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Jake Tapper

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Jake Tapper

Jake Tapper
at the White House, July 22, 2009
Born Jacob Paul Tapper
(1969-03-12) March 12, 1969
New York City
Residence Washington, D.C.
Nationality American
Education Bachelor's degree in history
Alma mater Dartmouth College
Employer CNN
Organization White House Correspondents' Association
Known for Chief Washington Correspondent, Anchor
Home town Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Religion Judaism[1]
Spouse(s) Jennifer Marie Brown (2006–present)
Children 2
Awards Merriman Smith Memorial Award, Emmy Award

Jacob Paul Tapper (born March 12, 1969) is an American journalist and author. As of 2013, he is the Chief Washington Correspondent and anchor of the CNN weekday television news show The Lead with Jake Tapper. Prior to working with CNN, he worked with ABC News. In his capacity as Senior White House Correspondent with ABC News, the White House Correspondents' Association honored him with three Merriman Smith Memorial Awards for broadcast journalism.[2][3][4]

He contributed to coverage of the inauguration of President Obama that earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story. He was part of a team that was awarded an Edward R. Murrow award for Video: Breaking News for “Target bin Laden: The Death of Public Enemy #1.” As the Senior White House Correspondent for ABC News, Tapper was honored with three Merriman Smith Memorial Awards for broadcast journalism an unprecedented three times in a row. His book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, debuted at No. 10 on the New York Times Bestseller list for hardback non-fiction.

Personal background

Jacob Paul "Jake" Tapper was born on March 12, 1969 in New York City and was raised in the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia.[5] He is the son of Theodore S. "Ted" and Helen Anne (née Palmatier) Tapper. His mother retired as a psychiatric nurse at Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. His father graduated from Dartmouth College and went on to serve as the president of South Philadelphia Pediatrics and associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College.[6][7]

Tapper was raised in the Jewish faith;[8] his father was from a Jewish family, while his mother, a native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, converted from Presbyterianism to Judaism.[1] He attended Akiba Hebrew Academy and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in history, modified by visual studies.[9] At Dartmouth, Tapper was a member of Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity. He briefly attended graduate school at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.[10]

Professional background

Press Secretary
In 1992, Tapper served as a campaign press secretary for Democratic congressional candidate Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (PA-13) and later served as her congressional press secretary.[11] Tapper then worked for Washington, D.C. public relations firm, Powell Tate, run by Democrat Jody Powell and Republican Sheila Tate. He also worked briefly for Handgun Control Inc. (now the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence) in 1997.

Washington City Paper
After writing many freelance stories, Tapper began his journalism career full-time as a senior writer for the Washington City Paper from 1998 to 1999 where he wrote in 1998 an article about his experience going on a date with Monica Lewinsky[12] which skewered Washington's culture of scandal.
Tapper was the Washington correspondent for Bush administration's claims about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction.[13]

ABC News
ABC News hired him in 2003. Tapper has been a frequent guest on the Imus in the Morning radio program. From March through July 2010, Tapper was interim anchor of ABC's This Week, hosting the program until Christiane Amanpour became This Week '​s anchor.

Tapper was named Senior White House Correspondent on November 5, 2008, the day after the 2008 presidential election. For an unprecedented three years in a row, the White House Correspondents' Association has awarded him the prestigious Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage under deadline pressure. He was a key part of the ABC News coverage of the inauguration of President Obama that was awarded an Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story.

Tapper was passed over as candidate to replace This Week when Stephanopoulos was chosen to replace Diane Sawyer as co-host of Good Morning America after she became the anchor of World News.[14] CNN's Christiane Amanpour was selected as Stephanopoulos's replacement instead. Tapper served as the interim anchor until Amanpour took over the show on August 1, 2010.[15] He was passed over again when Stephanopoulous was rehired for the position.

Tapper contributed regularly to "Good Morning America," "Nightline", and "World News with Diane Sawyer." In addition to anchoring World News and Good Morning America weekend editions and Nightline, Tapper was a frequent substitute host of "This Week" and served as interim host for much of 2010, scoring the first TV interview with CIA director Leon Panetta, as well as exclusives with Vice President Biden, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, retired Gen. Colin Powell, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, in addition to interviews with other newsmakers such as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

As senior White House correspondent, Tapper interviewed President Obama several times. Prior to his assignment at the White House, Tapper was ABC News' national/senior political correspondent based in the network's Washington, D.C., bureau. He contributed a report to a broadcast of "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" that won the 2005 Edward R. Murrow award for best network newscast. As ABC News' lead reporter covering the 2008 presidential election, he received recognition for both breaking stories and even-handedness. Traveling from Iowa to New Hampshire to South Carolina and beyond, Tapper interviewed both Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as well as other White House hopefuls including former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

It was announced December 20, 2012, that Tapper would join CNN and would anchor a new weekday program and serve as the network’s chief Washington correspondent.[16] He began with CNN in January 2013, hosting his own program, The Lead with Jake Tapper The show finished 2013 in second place among cable news organizations in its time slot.

