respectful and powerful media icon for all the times. He is known to be the host of the business series for Al Jazeera America.  Ali Velshi was born in Kenya on October 29, 1969, but he was raised in Toronto. His father is Murad Velshi and his mother is Mila. He follows Indian Ismaili Muslim religion.


He did his schooling Northern Secondary School and graduated from the Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where graduated in religious studies. He was active in social reforms during his university studies, organizing protests against Preston Manning and the Canada's Reform Party.


He was always interested in Journalism and started his career as a reporter for the general assignment of the CFTO. When he moved to the United States, he had already experience in working with different networks such as BNN, City TV and CFTO.  He began his reporting career as a general assignment reporter for CFTO.  After sometimes, he moved to CablePulse 24, where he worked as a business reporter and an anchor before joining CityTV, an affiliate of CablePulse 24. In 1999, he was enlisted by Business News Network - BNN, Canada's premier all-business news channel, where he reported on The Business News during prime time.

He moved to the USA in September 2001, with a goal of joining CNN. He started work with CNNfn channel until the network wound up in December 2004. Soon after, he joined the CNN operating from their New York City bureau. He hosted different programs on CNN such as Business Unusual, Your Money, Street Sweep and Insights. He was appointed Chief Business Correspondent of CNN after spending time at CNNfn.

He presented the Tunaround, during which he traveled in different states, introducing small business managers to mentors able to sort their managerial challenges. This reality television show lasted 13 hours comprises of different episodes.

The then presented the Situation Room from 2005 to 2006. Afterwards, he hosted American Morning as a business commentator.

While he was covering the campaign, dubbed the CNN Election Express, he crisscrossed several states including South Carolina, California and Texas. In one such coverage, he reported that Mitt Romney who was a Republican Presidential Candidate said that he was going to create 12 million jobs in four years what he said that it was an exaggeration. He co-anchored programs such as American Morning as well as Your Money, a business program, aired every Saturday and Sunday. During the program he took live calls from the viewers who made different comments regarding the 2008 financial stock market crash. He reported about Hurricane Sandy in the Atlantic City where he was in the middle of the fierce winds telling the viewers not to go out but it seemed that he was not heeding his own advice. He also covered other hurricane devastations caused by Gustav and Ike, reporting within ranges of the storms' eyes and airing heartbreaking aftermath. In Pakistan, he reported on the massacre of Benazir Bhutto.

Other noticeable program hosted by Velshi included the Energy Hunt which was filmed in the Arctic wildlife park and the Oil Sands of Canada in 2008. The Shell oil spillage within the Gulf of Mexico and its widespread effects was reported by Velshi. He was the co-host of the market opening edition of CNN International for Business Today until his resignation from CNN in March 2013.  

He left CNN for Al Jazeera America where he hosts a 30-minutes weekly magazine at a prime time program known as Real Money with Ali Velshi. He was the first person who was hired for this channel on-air. After sometimes, the show that was supposed to be a weekly show, it ended up becoming a daily show. On August 20, 2013, the show was relaunched, due to its massive success, as Ali Velshi on Target.


Even if his salary is not disclosed, he is known to be one of the best-paid reporters while working at the CNN and now with Al Jazeera. His net worth is estimated at $500 thousand. 

Awards and Recognitions

In addition to being an anchor and news reporter, he is also known because of his writing. He is an author of two different books that became an instant success. The first book is called Gimme My Money Back and How to Speak Money. His third book is expected to be in the market soon. His experience and knowledge make him be one of the most successful people. He also contributes to a monthly column for two publishers - Money Magazine and Delta Sky magazines.

During his career as a journalist, he received several awards. One of them is a fellowship award to the United States Congress, for his exemplary service working with Lee H. Hamilton, the then Indiana Democratic Representative. The awarded was bestowed by the American Political Science Association.

His University awarded him the Queen's University Alumni Achievement Award. During the same year - 2010, he received the National Headliner Award for Business & Consumer Reporting, in recognition of his detailed report on How the Wheels came off. This discussed the reasons for the near-collapse of the US auto industry.

He got nominated for the 2010 Emmy Awards for his coverage of the attempted terror plot on a Delta flight.

 Trying his luck in a movie, Velshi featuring himself in the film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, directed by Oliver Stone.

Private Life

Ali Velshi is married to wife Lori Wachs and the wedding took place in 2009.  Lori Wachs is the president of the Cross Ledge Investments, a hedge fund firm based in Philadelphia. They are known to be in love. However, some rumors have it that Ali was married before his current engagement, even though there is no evidence to prove this.  It said that he got married where he was still 20 years old, however, no information about his first wife can be gotten. He is known to be fit and he does regular exercises.

He is active is several charitable organizations. These include the Council of Foreign Relations, The Economic Club of New York, the New York Financial Writers' Association, and the National Academy of Engineering, amongst others 

Last Modified: Apr 8, 2020

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