Julie Chen

Julie Chen

Julie Suzanne Chen was born in Queens, NY. Her mother grew up in Rangoon, Burma, while her father was born in China. He was a prominent political figure in the Kuomintang government of Chiang Kai-shek. The Chen family moved all over China, even living in Taiwan. Her older sister, Gladys, was Chen's first role model. In seventh grade, the younger Chen went with her parents to visit Wellesley College, where Gladys was a freshman. It came as no surprise that she decided she wanted to attend Wellesley as well. While in Junior High School 194 in Queens, NY, she was voted "Most Intelligent" and "Most Likely to Succeed" before then graduating from St. Francis Prep in 1987. She did not end up attending Wellesley, but graduated with a double degree in broadcast journalism and in English from the University of Southern California in 1991. While attending USC, Chen started working for "CBS Morning News" (1987-) in June of 1989, answering phones and making faxed copies for distribution - in a major move up the career ladder, little did she know she would anchor the same show 10 years later. The following year, Chen spent a season working for ABC NewsOne (the network's affiliate news service) as a desk assistant. Within three years, Chen was eventually promoted to producer of the show. However, aching to be at the desk, she left California in 1995 and moved to Dayton, OH to work as a news anchor for WDTN-TV for two years. In a major upgrade in markets, Chen moved back from the Midwest to her hometown of New York City in 1997, working at WCBS-TV as a reporter and weekend anchor.After that switch up, things moved rather quickly for Chen's career. In 1999, she was offered the anchor position for both CBS early-morning programs - "CBS Morning News" and "The Early Show." It did not take long for Chen's infectious onscreen charm - to say nothing of her intelligence and sophistication - to win over viewers. Most importantly, she also showed exceptional news reporting skills, particularly in March 2003 when she went to Kuwait and Qatar during the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.Two reality television programs swept the ratings and caught the attention of the media in 2000. CBS debuted "Survivor" - where castaways competed for a million dollar prize on a remote island and were subsequently voted off by their fellow contestants - and "Big Brother" - a house filled with hidden cameras documenting every step of the lucky inhabitants' lives. Chen was picked to host "Big Brother" but was criticized for her "way too scripted" and stiff performance - even earning herself the nickname, "Chenbot." She did, however, turned the words "but first" into the show's (and possibly, her own) official catchphrase. Trumping all the professional accomplishments, however, was her marriage on Dec. 23, 2004 to Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Television, at a private and small sunset ceremony in Acapulco, Mexico.



Guest Appearances