Don Lemon was born on March 1, 1996 in Baton Rouge Louisiana. He is known as an American journalist and a TV news anchor. Lemon’s career is based in the city of New York where he hosts the flagship show CNN Tonight.


Don Davis Lemon was born to Katherine Lemon Clark. He has two siblings, Yma Lemon and Leisa Lemon. He holds an American nationality and belongs to the African American ethnicity.

Don attended Baker High school which is a public high school that is located in the city of Baker. He then went to Brooklyn College where he majored in broadcast journalism. He also went to Louisiana University. When he was still in college, he was able to pick up work at the WNYW station as a news assistant.

Journalism Career

Don picked up a lot of early experience from working as a weekend anchor for the WCAU network based in Philadelphia. After his college graduation, he worked for KTVI St. Louis as an anchor and investigative reporter. He was also as an anchor for WBRC Birmingham based in Alabama as an anchor.

After leaving Alabama, he got started with NBC News as a reporter. He reported for NBC News’ New York City Operations and also worked as a correspondent for the popular shows, Today and NBC Nightly News. He also became an anchor for MSNBC and Weekend Today.

In 2003, he began to work at the NBC O&O station WMAQ-TV based in Chicago as a reporter and local news co-anchor. In September 2006, Don Lemon joined the CNN network and became one of their most famous anchors.

He has been an outspoken person in his CNN career. He has criticized the state of cable news and has even questioned his own network publicly. A controversy has also been raised by his strong opinions on ways that African Americans can try to improve themselves.  In 2015, over 30,000 people signed a petition demanding that Lemon be fired from CNN following a controversial remark he made regarding police behavior.

Since 2014, he has hosted CNN's New Year's Eve special from New Orleans. Don Lemon has a very clear role in CNN where he hosts the weekday prime time program. He is also a correspondent across the many CNN platforms. He is one of the most notable people working at CNN today.


He has had the chance to interview some of the most powerful people around the world including Rahm Emanuel after he got the chief of staff position for Barack Obama. He also interviewed a 106 year old voter named Anne Cooper who the Obama later highlighted during the acceptance speech after he saw Don Lemon’s interview with her on CNN.

Getting Inspiration From the Pastor

The Christian Post wrote a story about an interview that Don Lemon had on CNN. His own network tried to get deep with him because they wanted the world to have a better understanding of one of their most popular anchors. During the interview, Don Lemon spoke about how megachurch pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas was a major reason he became a famous journalist with a successful career.

Even though he never met the pastor in person, he still had a strong impact on Lemon’s life, "It might sound strange, maybe even impossible, but the person who changed my life is someone I'd never even met. Through the power of his voice and his message, Bishop T.D. Jakes pulled me out of a crisis more than a decade ago and I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't heard his words."

When he reached his goal of becoming a journalist, he became disheartened when he was limited to the scope of stories he was covering. He became tired of being a local news anchor and wanted more out of life, "So I took a chance. I believe in taking chances. I took a chance from my big network gig and I went to Chicago to become a local news anchor. They told me when I came there that I would do the big stories and specials and that I would be the anchor and then I ended up knocking on people's doors and doing local 'How do you feel that your child is dead?" I said, I don't wanna do this. I took a stand for myself and I got suspended. I almost got fired. So I went to this really low place and I had to reach and find something to keep me alive, and at that low point I found T.D. Jakes."

Paying attention the words of the pastor gave Don direction and the strength that he needed to make a change, "My dream wasn't to go to a poor mother's house and say 'how do you feel that your kid is dead.' My dream was to make people and the world better through my work. You have to be fearless. How you do it? I think you just take one step at a time. When I went through what I went through in Chicago, as I would run on that path I would just say, 'one foot in front of the other.' Listening to T.D. Jakes I came to realize I had the power to change my situation."

Victim of Sexual Abuse

In an interview in September 2010 with Bishop Eddie Long's congregation members, he openly declared that as a child, he had been a sexual abuse victim. He was only been able to tell his mother this fact when he was in his thirties. The abuse he had suffered as a child left a deep emotional scar in his mind and haunted him even through his late years. The trauma of sexual abuse was repeatedly referenced in his words and write ups.

In a memoir called Transparent, Lemon declared that he was gay and he also discussed the sexual abuse he suffered during his childhood. He wanted to show the gay community and sexual abuse victims that there was strength in speaking about themselves publicly.

Last Modified: Apr 8, 2020

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