The Untold Truth Of Sandra Smith

Not to be confused with the same-named actress who once played Captain James T. Kirk in an infamous body swap episode of the original "Star Trek" series, Sandra Smith is the business reporter who boldly went from the trading floor to Fox News.

The Chicago native has been a fixture of the network since she joined its business arm from Bloomberg Television in 2007, reporting for the likes of "Imus in the Morning," "Fox Business Happy Hour" and "Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld." More recently, Smith has taken center stage on the main Fox News Channel as the co-host of "Outnumbered," "Fox and Friends" and "America's Newsroom."

Whereas many of her colleagues try to court as much publicity as possible, Smith is a relatively private person who prefers to keep her personal and professional life entirely separate. But from athletic meets to meet-cutes, here are a dozen things that we do know about John Roberts' latest work wife.

Sandra Smith is a proud LSU graduate

Sandra Smith graduated from Louisiana State University in 2003 with a degree in business. But she actually began her further education at another college in Illinois. It was only when the star took advantage of a national student exchange program that she realized where her true calling was. And it was LSU's Gallic charms that convinced Smith to make the move permanent. 

In 2018, the Fox host explained to New Orleans Living Magazine, "I loved French in high school. Then I discovered there was a French-speaking area in the United States, so I thought, 'That's it — I'm going down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana!' ... After a semester, I called my parents and said, 'There's no way I'm leaving this place!' I fell completely in love with the area and did another semester. That summer I went back home and just knew in my heart that I belonged in Louisiana, so I transferred to LSU."

In another interview with LSU Media Center that same year, Smith revealed that her decision paid off in many ways: "I close my eyes because it's my happy place. I love to think about Baton Rouge and my time spent there: the people I met, the places I went, the food I tried. It was just such a unique experience that I'm forever grateful for ... I feel like I was exposed to so much when I was at LSU that it really helped me start to look at what I wanted to do."

Running is Sandra Smith's 'escape'

Who knew that Sandra Smith was once a part of the same track and field team as Olympians Muna Lee and Lolo Jones? Yes, back in her college days, the Fox News staple was a talented long distance runner who competed in steeplechase and cross-country. In fact, as of 2016, she still held Louisiana State University's third-fastest time ever in the former's 3,000 meter discipline. 

Smith first began running with her "avid marathoner" father at the age of five and within two years she was reaching the 5K barrier. And although Mr. Smith is now in his 70s, the pair still enjoy the odd run together from time to time.

In 2016, Smith told Runner's World how important running remains to her daily routine: "I have long days at work, which is why it's really important that I come home and just have that few minutes to myself to clear my head, go for a run. I love running — it's my escape, it's when I think best. With so much going on, running is no longer a chore or a stress to me. It's a getaway." 

Sandra Smith began her career in the business world

While some would argue that certain Fox News personalities aren't particularly qualified to inform the nation, that's not an accusation that can be leveled at Sandra Smith, who certainly knows what she's talking about when it comes to business. 

After graduating from Louisiana State University, Smith landed a research associate position at Aegis Capital Group where she helped to identify opportunities for investment and analyzed and researched stocks. From there, she moved on to a similar role at New York City's Hermitage Capital Corporation before taking up a Director of Institutional Sales and Trading role at Chicago's Terra Nova Institutional.

Throughout her business career, Smith also represented her employers on various financial TV shows. And in 2007 an impressed Bloomberg Television came calling. In 2016, the star told Adweek, "The whole process was very organic ... I decided to make a huge career change, moving to television after working in the institutional trading world, a field in which I had studied and achieved all of these fancy licenses. It was a very difficult decision, but that was my big break."

It was love at first... trade for Sandra Smith and her husband

Sandra Smith's first day at Chicago's Terra Nova Institutional was certainly an eventful one. As well as progressing her career as a sales trader, it was also the moment when she first set eyes on her future husband, John Conolly.

In a 2013 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Smith remembered their first meeting: "As we made our way around to the last person on the desk, there was John, the only person paying me no attention. When prodded, the tall, bow tie-wearing, wavy-haired, nerdy but handsome guy turned around, smiled and introduced himself." While recalling this story on their wedding day, Conolly claimed he knew instantly that he'd be walking down the aisle with the new recruit.

Conolly actually left the firm within two weeks, but the pair stayed in touch, and after enjoying a proper first date at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, romance began to blossom. And although Smith later moved to New York to take a job at Bloomberg Television, the pair made their long-distance relationship work. In 2010, they said "I do" at a ceremony at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral. Conolly later joined his wife in the Big Apple after accepting a director of marketing position with the CME Group and the couple have remained there happily ever since.

