Don Lemon, known for his frankness and outspokenness as a CNN anchor, announced on Friday, May 14, that he would be moving on from “CNN Tonight,” while hinting that he will have a new venture with the cable news station, according to the New York Post. Lemon’s journalism career has been long and illustrious, earning him fame and a lucrative living.
Lemon was born Donald Carlton Lemon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1966. After high school, he enrolled at Louisiana State University in 1984, but never finished his degree there. Instead, he chose to move to New York City where he earned a broadcast journalism degree from Brooklyn College in 1996, according to BlackPast.org.
While still in college, Lemon landed a job with New York City’s WNYW as a news assistant. After college, he made his way down South to work for WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama. Since then, Lemon has covered numerous historical events with a career that eventually led him to his home at CNN (via United Talent Agency).
Don Lemon lands in the big time with network and cable news
By the late 1990s, Don Lemon was back East working in Philadelphia for the local NBC affiliate and soon found himself back in New York as a correspondent for the “Today” show, as well as “NBC Nightly News” (via BlackPast.org). A stint anchoring the evening news for the local NBC Chicago affiliate eventually led Lemon to CNN’s Atlanta newsroom in 2006, and he’s remained with the network ever since, spending most of his time reporting out of CNN’s New York bureau, according to his network bio.
After eight years with CNN, Lemon began anchoring “CNN Tonight” in 2014, but his career has not been limited to cable news. Lemon also published a No. 1 New York Times best-selling book with “This Is The Fire: What I Have To Say To My Friends About Racism” in early 2021 and also returned to his alma mater as an adjunct professor of broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College (via CNN).
Lemon’s CNN salary was reported to be $4 million a year, per Celebrity Net Worth, which brings Lemon’s total net worth to $12 million as of this writing.
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