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Posted: April 19, 2017

7 things to know about former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly

Richard Drew/AP
Inside Bill O'Reilly

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 7 things to know about former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2015 file photo, host Bill O'Reilly of 'The O'Reilly Factor' on the Fox News Channel, poses for photos in the set in New York. O'Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Channel following reports that five women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

By Fiza Pirani, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

NEW YORK —

After nearly two decades as Fox News’ most popular host, Bill O’Reilly, 67, was let go Wednesday by parent company 21st Century Fox. 

The firing followed a New York Times investigation that uncovered $13 million in settlements paid out to five women in exchange for agreeing to not speak out or pursue litigation regarding allegations of sexual harassment against O’Reilly.

Here are 7 things to know about the now former Fox News host and star of “The O’Reilly Factor”:

Where did O’Reilly go to college? 

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from New York’s Marist College, earned a master’s in broadcast journalism at Boston University and later received a midcareer master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Who are his wife and kids?

O’Reilly, now divorced, was married to Maureen E. McPhilmy. The pair have a daughter and son: Madeline and Spencer.

How much money does O’Reilly make?

According to a 2016 report from Forbes of the world’s highest-paid TV show hosts, O’Reilly made $18.5 million.

How many books has he written?

O’Reilly has written more than two dozen books, according to his official website. Some bestsellers include “Old School: Life in the Sane Lane,” “The O’Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life,” “The No Spin Zone,” “Killing Lincoln,” “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics” and “Killing Jesus.”

What are the sexual allegations against O’Reilly?

In 2004, he settled a $9 million lawsuit with former Fox News producer Andrea Mackris, who accused him of talking about his sexual fantasies and masturbation.

In 2016, Fox News settled another sexual harassment claim against former host Juliet Huddy, who alleged O’Reilly tried to pursue a romantic relationship with her, made inappropriate advances, including masturbating while talking on the phone.

That same year, former Fox host Andrea Tantaros claimed O’Reilly made sexually suggestive comments toward her.

In April 2017, The New York Times uncovered three additional settlements totaling $13 million by Fox regarding O’Reilly and sexual harassment: Fox hosts Rebecca Diamond in 2011 and Laurie Dhue in 2016 and junior producer Rachel Witlieb Bernstein in 2002.

How did the allegations affect “The O’Reilly Factor”?

Despite the allegations and loss of 60 advertisers, “The O’Reilly Factor” saw an increase in both ratings and viewers a week after the allegations surfaced, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Who will take over his Fox News time slot?

Host Tucker Carlson will take over O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. time slot next Monday. According to The Huffington Post, the show will continue as planned Wednesday through Friday this week.


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