The Untold Truth Of Chris Wallace

Chris Wallace, anchor for Fox News Sunday, was selected to moderate the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden on Sept. 29, 2020, according to Fox News. The appointment has put Wallace in the spotlight in a big way in 2020 media coverage, but the news anchor and journalist is no stranger to taking the stage during national events.

Wallace was the moderator for the third presidential debate in 2016 between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, according to The Commission on Presidential Debates. Following Wallace's performance during the debate, The Washington Post wrote, "No one could watch the final debate and deny that Chris Wallace is among the best in the business."

Wallace also conducted an interview in July 2018 with Russia's Vladimir Putin, and shortly after, in September 2018, Wallace covered Brett Kavanaugh's case heard by the Supreme Court, where he was accused of sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and other women, according to Vox. (Kavanaugh has denied the allegations against him.)

While Wallace works for Fox News, the anchor's political affiliations might surprise you. Here's everything to know about Chris Wallace.

Chris Wallace has been a newsman since childhood

Chris Wallace grew up in a Jewish family in Chicago. His father, Mike Wallace, was a prominent journalist and news anchor for CBS' 60 Minutes. He married Norma Kaphan in 1940, according to The New York Times, and they had two sons: Peter and Chris. Peter died in a mountain-climbing accident. Mike and Norma divorced in 1948, per the outlet.

His mother remarried Bill Leonard, who was the president of CBS News, according to the HuffPost. It was his stepfather who got Wallace interested in news reporting and they would play games as newsmen. "If the car hit a milestone, say 20,000 miles, we would do a special report. He would be the anchor, and I would be on the assembly line in Detroit with the guy who had made the car," Wallace said. "And then I'd be the White House correspondent talking about what this meant for the balance-of-trade deficit because this was a terrific General Motors car."

Wallace attended Harvard University and was actively involved in the 1969 protest, where students occupied the University Hall in response to the Vietnam War and Harvard's Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. In the spring 2019 issue of Harvard Magazine, Wallace recalled how he was hauled off to jail and used his call to give a report to the local radio station, so it's clear reporting was in his blood from the start. 

A look back at Chris Wallace's journey to Fox News

Once Chris Wallace completed his education, he began working at NBC in New York City. During his time with NBC, he worked as the White House correspondent. In 1989, he joined ABC News, according to United Press Internationals. After 14 years with ABC, Wallace joined Fox News in 2003 as the Fox News Sunday host, a position which Wallace admitted he was wary about, especially since he's a registered Democrat, according to The New York Times. (Wallace is pictured above with Fox hosts Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier.)

"I had the same conception a lot of people did about Fox News, that they have a right-wing agenda. I'm a straight-news man — I plead guilty," Wallace said, according to the Chicago Tribune. Wallace admitted he votes for the candidate rather than the party, and as a journalist, he remains impartial. "Do I have political opinions? Absolutely. But I vote for the person, and I've voted for Republicans and Democrats and independents over the course of my life," Wallace explained. "I feel very strongly that you try not to let that affect the way you report the news."

Wallace is known for being tough but fair in his interviews, and he's since gone on to speak with some major political players.

Chris Wallace won an Emmy for his Vladimir Putin interview

Chris Wallace made history for Fox News on numerous occasions. In 2009, he became the first Fox host to interview President Barack Obama "and interviewed Obama more than anyone else at the network," according to the International Center for Journalists. Then in 2016, Wallace became "the first Fox News host to moderate a presidential debate" according to the outlet. In 2018, Wallace earned a News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Interview after meeting with Vladimir Putin, which marked "the first Emmy nomination in Fox News' history," according to Forbes.

In September 2018, Wallace covered Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court hearing when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault in his past. According to The Hill, Wallace said on Fox News, "But the point is that there are teenage girls who don't tell stories to a lot of people, and then it comes up, and I don't think we can disregard that. I don't think we can disregard Christine Blasey Ford and the seriousness of this. I think that would be a big mistake."

Wallace reportedly made the comment after his daughters disclosed to him things that happened to them in high school after hearing Dr. Blasey Ford's testimony. According to People, Wallace has two sons and two daughters from his first marriage to Elizabeth Farrell. According to his Film Reference biography, Wallace then married Lorraine Smothers in 1997.