Lemon was born on March 1, 1966 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He majored in broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York, and also attended Louisiana State University.
While in college, Lemon worked as a news assistant at WNYW (TV 5 in New York City). He has also reported as a weekend anchor for WCAU (TV 10 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); anchor and investigative reporter for KTVI (TV 2 in St. Louis); and anchor for WBRC (TV 6 in Birmingham, Alabama).
Lemon reported for NBC News' New York City operations, including working as a correspondent for Today and NBC Nightly News and an anchor on Weekend Today and MSNBC. In August 2003 he began at NBC O&O station WMAQ-TV (5 in Chicago), and was a reporter and the 5 p.m. local news co-anchor.
Lemon joined CNN in September 2006. Lemon has been outspoken in his work at CNN, criticizing the state of cable news and questioning the network publicly.
In his memoir, Transparent, released in May 2011, Lemon acknowledges publicly that he is gay and discusses racism in the black community, homophobia, and the sexual abuse that he suffered as a child.
Donald Carlton Lemon (born March 1, 1966) is an American journalist and television anchor, best known as the host of the prime-time weekend edition of CNN Newsroom, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 2007 he is in a relationship with CNN producer, Ben Tinker (b. 1985). In his memoir, Transparent, released in May 2011, Lemon acknowledges publicly that he is gay and discusses racism in the black community, homophobia, and the sexual abuse that he suffered as a child. Lemon won an Emmy Award.
Lemon won an Emmy Award for a special report on the real estate market in Chicago. He received an Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the capture of the D.C. area sniper, and a number of other awards for reports on Hurricane Katrina, and the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
Lemon was voted as one of the 150 most influential African Americans by Ebony magazine in 2009.
Transparent by Don Lemon
Hardcover: 264 pages
Publisher: Farrah Gray Fndtn Pr (May 11, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: Transparent
In this unique memoir, Primetime CNN anchor Don Lemon takes readers behind the scenes of journalism, detailing his own struggle to become one of the most prominent African American men in television news—and inside some of the biggest stories of our times.
Never one to stop at the surface of the story, Lemon digs deep, exposing his own history with wealth and lack, with family secrets and painful revelations--and explains how those painful early experiences shaped his ambitions and gave him the tools of empathy and fearlessness that he brings to his work. Then Lemon turns the same searing honesty on the news industry itself, taking the reader behind the scenes of September 11, 2001, the DC Snipers, the epidemic of AIDS in Africa, Hurricane Katrina, the election of Barack Obama, and the death of Michael Jackson among other events.
With his clear and compelling storytelling and the rich detail of an Emmy-winning journalist, Lemon reveals his own painful journey from a little boy who dreamed of broadcasting in segregated Baton Rouge in the early 70s, to his current perch at CNN in a fascinating and compelling look at the world of television news and his own experiences reporting in it.
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