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Don Lemon

Don Lemon

Don Lemon (born March 1, 1966) is an American journalist and author. He is an award winning news anchor for CNN based in New York City, and hosts CNN Tonight.

Don Lemon
Don Lemon at the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes.jpg
Lemon at the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes
Don Lemon

(1966-03-01)March 1, 1966
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
EducationBaker High School
Alma materBrooklyn CollegeLouisiana State University
Political partyIndependent[1]

Early life

Lemon was born on born March 1, 1966, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[2][3] He was educated at Baker High School, a public high school in the town of Baker in East Baton Rouge Parish. He majored in broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Louisiana State University.[4] While in college, Lemon worked as a news assistant at WNYW in New York City.[2]


Early in his career, Lemon reported as a weekend anchor for WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama, and WCAU in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as an anchor and investigative reporter for KTVI St. Louis.[4]

Lemon reported for NBC News' New York City operations, including working as a correspondent for Today and NBC Nightly News and an anchor on Weekend Today and MSNBC. In 2003, he began at NBC owned-and-operated station WMAQ-TV (5 in Chicago), and was a reporter as well as local news co-anchor.[4]

Lemon joined CNN in September 2006.[4] He has been outspoken in his work at CNN, criticizing the state of cable news and questioning the network publicly.[5] He has also voiced strong opinions on ways that the African-American community can improve themselves, which has caused some controversy.[6] Since 2014, he has hosted CNN's New Year's Eve special from New Orleans.

In a much-reported broadcast in January 2018, Lemon introduced his broadcast with, “This is CNN Tonight, I’m Don Lemon. The president of the United States is racist.”[7]

Personal life

During an on-air interview with members of Bishop Eddie Long's congregation in September 2010, Lemon said that he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child, and that it was not until he was thirty years old that he told his mother about it.[8]

In his memoir, Transparent, Lemon came out as gay[9] and discusses colorism in the black community, and the sexual abuse he suffered as a child.[10] He has Creole ancestry (his great-grandfather was of French descent) in addition to Nigerian, Cameroonian, and Congolese ancestry.[11][12]

On January 31, 2018, Lemon's sister, L'Tanya "Leisa" Lemon Grimes, died at the age of 58; police concluded that her death was an accidental drowning in a pond while fishing.[13] After being absent for approximately a week, he opened the show on February 6 by thanking everyone who wished him "prayers and words of encouragement". He said that conservatives, like Sean Hannity, were among the first to call, which illustrated how they actually respect each other and have good relations, even though they disagree on the issues.[14]

Lemon owns an apartment in Harlem and a second home in Sag Harbor, New York, on Long Island.[15]

On April 6, 2019, Lemon announced on social media his boyfriend of two years, Tim Malone, had proposed, which Lemon accepted.[16]

In August 2019, a New York bartender filed a civil lawsuit alleging Lemon assaulted him in a bar in July of 2018. The plaintiff sued Lemon for a "demeaning, unprovoked and offensive assault" in a tavern in Sag Harbor, New York and seeks unspecified damages for "emotional pain and suffering." A CNN spokesperson told USA Today that, "Don categorically denies these claims."[17]

Honors and awards

Lemon won an Emmy Award for a special report on the real estate market in Chicago.[18] He received an Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the capture of the D.C. area sniper,[19] and a number of other awards for reports on Hurricane Katrina, and the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Lemon was voted as one of the 150 most influential African Americans by Ebony magazine in 2009.[20]

In 2014, however, Columbia Journalism Review awarded Lemon a more dubious honor when his work was named in a list of worst journalism of the year (along with Fox & Friends and Rolling Stone magazine) for his remarks to an alleged Bill Cosby rape victim.[21][22]

In June 2019, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, an event widely considered a watershed moment in the modern LGBTQ rights movement, Queerty named him one of the Pride50 "trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving towards equality, acceptance and dignity for all queer people".[23][24]

Published works

  • Lemon, Don (2011). Transparent. Farrah Gray Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-0-9827027-8-9.

See also

  • Broadcast journalism

  • LGBT culture in New York City

  • List of United States over-the-air television networks

  • New Yorkers in journalism

  • United States cable news


Citation Linkthehill.comConcha, Joe (November 3, 2018). "CNN's Don Lemon reveals political affiliation". The Hill. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.brooklyn.cuny.edu"Don Lemon: Address; Distinguished Alumnus Award". Brooklyn College. February 19, 2011. Archived from the original on February 19, 2011.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.baystatebanner.comWilliams, Kam (August 21, 2013). "Don Lemon talks journalism, coming out and his 'March on Washington' special". The Bay State Banner. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.cnn.com"Don Lemon". CNN. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkclatl.comWilliams, Wyatt (December 22, 2011). "Can Don Lemon set CNN straight?". clatl.com. Creative Loafing (Atlanta). Retrieved December 23, 2011.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.accessatlanta.comBrett, Jennifer (August 2, 2013). "Fact-checking CNN's Don Lemon". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Archived from the original on August 4, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.washingtonpost.comSchmidt, Samantha (January 12, 2018). "'This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon. The president of the United States is racist.'". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comLemon, Don (September 25, 2010). "CNN Reporter Don Lemon Says That He Was Attacked By A Pedophile!". YouTube. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.npr.orgFolkenflik, David (May 16, 2011). "Livelihood 'On The Line', Anchorman Reveals He's Gay". NPR. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.nytimes.comCarter, Bill (May 15, 2011). "Gay CNN Anchor Sees Risk in Book". The New York Times. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkblogs.ancestry.com"CNN Roots with Don Lemon: An Étouffée of Stories". Ancestry Blog. October 16, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkfamilyhistoryinsider.com"familyhistoryinsider.com". Archived from the original on June 3, 2015.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.newsweek.com"CNN host Don Lemon's sister tragically died in a Louisiana fishing accident". February 2, 2018.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.mediaite.com"Don Lemon Returns to CNN After His Sister's Death: Your Prayers Have 'Meant the World to Me'". www.mediaite.com.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkobserver.comHalberg, Morgan (January 19, 2018). "Don Lemon Offloads Spare Harlem Abode". Observer. New York City. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.huffpost.comRichards, Kimberly (April 6, 2019). "Don Lemon Announces His Engagement To Tim Malone". HuffPost. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgHenderson, Cydney (August 14, 2019). "Don Lemon sued for allegedly assaulting New York bartender,". USA Today. Archived from the original on August 14, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.cnn.com"Anchors & Reporters – Don Lemon". CNN. 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linkwww.pinknews.co.ukWatts, Laurence (September 15, 2011). "Interview: Don Lemon, CNN's openly gay anchorman". Pink News. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM
Citation Linktranscripts.cnn.com"CNN NEWSROOM transcript: Rep. Earl Pomeroy Discusses Saberi Conviction in Iran; Justice Department Releases New Details on Bush Administration Terror Policy; "Ebony" Magazine's Power 150; Maryland Tragedy". CNN.com. April 18, 2009.
Sep 24, 2019, 7:33 PM