Kelly joined the Fox News Channel in 2002 and served as the White House correspondent from 2005-2007. In spring 2007 he became co-anchor of Fox and Friends before joining the weekday morning news and feature show, Good Day New York on Fox 5 in July 2008.
It was his earlier days at Fox that Kelly said will resonate with him forever. He extensively covered the war in Iraq while serving four long-term assignments in Baghdad.
In 2003 he widely reported on the U.S. invasion in an operation dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom. Kelly was firmly embedded with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade.
“The invasion of Iraq was definitely one of the most exciting stories I’ve covered,” answered Kelly without hesitation when asked to name a highlight in his journalism career.
Kelly was the first television journalist to exclusively broadcast live pictures of the U.S. Army reaching Baghdad on April 5, 2003. Making headlines across the U.S., Fox News featured Kelly riding a tank through the city of Baghdad while, on a split screen, the Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf was shown at a press conference saying that U.S. forces were not present in Baghdad.
Continuing to provide the world with compelling images and outstanding reporting, Kelly captured the storming of Saddam Hussein’s presidential palace a few days later.
While on the job, Kelly received a minor shrapnel wound to the face when a mortar round exploded in his vicinity. Kelly was crossing the Euphrates River with his infantry when the incident took place.
As years went on Kelly’s hunger for a great story had him revisit Iraq several times. He also reported some compelling stories from Kuwait, Pakistan, Gaza and the United Arab Emirates.
Kelly started his journalism career on the morning news program at WIVT, an ABC affiliate, in Binghamton, New York. He scooped his first major exclusive interview there with President Bill Clinton.
Following on from that, Kelly took up a position as political affairs reporter for NY1 in New York City. He provided round the clock coverage of the World Trade Center bombings on September 11, 2001. He was also the to-go journalist for the mayoral campaign earlier that year.
Kelly, a licensed commercial pilot, is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Before he began reporting from war-torn counties, Kelly served nine years with the U.S. military as a jump jet pilot with the AV-8B Harrier jet. He was involved in over 150 aircraft carrier landings and flew over Iraq in Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the United Nations imposed no fly zone.
Although he was in Ireland many times during his career as a journalist, mainly on stopovers, Kelly said he wants to take time to explore the land his father’s grandparents hailed from.
“Yes, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for the longest time, to see and travel Ireland,” he says.“I hope to get to there before the end of this year, in fact.”
In the meantime, Kelly will continue to keep his Irish heritage close to his heart and have as much fun as he possibly can with it this St. Patrick’s season.
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