kids encyclopedia robot

Sean Hannity facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity 2020.jpg
Hannity in 2020
Sean Patrick Hannity

(1961-12-30) December 30, 1961 (age 62)
Occupation Broadcast news analyst, political commentator, talk show host, writer
Employer Premiere Networks, Fox News Channel
Political party Conservative Party of New York State
Jill Rhodes
(m. 1993; div. 2019)
Children 2

Sean Patrick Hannity (born December 30, 1961) is an American broadcast news analyst, conservative political commentator, talk show host, and writer. He is the host of The Sean Hannity Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show, and has also hosted a commentary program, Hannity, on Fox News, since 2009.

Hannity worked as a general contractor and volunteered as a talk show host at UC Santa Barbara in 1989. He later joined WVNN in Athens, Alabama and shortly afterward, WGST in Atlanta. After leaving WGST, he worked at WABC in New York until 2013. Since 2014, Hannity has worked at WOR. In 1996, Hannity and Alan Colmes co-hosted Hannity & Colmes on Fox. After Colmes announced his departure in January 2008, Hannity merged the Hannity & Colmes show into Hannity.

Hannity has promoted conspiracy theories such as "birtherism" (claims that then-President Barack Obama was not a legitimate U.S. citizen), falsehoods about Hillary Clinton's health, and false claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Hannity was an early supporter of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and often acted as an unofficial spokesman for him. When Trump was president, White House advisors characterized Hannity as the "shadow" chief of staff, and he reportedly phoned the White House and spoke to Trump most weeknights. According to Forbes, by 2018 Hannity had become one of the most-watched hosts in cable news and most-listened-to hosts in talk radio, due in part to his closeness and access to Trump. He privately urged Trump administration officials before and during the January 6 United States Capitol attack to cease some of their efforts to retain the presidency and to urge Trump's supporters to leave the Capitol.

Hannity has an honorary degree from Liberty University. He won awards from the National Association of Broadcasters in 2003 and 2007. He has written three New York Times best-selling books: Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism; Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism; and Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda, and released a fourth, Live Free or Die, in 2020.

Early life and education

Hannity was born in New York City, New York, the son of Lillian (née Flynn) and Hugh Hannity. Lillian worked as a stenographer and a corrections officer at a county jail, while Hugh was a World War II veteran and family-court officer. He was the youngest of four siblings and the only boy. All his grandparents immigrated to the United States from Ireland. He grew up in Franklin Square, New York on Long Island.

In his youth, Hannity worked as a paperboy delivering issues of the New York Daily News and the Long Island Daily Press. His parents were initially supporters of President John F. Kennedy, eventually growing more Republican in their views as time went on, though they resisted being overtly political at home.

Hannity attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Hempstead, New York and St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary in Uniondale, New York. He attended New York University and Adelphi University, but did not graduate from either.


Interview of the Vice President Dick Cheney by Sean Hannity
Interviewing Vice President Dick Cheney in 2006
Vice President Pence at CPAC (49596293561)
Interviewing Vice President Mike Pence in 2020

In 1982, Hannity started a house-painting business and a few years later, worked as a building contractor in Santa Barbara, California. He hosted his first talk radio show in 1989 at the volunteer college station at UC Santa Barbara, KCSB-FM, while working as a general contractor. The show aired for 40 hours of air time. Regarding his first show, he said, "I wasn't good at it. I was terrible."


Hannity's weekly show on KCSB was canceled after less than a year. During two shows, gay and lesbian rights were discussed in what was considered to be a contentious manner. The university board that governed the station later reversed its decision after a campaign conducted on Hannity's behalf by the Santa Barbara chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union argued that the station had discriminated against Hannity's First Amendment rights. When the station refused to issue Hannity a public apology and more airtime, he did not return to KCSB.

