Norah O'Donnell

Norah O’Donnell is an American journalist, both in print and on television. Since July of 2012, she has been the co-anchor of the CBS program ‘This Morning’.


O’Donnell was born on January 23, 1974 in Washington D.C. She is the daughter of Francis O’Donnell who was a doctor. Her birth name was Norah Morahan O’Donnell. Both of her parents are of Irish descent. Her family relocated to San Antonio, Texas when she was just three years old. He was not impacted much by the move because she was too young to realize what was happening

Her father’s academic excellence provided an excellent blueprint for her. Education was a top priority for her and her family. She attended the Douglas MacArthur High School. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in philosophy and as if that was not enough, she went for her Master's Degree at Georgetown University, where she majored in Liberal studies. She wanted to make sure that got as much schooling as she could before she entered the real world of work.

Parade magazine asked Norah if she was always addicted to the news, “I was really fortunate to grow up in a military family. I had the benefit of traveling the world because of my father serving our country [as a doctor in the Army], so what happened in the world always mattered in my household. My parents always read the newspaper. My mom would, in fact, underline paragraphs and get out the highlighter, and wouldn’t throw away the newspaper until she had finished the whole thing. So, in between that and Time magazine and Newsweek and the Journal of the American Medical Association, what happened in the world mattered. I grew up respecting the people who report the news and journalists, and I think in many ways that sort of led me to become a journalist.”

She got her start at a very young age, “I’ve had a job since I was 10 years old. We lived in Seoul, South Korea, and in Seoul it’s required that you begin learning English in middle school. They needed people to make those tapes and appear on kind of an English-teaching television program, so I got a job doing that. That was the first moment when I understood the idea that work resulted in pay, and then that was freedom to go buy Jack Wagner tapes and Lionel Richie tapes. “

Broadcasting Career

After graduation, Norah initially served as a staff writer for Roll Call, where she covered Congress among other major topics. She was hired by the newspaper who was willing to give her a shot. Roll Call is published in Washington DC which gave Norah a peak at the political world. Roll Call publishes mainly political news.

From 2003 to 2005, she worked as the chief correspondent for the MSNBC News channel and she was also a contributing correspondent for ‘a top rated program called Today’ on NBC. Her numerous reports have been shown on the NBC News platform. Some of the shows she has worked on include The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC and Dateline NBC. On the Chris Matthews Show, she was a frequent pundit. In 2007, she was a co-host of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade which was on NBC.


Norah has been highlighted for her various remarks that she gives on national television. She was in news for getting a gift from the Prime Minister of the Canada, Mr. Harper. Stephen Harper gave her a portable silver mirror for her work on the health of women and children. She was also in news for Sarah Palin’s interview. In April 2010, Norah made allegations that at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Newt Gingrich made racist comments when he criticized Barack Obama with a reference to basketball. Gingrich replied to those allegations and nothing more was heard again after he denied that he was a racist. Even though the attack on Gingrich died down, Norah still benefited from getting her name in the headlines.

Norah has repeatedly stood in for Scott Pelley in the CBS Evening News ever since she started at CBS. She first anchored this news program on the October 10, 2011. Presently, she is the cohost of the CBS This Morning show. She started this show after replacing another anchor named Erica Hill in the summer of July 2012. Prior to this time, she had spent a year as the Chief White House Correspondent for the CBS Sunday morning show called Face the Nation. She was a substitute host for the show but gained a lot of experience working with the White House. The White House work was very important for her because it allowed her to see how the government functioned.

Norah played a very important role in the 2008 presidential election reporting the exit poll numbers and also anchoring for the entire primaries. She was the main anchor for the MSNBC primetime coverage during the Republican and Democratic conventions. On the night of the elections, she was a part of the award winning NBC News’ Emmy coverage. Her dedication to her profession and her hard work took her on a tour around the world reporting from almost all the continents.

Family Life

Nora fell in love with her college sweetheart Geoff Tracy, the owner of many restaurants around Washington D.C. She got married to Geoff Tracy in 2001. They are a happy married couple and proud parents of three children. In her first pregnancy, Norah gave birth to twin babies. Henry and Grace are the names of the twin siblings. Norah’s third baby was a girl, whom she gave birth in the month of July of 2008.

Their third child was named Riley Norah Tracy. Riley was the name suggested by a well-wisher Tim Russert, who unfortunately, did not live to see Riley’s birth. He died just three weeks prior to it. Nora and her husband are happily married and have been living for over 13 years together with their three children. The happy family of Norah lives in Washington.

Last Modified: Mar 15, 2020

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