William James "Bill" O'Reilly, Jr. (born September 10, 1949) is an American television host, author, syndicated columnist and political commentator. He is the host of the political commentary program The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, which is the most watched cable news television program on American television. During the late 1970s and 1980s, he worked as a news reporter for various local television stations in the United States and eventually for CBS News and ABC News. From 1989 to 1995, he was anchor of the entertainment news program Inside Edition.
O'Reilly is widely considered a conservative commentator, though some of his positions diverge from conservative orthodoxy (in particular his opposition to the death penalty). O'Reilly characterizes himself as a "traditionalist". O'Reilly is the author of nine books, and hosted The Radio Factor until early 2009.
O'Reilly was born on September 10, 1949, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan to parents William James, Sr. (deceased) and Winifred Angela Drake O'Reilly, from Brooklyn, New York and Teaneck, New Jersey. Bill O'Reilly's ancestors on his father's side lived in County Cavan, Ireland since the early eighteenth century, and those on his mother's side were from Northern Ireland. The O'Reilly family lived in a small apartment in Fort Lee, New Jersey when their son was born. In 1951, his family moved to Levittown on Long Island. O'Reilly has a sister, Janet. He attended St. Brigid parochial school in Westbury and Chaminade High School, a private Catholic boys high school in Mineola. His father wanted him to attend Chaminade, but Bill wanted to attend W. Tresper Clarke High School, the public school where most of his closest friends would attend. Bill O'Reilly played Little League baseball and was the goalie on the Chaminade varsity hockey team. During his high school years, O'Reilly met future award winning singer Billy Joel whom O'Reilly described as a "hoodlum." O'Reilly recollected in an interview with Michael Kay on the YES Network show CenterStage, that Joel "was in the Hicksville section – the same age as me – and he was a hood. He used to slick it back like this. And we knew him, because his guys would smoke and this and that, and we were more jocks."