Born: May 17, 1965
Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Nationality: American, Irish
Education: Northwestern University, School of Education and Social Policy (SESP)
Occupation: Journalist, Anchor
Notable credit(s): NBC News anchor, NBC Nightly News correspondent
Spouse(s): J. David Ake
Kelly O'Donnell (born May 17, 1965) is an American journalist. She is a political reporter for NBC News as White House and Capitol Hill correspondent. She appears on NBC Nightly News, Today, Meet The Press, and MSNBC.
O'Donnell graduated from Northwestern University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, focusing on a combined course of study in journalism and public policy. She was the recipient of the Alumnae of Northwestern University’s 2014 Alumnae Award.
She served as a reporter and anchor at WJW TV in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1990s. At this time, O'Donnell worked with former NBC reporter Martin Savidge when WJW was still a CBS station in Cleveland.
O'Donnell was a regular panelist on The Chris Matthews Show until it was canceled. She has served as news anchor and substitute host on the Weekend Today program and the weekend edition of Nightly News. She has contributed reports to the primetime news magazine Dateline NBC. She served as White House correspondent for NBC News during the second term of George W. Bush; following the 2008 presidential campaign season, she became Capitol Hill correspondent.
O'Donnell has covered the Bush Administration, Congress, and several presidential campaigns, to include most recently John McCain's in 2008. During the Iraq war, she was embedded with the 3rd Infantry Division, stationed in Baghdad and Qatar. In addition, O'Donnell has reported a wide variety of events, including the September 11 attacks, the space shuttle Columbia disaster, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the O.J. Simpson trial. O'Donnell reported on the travels and death of Pope John Paul II. She also covered both summer and winter Olympic games.
O'Donnell was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Ohio Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2004. She has received many honors, including Emmy awards, a National Headliner award, a New Hampshire Primary Award for Political Reporting, and Los Angeles Press Club awards.
She has been based in Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles for NBC.
O'Donnell’s grandparents on both sides came from Ireland and she maintains Irish citizenship. She is married to J. David Ake.
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