How much is Bill O’Reilly worth?

Net Worth:$90 Million
Profession:Professional Journalist
Date of Birth:September 10, 1949
Country:United States of America
1.93 m

Who Is Bill O’Reilly

There’s little doubt Bill O’Reilly is a polarizing personality in today’s political broadcast landscape. Though, compared to many others, like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Keith Olbermann, he may actually fall closer to the moderate line than any other.

That makes him a popular figure during primetime on his sizzling hot news talk show, The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel. It also makes him both a welcome guest on the entertainment talk show circuit. His visits to the Late Show and The Daily Show are legendary. And at least one trip to The View is infamous.

But let’s get to know Mr. O’Reilly a bit before we talk about those.

American journalist, author, and former television host Bill O’Reilly has a net worth of $90 million dollars, as of 2020; with a $25 million dollar per year salary.

Back in the day

Winifred Angela Drake O’Reilly gave birth to William James O’Reilly Jr. on Sept. 10, 1949, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. For the first two years of his life, he lived with his family (father, mother and sister) in Fort Lee, N.J. The family then moved to Levittown.

A peek in to O’Reilly’s early years would have looked like any nuclear family in the 50s and 60s. O’Reilly played Little League and hockey. And though he wanted to attend public high school with his friends, his father Bill Sr., had O’Reilly attend Catholic private school.

He attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he majored in history, played football and wrote for the school newspaper. O’Reilly even played a little ball with the semi-pro New

York Monarchs. He graduated with a bachelor’s in history in 1971.

After college, O’Reilly headed south and became a teacher at Monsignor Pace High School in Miami, Fla. He taught both English and history. After a handful of years, O’Reilly fled north to Boston to get his master’s in broadcast journalism from Boston University.

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TV time

Post-college, O’Reilly cut his teeth as a journalist for a host of local newspapers in Boston. Like a lot of talk show hosts, he first found himself reporting the news at small market stations like WNEP in Scranton, Penn., and KATU in Portland, Ore. Success in these small markets eventually led him to WCBS in New York, where he anchored an early evening feature news program.

He eventually landed a correspondent job with CBS News, covering the wars in El Salvador and the Falkland Islands. Disagreements with CBS sent O’Reilly to ABC. He was a reporter for Good Morning America, Nightline and World News Tonight.

Then, in 1989, O’Reilly joined Inside Edition, a news/tabloid magazine produced by King World, now CBS Television. He became news anchor after only three weeks with the program, when Inside Edition let original anchor David Frost go.

He left the show in 1995 and was replaced by Deborah Norville. O’Reilly went back to school at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he earned his master’s.

The Factor

After graduation in 1996, he was hired by Roger Ailes to anchor a new program on the fledgling Fox News Channel, called The O’Reilly Report. That name was soon changed to The O’Reilly Factor. Nearly 20 years later, the show continues to dominate ratings among the cable news channels.

The show has become a model for TV talk show’s hosted by political pundits. Popular segments included Talking Points Memo, Pinheads and Patriots and What The Heck Just Happened?.

Talk show host Stephen Colbert even famously based his fake pundit talk show, The Colbert Report, on The O’Reilly Factor. Colbert even refers to O’Reilly as “Papa Bear,” emphasizing his character’s connection to the popular host. They appeared on one another’s shows in 2007.

O’Reilly’s show is not without controversy. It’s a regular target of media watchdog groups like Media Matters and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. And O’Reilly’s views have placed him in contention with fellow pundits, politicians, actors and advocates.

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His clashes with talk show hosts are legendary. In 2010, while appearing on The View, hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar left the studio during an interview with O’Reilly when they felt his statement that “Muslims killed us on 9/11” was insensitive. He later said that it was and apologized.

The O’Reilly Factor

Often considered the keystone of political commentary  talk shows, The O’Reilly Factor debuted in 1996 as The O’Reilly Report on the Fox News Channel. The name changed because of its host, Bill O’Reilly, affectionately – and ironically – called “Papa Bear” by talk show host Stephen Colbertt, and his penchant for creating news just by sharing his opinion. In other words, being a “factor” that matters.

The one-hour show, taped at the Fox News studio in New York City, follows a tried and true format that its fans look forward to. The format relies on “segments,” themed moments in the show that follow the same structure each night. Not all segments are featured, but the general flow of the show – where the segments could and usually appear – remains a constant.

Popular segments include (but are not limited to these six – O’Reilly has dozens):

  • Talking Points Memo: Possibly the most widely known of O’Reilly’s segments, Talking Points Memo is O’Reilly’s time to provide his specific opinion on a current event.
  • Unresolved Problem: In this segment, O’Reilly brings up an issue that he thinks is still an issue and has gone unresolved. Or that isn’t being covered by the general media.
  • Personal Story: Somewhat of a feature segment, this find O’Reilly interviewing someone affected by the news or covering an news event.
  • Factor Mail: O’Reilly’s version of Viewer Mail. A lot of time, O’Reilly will take two opposing letters and match them together, to show the balanced opinion he receives from viewers.
  • Factor Follow-Up: In this segment, O’Reilly returns to an issue or a story covered in a previous show. He provides updates to the story or further opinion based on new information.
  • Pinheads and Patriots: Another well-known segment, even by those who don’t watch The Factor. In this segment, O’Reilly spotlights a person or topic that he believes is doing good for the country (Patroit) or someone who is doing harm to the country (Pinhead). Stephen Colbert parodies this segment with his Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger.
  • What the Heck Just Happened?: In this segment, O’Reilly turns his attention to odd news and surprising – but humorous – events. He invited comedian Greg Gutfeld and Bernard McGuirk to share their opinions as well.
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Other regular guests and commentators include Adam Carrola, Geraldo Rivera, Lou Dobbs and Gretchen Carlson. Radio host Laura Ingraham is the regular guest host when O’Reilly is away.

The Factor’s popularity has led to at least one famous parody: The Colbert Report. Host Stephen Colbert famously satirized The Factor on The Daily Show in 2004 – and that brief parody led to the 2005 series.

Colbert liberally borrowed from O’Reilly and shows like it, including Hannity. Similar to The Factor, Colbert’s show is divided into segments, many of which are a spin on O’Reilly’s segments. Those include “The Word,” a spin on “Talking Points Memo” and “Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger” a play on “Pinheads and Patriots.”

O’Reilly acknowledged the popularity of the spoof by appearing on Colbert’s show in 2007. Colbert, in turn, was a guest on O’Reilly’s show. And some reports suggest Colbert has even taken advice from O’Reilly on hosting the show.

Fast Facts

  • Was in high school at the same time as Billy Joel. O’Reilly describes Joel as a “hood” who slicked back his hair and smoked. O’Reilly describes himself as more of a jock.
  • Knew of Howard Stern when attending Boston University. O’Reilly says Stern stood out because he was taller.
  • Earned his master of public administration for Harvard University in 1996.
  • Says he does not fit into any political ideaology, saying “I don’t want to fit into any of those labels,” meaing conservative, liberal or libertarian, “because I believe the truth doesn’t have labels.”
  • Was married and is now divorced. O’Reilly has two children.


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