Off The Record Facts About Bill O'Reilly

October 26, 2023 | Mathew Burke

Off The Record Facts About Bill O'Reilly

William "Bill" O'Reilly is an American television host, author, journalist, syndicated columnist, and political commentator. He is the host of the political commentary program The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel. Love 'em or hate 'em, Bill has been making headlines for years and probably will for years to come. Enjoy these facts about Bill O'Reilly

1. Making A Liquidation

In addition to being a T.V personality, O’Reilly is a well-published author. He has written and co-written 23 books on a variety of different topics.


2. A Declaration For Independence

O’Reilly’s political allegiances have sometimes drawn scrutiny. O’Reilly’s commentary is often associated with the Republican party, and he has self identified as a registered independent. However, O’Reilly is neither a Republican nor an Independent. O’Reilly is registered to the New York Independence Party.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

3. House In The Hamptons

In 2013 O’Reilly purchased a property in the Hamptons for 7.6 million dollars. Before the purchase, the property had been home to a small cottage built during WWII. O’Reilly razed the cottage and built a mansion on the property. As a token of appreciation for the significance of the cottage, he reportedly offered the scrap wood to the local historical society.

Bill O'Reilly FactsFlickr, Rubenstein

4. Sing Me A Song, You’re The Money Man…

Although O’Reilly is no stranger to giving out economic advice on his show, he rarely accepts financial advice. He retains control over all his own finances and investments, a tip that he learned from an unlikely source: Billy Joel.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

5. No Means No, Bill

In 2004 an associate producer from Fox news filed a lawsuit against O’Reilly, alleging intimate harassment. Although Bill denied all allegations, Andrea Mackris claimed that O’Reilly made several sexually explicit phone calls describing his intimate fantasies about her. This lawsuit settled for several million dollars.

Bill O'Reilly FactsFlickr, The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

6. I Will Send An Armed Investigator To Remind You Of My Love

In 2010, Bill O’Reilly’s marriage with his then-wife Maureen McPhilmy was on the rocks. After the two split up, McPhilmy started dating another man. O’Reilly enlisted the help of the local law enforcement department to investigate her boyfriend, who also happened to be a law enforcement officer. Although authorities typically do not agree to such behaviour, authorities were willing to help out because O’Reilly was considering making a major donation to an associated authorities training facility.

Bill O'Reilly FactsFlickr, The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

7. Rags To riches

When O’Reilly started out in broadcasting, he worked as a reported for WNEP-TV in Scranton, PA. He was paid only 150 dollars a week. O’Reilly is now estimated to have a net worth of 85 million dollars.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

8. Book Smarts

Although O’Reilly does not always exude intelligence, he is very well educated. He has two master’s degrees: one from Boston University and one from Harvard.

Bill O'Reilly FactsFlickr, Wally Gobetz

9. O’Reilly’s On The Mound!

When O’Reilly was a serious athlete when he was young. He played baseball for 15 years, and was the kicker for his college football team. When he attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie New York he pitched for the New York Monarchs, a semi-professional baseball club.

Bill O'Reilly FactsFlickr, Katy Silberger

10. Two Shock Jockeys

When O’Reilly was in college he was friendly with radio personality Howard Stern. O’Reilly noticed Stern at school because Stern was the only student who was taller than O’Reilly, who stands at 6’4.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

11. I Thought I Recognized Him From Somewhere…

Although O’Reilly is known as a real-world media personality, he is no stranger to the silver screen. He has made several film appearances, including An American Carol, Iron Man 2, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Bill O'Reilly FactsIron Man 2(2010), Marvel Studios

12. Liars, Liars, Pants On Fires

O’Reilly had allegedly touted his experience as a conflict-time journalist in El Salvador and the Falklands in the 1980s. However, many have doubted the veracity of these claims. O’Reilly engaged in a public feud with Mother Jones journalist David Korn, both calling each liars in public. Both parties have since moved on from the situation.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

13. Right Place, Wrong Time

O’Reilly has recounted on Fox News and in his book " Kennedy" that as a young television reporter operating in Dallas In the process of investigating the JFK liquidation he sought an interview with a man named George de Mohrenschildt, a known associate of Lee Harvey Oswald. O’Reilly traced Mohrenschildt to his home in Florida, but as he arrived at his house O’Reilly heard the sound of Mohrenschildt hitting himself. Critics say the account was totally made up and that O’Reilly wasn’t even in Florida at the time of the end.

Bill O'Reilly factsFlickr

14. Move, Get Out The Way!

Bill O’Reilly once engaged in a public spat with rapper Ludacris. O’Reilly openly criticised a marketing campaign by Pepsi featuring the rapper. O’Reilly claimed that Ludacris glamorized guns, substances, and mistreatment, and Ludacris was fired the next day. In response, Ludacris had some choice words for O’Reilly in his song “Number 1 Spot".

Bill O'Reilly FactsFlickr, Basheer Tome

15. Credit Where Credit Is Due

In 2012, O’Reilly participated in a public debate with fellow television personality Jon Stewart. The event was called “Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium". The two have very different political views and attract different audiences. Despite their differences they have maintained a well established mutual respect, and even friendship.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

16. Substitute Parent

When O’Reilly divorced his wife in 2011 he retained joint custody of his two children. His ex-wife eventually acquired full custody of the children when the court was informed that a child therapist was performing “virtually all of” O’Reilly’s parenting duties.