After leaving KCSB, Hannity placed an advertisement in radio publications, presenting himself as "the most talked about college radio host in America". Radio station WVNN in Athens, Alabama (part of the Huntsville media market), then hired him to be the afternoon talk show host. From Huntsville, he moved to WGST in Atlanta in 1992, filling the slot vacated by Neal Boortz, who had moved to competing station WSB. In September 1996, Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes hired the then relatively unknown Hannity to host a television program under the working title Hannity and LTBD ("liberal to be determined"). Alan Colmes was then hired to co-host and the show debuted as Hannity & Colmes.

Later that year, Hannity left WGST for New York, where WABC had him substitute for their afternoon drive time host during Christmas week. In January 1997, WABC put Hannity on the air full-time, giving him the late-night time slot. WABC then moved Hannity to the same drive-time slot he had filled temporarily a little more than a year earlier. Hannity was on WABC's afternoon time slot from January 1998.

In their 2007 book Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America, conservative Cal Thomas and liberal Bob Beckel describe Hannity as a leader of the pack among broadcasting political polarizers, which following James Q. Wilson they define as those who have "an intense commitment to a candidate, a culture, or an ideology that sets people in one group definitively apart from people in another, rival group". The WABC slot continued until the end of 2013. Since January 2014, Hannity has hosted the 3:00–6:00 p.m. time slot on WOR in New York City.

Sean Hannity by Gage Skidmore 2
Speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2015

Hannity's radio program is a conservative political talk show that features Hannity's opinions and ideology related to current issues and politicians. The Sean Hannity Show began national syndication on September 10, 2001, on more than five hundred stations nationwide. In 2004, Hannity signed a $25 million five-year contract extension with ABC Radio (now Citadel Media) to continue the show until 2009. The program was made available via Armed Forces Radio Network in 2006. In June 2007, ABC Radio was sold to Citadel Communications and in the summer of 2008, Hannity was signed for a $100 million five-year contract. As of March 2018, the program is heard by more than 13.5 million listeners a week. Hannity was ranked No. 2 in Talkers Magazine's 2017 Heavy Hundred and was listed as No. 72 on Forbes' "Celebrity 100" list in 2013.

In January 2007, Clear Channel Communications signed a groupwide three-year extension with Hannity on more than eighty stations. The largest stations in the group deal included KTRH Houston, KFYI Phoenix, WPGB Pittsburgh, WKRC Cincinnati, WOOD Grand Rapids, WFLA Tampa, WOAI San Antonio, WLAC Nashville, and WREC Memphis.

Hannity signed a long-term contract to remain with Premiere Networks in September 2013.

At the beginning of 2014, Hannity signed contracts to air on several Salem Communications stations including WDTK Detroit, WIND Chicago, WWRC (now WQOF) Washington, D.C., and KSKY Dallas.


Hannity was a co-host of Hannity & Colmes, an American political "point-counterpoint"-style television program on the Fox News Channel featuring Hannity and Alan Colmes as co-hosts. Hannity presented the conservative point of view with Colmes providing the liberal viewpoint.

In January 2007, Hannity began a new Sunday night television show on Fox News, Hannity's America.

In November 2008, Colmes announced his departure from Hannity & Colmes. After the show's final broadcast on January 9, 2009, Hannity took over the time slot with his own new show, Hannity, which has a format similar to Hannity's America.


Hannity in 2006

Hannity is the author of four books. Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism was published in 2002, and Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism was published in 2004 through ReganBooks. Both these books reached the nonfiction New York Times bestseller list, the second of which stayed there for five weeks. Hannity has said he is too busy to write many books, and dictated a lot of his own two books into a tape recorder while driving in to do his radio show.

Hannity wrote his third book, Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda, which was released by HarperCollins in March 2010. The book became Hannity's third New York Times Bestseller.

In 2020, Hannity released his fourth book, Live Free or Die.

  • Let Freedom Ring:Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism, William Morrow, August 1, 2002, ISBN: 978-0060514556.
  • Deliver Us From Evil:Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism, William Morrow, February 17, 2004, ISBN: 978-0060582517.
  • Conservative Victory:Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda, HarperCollins, March 30, 2010, ISBN: 978-0062003058.
  • Live Free or Die:America (and the World) on the Brink, Threshold Editions, August 4, 2020, ISBN: 978-1982149970.

