We may have gotten to know Megyn Kelly as a Fox News anchor and a huge target of Donald Trump's ire during the 2016 election, but it seems Kelly is now in the midst of a total career revamp.
You might have caught the limited summer run of her NBC show Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly that premiered in June and ended in July (the show is reportedly slated to come back in spring), and Kelly continued her plight to find a voice beyond her conservative fan base this week with the debut of Megyn Kelly Today. Her latest show is pretty much politics-free and has more of an Oprah feel to it than a Fox News vibe.
As expected, Megyn Kelly Today is being met with mixed reviews, with many naysayers saying that this newer, softer version of the talk show host is totally fake. But is it?
Before we judge, let's learn a little more about Kelly.
Like many political reporters, Kelly’s foundation is in law. After getting her undergraduate degree in political science at Syracuse University, she went to Albany Law School. She went on to become a corporate litigator for Jones Day before she made the leap to broadcast journalism.
In her 30s, Kelly was ready for something different that would not only utilize her law skills, but would challenge her on a daily basis. She became a general assignment reporter — under the name Megyn Kendall from her first marriage — for WJLA in Washington, D.C., where her star began to rise. In fact, it was former ABC News reporter and chief White House correspondent Brit Hume who helped her get a meeting with former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.
It was Roger Ailes who also sexually harassed Kelly on the job according to her New York Times best-selling memoir Settle for More. She wrote that the harassment began in 2005 when Ailes claimed he would help her career “in exchange for sexual favors.”
The harassment escalated when he tried to kiss her months later. She allegedly shoved him away and reported him to her supervisor. The harassment stopped and Ailes denied any wrongdoing. Ailes died in May 2017 at the age of 77.
Kelly prides herself on raising her three children — Yardley, Thatcher and Edward — with husband, novelist Doug Brunt, while working hard as a journalist. Part of her decision to leave Fox News was driven by her desire to be home for her kids after school and in the early evenings.
Not only does Kelly take guitar lessons, she’s talked a lot about music playing an important role in her life. She’s been seen hanging with musicians like Richie Sambora and attending Broadway musicals like School of Rock. Maybe she will play a tune on her new show?
Just because her work wardrobe usually involves a sheath dress, don’t ever think Kelly isn’t interested in fashion. She was invited to the Met Gala two years in a row and stepped out in a very fashionable Badgley Mischka dress in 2016 and in Altuzarra this year.
If you follow Kelly’s social media accounts, you will see she has a sense of humor too. She’s a tough interviewer, but she can also take it down for a laugh.
I bet you didn’t know Kelly had a twin out there. It’s Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager, played by Jeri Ryan. You see the resemblance, don’t you?
.DougBrunt: "why do you bring this stuff out every night?" Me: "it's good! It cld be worse." Him: "could be Fat Pop." pic.twitter.com/n0Pfg1SZ3j— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) December 29, 2016
Kelly loves a good snack and she’s often seen cracking out the Skinny Pop. That’s a girl who knows how to party!
She also admitted her schedule keeps her from working out a lot, so that's why she's a smart snacker.
"Some things are worth the fat and calories, although I have to watch it like a hawk," Kelly said to People magazine in 2012. "I used to be able to work out, but these days there is literally no time."
Kelly sat next to Ripa during that yearlong co-host search on Live with Kelly. While she never seemed like a serious candidate in comparison to the men who auditioned, it was a great platform for Kelly to promote her new book.
The women will now go head-to-head in the 9 a.m. time slot once Kelly's Today show has started up. Will Ryan Seacrest be enough to keep the viewers from straying to NBC?
Variety honored Kelly at their annual Power of Women event in 2016. She was surrounded by other intelligent, hardworking and thoughtful women who are making their marks in their respected industries. She was in good company, because Misty Copeland, Julianne Moore and Vera Wang were also honored that year.
Originally posted June 2017. Updated September 2017.
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