Don Lemon’s biography, fact, career, awards, net worth & life story

Source of Wealth: TelevisionAge: 55Birth Place: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United StatesHeight: 1.83 m (6′ 0″)Marital Status: SingleFull Name: Don LemonNationality: AmericanDate of Birth: March 1, 1966Ethnicity: African-American and some Cajun/FrenchOccupation: Journalist, TV Anchor and BusinessmanEducation: Brooklyn College and Louisiana State University

Don Lemon is an award-winning CNN news anchor and his net worth is estimated to be around $12 million. Having held prominent positions at NBC and other local TV news stations, he is now one of the most well-known gay black men in broadcasting.

Lemon spent his early career in local news. He started out as a weekend news anchor at WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama before moving on to WCAU in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, and KTVI in St. Louis, Missouri. Later, he reported for NBC News in New York City, including as a correspondent for Today and NBC Nightly News, and an anchor for Weekend Today and MSNBC. In 2003, he joined WMAQ-TV in Chicago, going on to win three Emmys for his local reporting.

His big break came in 2006 when he took a job at CNN. Throughout his time at the network, he’s been outspoken in his criticism of the Trump administration and of racial issues in America. Since 2016, he’s co-hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve Special with Brooke Baldwin.

He was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1966 to a single working mother, Katherine Clarke. He has two sisters – Yma and Leisa – and his family have Creole and African-American roots. In his 2011 memoir, Transparent, he revealed that he is gay and a survivor of child sexual assault. The memoir caused a stir upon publication, and immediately made Lemon an inspiration for gay men of color, as well as the wider LGBT community. Although his sexuality came as a surprise to many fans, Lemon had been openly gay in his personal life for many years at this point.

In 1984 he enrolled at Louisiana State University but did not complete his studies. He moved to New York City in 1990 and graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in Broadcast Journalism in 1996, studying alongside reporting full time.

The recipient of many awards for his journalism, Don Lemon was presented with the Edward R. Murrow award in 2002 for his coverage of the capture of the D.C. area sniper, as well as other awards for his reportage on Hurricane Katrina. In 2006 he won three Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards; two for his coverage of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa – “Journey to Africa” – and one for a report on Craigslist real estate listings, “Life on Craiglist”.

In 2008, Lemon interviewed 106-year-old Ann Nixon Cooper just days before Barack Obama won the presidential election. Obama later referred to the interview in his victory speech.

Lemon was voted one of 2009’s 150 most influential African Americans by Ebony magazine, and in 2014 Advocate named him one of the 50 Most Influential LGBTQ People in Media. In 2016 he received a Native Son Award, in recognition of his efforts to encourage the increased visibility and impact of black gay men in society. In 2017, Out included him on their Power 50 list of “the most influential LGBTQ people in the USA”.

After meeting him in 2017, Don Lemon has been dating real estate agent Tim Malone, and the couple got engaged in 2019 – with Malone popping the question on Lemon’s birthday. Memorably, the pair shared a New Year’s kiss live on air in 2018 on CNN. They have a home in Sag Harbour, Long Island – worth in the region of $3.1 million – and sold their Harlem condo in February 2021 for a reported $1.52 million, after purchasing it in 2013 for around $1.5 million. The two-bedroom property boasts spectacular views across Manhattan and a private outdoor area. He previously owned another condo in the same building, which he sold in 2016 for $970,000.

In addition to his 2011 memoir, Don Lemon published This is the Fire: What I say to my Friends About Racism in March 2021. The book sets out Lemon’s views on race in America and how the conversation could be moved forward.

He has spoken publicly about his experiences of colorism, racism and homophobia, including receiving death threats over Twitter in 2017. His sister L’Tanya “Leisa” Lemon Grimes tragically died in an accidental drowning in 2018, leaving what Lemon describes as a “long shadow of grief”. In 2019, a lawsuit was filed against Lemon by a New York bartender for an alleged assault in a Sag Harbour bar in July 2018, seeking unspecified damages. Lemon denies the accusations.

Don Lemon is reported to earn a $4 million salary for his role as an anchor on CNN, making him one of the highest-paid news anchors working today.

Sources: Wikipedia, Black Past, NPR, LGBTQ Nation; People, Little, Brown; Business Insider, Yahoo Finance; Film Daily, The Cut

This article has been updated on March 31, 2021 by Poppy O’Neill