Bill O'Reilly FactsShutterstock

17. Workplace Drama

In 2015 Fox News settled another intimate harassment scandal by paying an employee, Juliet Huddy, a six figure sum. Allegedly, O’Reilly vigorously pursued an unwanted intimate relationship with Huddy. When she refused, he tried to derail her career.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

18. More Drama...

In 2016 O’Reilly was subject to yet another intimate harassment lawsuit. This one came from former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros. Parts of her lawsuit specifically calls out Fox News, calling it a behind the scenes “Adult magazine, Mansion-like cult".

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

19. Sometimes It’s Best To Just Walk Away…

In 2010 O’Reilly was a guest on the popular television show The View, alongside Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg. After making a statement that “Muslims ended us on 9/11” Goldberg and Behar were so enraged that they walked off the set.

Bill O'Reilly factsWikimedia Commons

20. He Can’t Help That He’s Popular

O’Reilly’s show, “The O’Reilly Factor” is a very popular television program. It has been the most popular news show on cable television for the past 14 years. The median age for viewers of his show is 72 years old.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

21. Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Over the years The O’Reilly Factor has been the victim of a number of comedic spoofs. The O’Reilly Factor has been spoofed on Saturday Night Live, The Boondocks, and CNNNN- an Australian Comedy show. Most notably, however, O’Reilly was a long time victim of the comedic styling of Stephen Colbert. O’Reilly was the inspiration for the show The Colbert Report.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

22. Don’t Call Him Scrooge

O’Reilly is a charitable man. He provides financial support to at least 24 charitable foundations. His support for charity ranges from support for American veterans, to assistance for children with autism.

Bill O'Reilly FactsShutterstock

23. Come On Man…Not Again!!!

In 2016 O’Reilly engaged in a very public spat with former Fox News host Megyn Kelly. The basis of this feud was yet another allegation of ended harassment at Fox. This time, Bill O’Reilly defended the former Fox News Roger Ailes, slamming Kelly for making the network look bad for reporting the harassment.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

24. O’Reilly, Fundraiser-In-Chief

When O’Reilly attended Boston University he was part of the student newspaper, The Boston University FreeP. In 2014 the FreeP ran into some serious financial trouble and was facing bankruptcy. O’Reilly donated $10 000 to help keep the paper from his alma mater from going under.

Bill O'Reilly FactsFlickr, Rubenstein

25. We’ll Do It Live!

Bill O’Reilly is known to have a bit of a temper. Years before O’Reilly’s notoriety on Fox News, he had a famous meltdown while filming a report for the show Inside Edition. Frustrated that he couldn’t understand what was on the teleprompter, he burst out into a laden rant that went viral. “...we’ll do it live!” he declared, before calmly (and hilariously) returning to the report.

Bill O'Reilly factsFlickr

26. But They Ended Your Father!

When O’Reilly caught wind that the son of a 9/11 survivor was a vocal opponent of the conflict in Afghanistan, he just had to bring the kid onto his show. Bill O’Reilly brought Jeremy Glick on his show to have a discussion. Instead of engaging in a debate, O’Reilly yelled at the young man that “they ended your father,” and subsequently cut his microphone.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images


27. Goat Marriage

O’Reilly has held some interesting views on gay marriage. In 2005, and again in 2009, O’Reilly has vocally opposed gay marriage. He claimed that if gay marriage were legalized, goat marriage would soon follow. To his credit, he has walked back some of these claims in recent years.

Bill O'Reilly FactsShutterstock

28. Interesting Stance… Mr. O’Reilly

In 2007 Bill O’Reilly made some strange comments regarding a young man named Shawn Hornbeck. Hornbeck had been kidnapped and suffered intimate and physical assaults at the hands of his captors. O’Reilly publically claimed that Hornbeck was to blame for his own kidnapping. Lowe’s Hardware store dropped O’Reilly as a spokesperson because of these comments.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

29. Speaking Truth To Power!

In 2017 Bill O’Reilly conducted a widely publicized pre-Superbowl interview with President Donald Trump. During the interview O’Reilly repeatedly called Vladamir Putin a killer. The Kremlin took issue with this, and demanded an apology from O’Reilly. O’Reilly said that he would consider apologizing… in 2023.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

30. A Bit Of Unfriendly Competition

Bill O’Reilly is no fan of left leaning media outlets. O’Reilly has compared The Daily Kos and the Huffington Post to the Nazis and the KKK.

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

31. Talk About An Insult…

O’Reilly has made a lot of enemies in the course of his career. Some of those enemies however, he can probably be proud of. O’Reilly is a critic of the highly controversial Westboro Baptist Church. The leader of that church does not mince words when it comes to O’Reilly, declaring that his is a “demon-possessed messenger of Satan".

Bill O'Reilly factsGetty Images

32. History Buff

Bill O’Reilly has a very successful series of history books. These books, such as, ending Jesus, liquidating Kennedy, and liquidating Lincoln are known as the ‘liquidating ’ franchise. These books have sold a total of 6.8 million copies, and ending Lincoln was turned into a TV-Movie in 2013. It was narrated by Tom Hanks.

Tom Suozzi and Bill O'ReillyJared Siskin, Getty Images

Sources: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,12,13,14


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