The Lead with Jake Tapper won three National Headliner Awards for its reporting in 2013. Among broadcast television networks, cable networks and syndicators, The Lead with Jake Tapper won first prize for its coverage of the Boston marathon bombing and second prize for its coverage of the Oklahoma tornadoes in the category of "Coverage of a major news event." It won third prize for its coverage of the Boston marathon bombing in the category of "Continuing coverage of a major news event." [17] In June 2013, The New York Times' Allesandra Stanley wrote that "Jake Tapper, who this year became the host of 'The Lead' on CNN, has proved that it’s possible to create an afternoon news show that is intelligent, nonideological and not horribly boring."[18]

Other programs and media
Tapper has contributed to GQ, The Weekly Standard, NPR's All Things Considered, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. In 2001, he hosted the program Take Five on CNN, in which young journalists and commentators discussed politics and pop culture. In 2002, he hosted a series of entertainment news specials on VH1, and in 2003 he hosted shows focused on independent film on the Sundance Channel. Tapper has also been a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Colbert Report, The View, Real Time with Bill Maher, and appeared on the Judge John Hodgman podcast as guest bailiff, standing in for regular bailiff Jesse Thorn during the August 31, 2011 episode entitled "De Plane".[19]

Published works

Tapper is also the author of The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, a critically acclaimed book about U.S. troops in Afghanistan that debuted at #10 on the New York Times bestseller list for hardback non-fiction. Bob Woodward described the book as: "Brilliant, dedicated reporting by a journalist who goes to ground to get the truth. A sad, real tale about this war, America and the brave warriors who live-and die-at the point of the spear" and Jon Krakauer called it "a mind-boggling, all-too-true story of heroism, hubris, failed strategy, and heartbreaking sacrifice. If you want to understand how the war in Afghanistan went off the rails, you need to read this book."

In addition to The Outpost, Tapper is the author of Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency, based on the 2000 Presidential election, and Body Slam: The Jesse Ventura Story.

His comic strip Capitol Hell appeared in Roll Call from 1994 to 2003. He has also contributed cartoons to the American Spectator magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Awards and honors

As the Senior White House Correspondent for ABC News, Tapper was honored with three Merriman Smith Memorial Awards for broadcast journalism.[2][3][4] The first Merriman Smith Memorial Award was for reporting noncompliance of laws regulating tax reporting by the Secretary nominee Department of Health and Human Services secretary nominee and former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle (D-SD),[20] troubles that ultimately derailed Daschle's nomination. The second was for the 2010 story that President Obama had asked for the resignation of his Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis C. Blair (retired). The third time was for breaking the 2011 story that the ratings agency Standard and Poor's was expected to downgrade the AAA rating for U.S. government debt.

On July 6, 2009, former MSNBC television personality Dan Abrams launched a website service, Mediaite, reporting on media figures, ranking all TV-based journalists in America by influence; at December 2010, Tapper ranked at number one.[21]

Family life

In 2006, Tapper married Jennifer Marie Brown in her home state of Missouri.[22] The Tappers live in Washington, D.C.[23] with their two children.[24]



  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b WHCA. "White House Correspondents' Association 2010 Journalism Awards". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "White House Correspondents' Association Announces Recipients of the 2011 Awards". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "2012 WHCA Journalism Awards". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer: "Jake Tapper, Philadelphia boy to CNN 'Lead'" By John Timpane April 08, 2013
  6. ^ York Times Weddings: "Helen A. Palmatier Bride of a Physician"
  7. ^ "Jennifer Brown, Jacob Tapper". The New York Times. September 3, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  8. ^ Jewish Exponent: "Grads Hear Jake Tapper's Rap About 'Lashon Hara'" by bryan Schwartzman June 14, 2012
  9. ^ "CNN TV - Anchors/Reporters:Jake Tapper". 
  10. ^ Kurtz, Howard (March 2, 2009). "Covering Obama, Pushy Jake Tapper Presses His Points".  
  11. ^
  12. ^ Tapper, Jake (January 30, 1998). "I Dated Monica Lewinsky".  
  13. ^ Tapper, Jake. "The Hyping of Saddam's WMD". Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  14. ^  
  15. ^ Venkataraman, Nitya (2010-03-18). "Christiane Amanpour Named 'This Week' Anchor". ABC News. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  16. ^ "ABC’S JAKE TAPPER IS GOING TO CNN". The Blaze. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (June 17, 2013). "‘New Day,' a Revamped Morning Show, Makes Its Debut". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ Julia Smith (31 August 2011). "Judge John Hodgman Episode 34: De Plane".  
  20. ^ "Bumps in the Road: Obama's HHS Secretary Nominee Faces Tax Questions Over Car and Driver". ABC News. January 30, 2009. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  21. ^ "Jake Tapper".  
  22. ^ New York Times Weddings: "Jennifer Brown, Jacob Tapper" September 3, 2006
  23. ^ Home and Design: "Private Tour- At Home with Jake Tapper - This ABC News correspondent and his wife Jennifer create a stylish Washington retreat" By Sharon Jaffe Dan MARCH/APRIL 2008
  24. ^ Raleigh News Observer Obituary: Helen McDowell Palmatier February 28, 2010

External links

  • Official website
  • The Lead with Jake Tapper
  • Jake Tapper's presentation at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library
Media offices
Preceded by
Position Created
CNN Chief Washington Correspondent
January 2013 – Present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Martha Raddatz
ABC News Chief White House Correspondent
January 2009 – December 2012
Succeeded by
Jonathan Karl
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