Freedom Concerts

From 2003 until 2010, Hannity hosted country music-themed "Freedom Concerts" to raise money for charity. In 2010, conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel wrote that only a small percentage of the money raised by the concerts goes to the target charity, Freedom Alliance. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), also in 2010. The FTC complaint alleges that Hannity was "falsely promoting that all concert proceeds would be donated to a scholarship fund for the children of those killed or wounded in war". The complaint filed with the IRS claims that Freedom Alliance has violated its 501(c)(3) charity status. The concerts stopped around the same year.

Awards and honors

  • Hannity received a Marconi Award in 2003 and 2007 as the Network Syndicated Personality of the Year from the National Association of Broadcasters.
  • In 2009, Talkers Magazine listed Hannity as No. 2 on their list of the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America (with Rush Limbaugh listed as No. 1). The same magazine gave Hannity its Freedom of Speech Award in 2003.
  • In 2005, Jerry Falwell, chancellor of the evangelical Liberty University, awarded Hannity an honorary degree.
  • Hannity was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November 2017.

Other activities

Hannity has had cameo appearances in film and television, having a brief voiceover in The Siege as an unseen reporter, and appearing in Atlas Shrugged: Part II and the second season of House of Cards as himself. He executive produced and appeared in the 2017 film Let There Be Light, which also stars Kevin Sorbo.

As of April 2018, Hannity owned at least 877 residential properties, which were bought for nearly $89 million. He purchased some of the homes with the help of loans from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and most are in working-class neighborhoods. His property managers have taken an aggressive management approach with a much higher than average eviction rate. The Washington Post reported that his property management team has used eviction proceedings both to remove tenants and to generate revenue. His property managers have claimed that Hannity has no active role in the management of the more than 1,000 properties he has a stake in.


According to The Washington Post, Hannity "repeatedly embraces storylines that prove to be inaccurate" and takes positions that change over time. In the opinion of The New York Times, Hannity is "barreling headfirst into the murky territory between opinion and out-and-out conspiracy theorism". Hannity often promotes conspiracy theories without explicitly endorsing them, unlike Alex Jones. The New York Times wrote that this "has the effect of nourishing the more wild-eyed beliefs of his fans while providing Hannity a degree of plausible deniability". The New Yorker wrote in 2019 that Hannity had "[spewed] baseless conspiracy theories with impunity".

During the Bush years, Hannity "loyally supported the president's policies". During the Obama administration, Hannity "leaned more heavily on stories he believed were being given short shrift by the 'liberal media' – stories about where Obama was born, and who deserved blame for the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya". In 2017, The Washington Post wrote that "what Hannity has stood for – at least for the past couple of years – is Trump."

Donald Trump & Sean Hannity (16677778952)
Hannity with Donald Trump in 2015

Personal life

Hannity met Jill Rhodes in 1991 when he worked at WVNN in Huntsville, Alabama and she was a political columnist for the Huntsville Times. The two married in 1993. In June 2020, the couple announced that they had divorced the previous year but had separated years prior.

Hannity has since dated Fox News colleague Ainsley Earhardt. In August 2019, Hannity and Earhardt arrived together as guests for a wedding at Trump National Golf Course in Colts Neck, New Jersey. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she hosted her Fox & Friends program from a remote studio in the basement of Hannity's Long Island mansion.

Hannity has two children from his marriage to Rhodes: a son, Patrick, born in 1998, and daughter, Merri, born in 2001. Both children graduated from Cold Spring Harbor High School. Patrick attended Wake Forest University where he played tennis. Merri attends The University of Michigan where she also plays tennis. In high school, Merri was the fourth highest ranked tennis player in New York State.

In 2018, Forbes estimated that Hannity's annual income was $36 million. In April 2021, he purchased a $5.3 million house several miles from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

In 2014 he said he has carried a weapon "more than half my adult life". According to Hannity, he has a brown belt in martial arts and trains four days a week in the sport.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Sean Hannity para niños

  • Fox News controversies
  • New Yorkers in journalism
kids search engine
Sean Hannity Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.