Republicans do not have an unconditional ally in Sandra Smith

Sandra Smith may work for a news organization that leans heavily toward the right, but that doesn't mean she avoids calling out prominent Republicans when necessary, as Kayleigh McEnany found out to her cost. In 2020, the White House press secretary was trying to defend Donald Trump after he appeared to give his blessing to controversial conspiracy theorist group QAnon. After McEnany claimed that the 45th POTUS had never explicitly mentioned them, Smith reminded her that just 24 hours earlier, "His words were that he has heard about them. And that they are people that love our country. It was puzzling to many people."

This isn't the only time that Smith has given the conservative movement a rough ride, either. The following year, she grilled Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's Secretary of State, about the leak of an incriminating phone call with the president.

In 2014, Smith told The Hollywood Reporter that she always tries to be as balanced as possible: "I don't include personal politics in my journalism ... Even if my personal belief is in line with the discussion, you'll see me play devil's advocate just to make sure the other side is represented."

Sandra Smith went viral with an on-air faux pas

Rolling your eyes at something said on Fox News is a natural reaction for many on the opposite side of the political aisle. And we now know that even its hosts can respond in a similar manner. Yes, unfortunately for her, the spot of shade-throwing Sandra Smith thought was off-air ended up being broadcast to millions.

Smith went viral thanks to an interview with a Washington, D.C. lawyer Cleta Mitchell (above), who refused to accept the official outcome of the 2020 presidential election. As Mitchell was espousing her debunked views about the legitimacy of the election, "Smith, who believed that her mic had been turned off at the time, subsequently remarked to co-host Trace Gallagher, "What? What is happening? Trace, we've called it."

Of course, Smith's mic was firmly on, meaning her incredulity over Mitchell's fake news claims soon became the talk of social media. Smith seems to have kept quiet about the goof up, however, Mitchell later doubled down on her beliefs, tweeting that she is "happy to be considered a nut job because I believe in the rule of law." 

A daddy's girl in the most professional sense

Sandra Smith was perhaps always destined to pursue a career in business. As the Fox News host recalled to Politico in 2015, she grew up in Wheaton, Illinois in a family of traders. And her father, in particular, was keen to get her immersed in the world of stocks and shares from a very young age.

Smith, who was a year into her hosting gig on "Outnumbered" at the time of the interview, said, "My dad brought me down to the trading floor as a little kid. I always took to finance, I always took to money, I always took to business. I studied it in college. It wasn't always my intention to be on television, but it sort of happened that way. I started trading, started going on television, and it was just a natural progression into what I am doing now."

Bringing things neatly full circle, Smith ended up reporting at the very same marketplace her pop used to take her as a youngster, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The "America's Newsroom" host had explained to Alister & Paine in 2012, "He was an integral part in introducing me to business and finance. I was the youngest of six kids, one of five girls. He was really good at showing each one of us what he did and what was going on downtown."

The Roger Ailes scandal 'confused' Sandra Smith

In 2016, Roger Ailes resigned from his position as Fox News chairman following several allegations of sexual harassment, including those from former employees Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson. But the disgraced media mogul wasn't shunned by everyone at his old network. In fact, several hosts came forward to publicly defend his honor, including Sandra Smith.

"I was very surprised and a little bit confused," she told The Hollywood Reporter in the wake of the scandal breaking. Smith also appeared to take umbrage with Carlson's claims that Ailes had demanded she wear outfits that showed off her body. "Amazing, a television executive who cares what his television screen looks like. I mean, this isn't a shocker," the "Outnumbered" host remarked.

Smith then confirmed that her lipstick color or skirt length had never been an issue, adding, "I do work with women who do like to look good and feel good. Many of us are athletes and we work out, some of us work out together. That's just the environment we're in. We do care about — not just what we sound like and what we know — but what we look like. And image is important, believe it or not, when you're on a television screen." Ailes died a year later before any further legal action could be brought.

Sandra Smith made broadcasting history

You might not expect Fox News to have once paved the way for feminism, but in 2015, the network reportedly put all others to shame by becoming the first to hire two women to moderate a televised presidential debate. And alongside Trish Regan, Sandra Smith was chosen to be the record-breaker.

The duo oversaw the Fox Business Network event which included then-Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum. But Smith told People beforehand that the piece of history shouldn't be the focus: "We don't have to press the gender issue. It naturally comes through in our conversations that we are women, and women naturally bring a different perspective. It's an organic thing."

Having helped to secure the a ratings hit for a cable news network that week, Regan and Smith were later invited to chair another debate involving Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee in January 2016. And in a pre-match interview with Elle, the "Outnumbered" host was once again keen to point out that her gender shouldn't come into play: "I certainly do things differently because I'm a woman. But I don't force the issue. I don't say, 'Because I'm a woman, I do X or Y.' Being a woman is enough. Whatever happens happens organically, whether it's anchoring a show or asking questions at a debate."

Motherhood changed Sandra Smith's perspective

Sandra Smith first became a mother in 2013 with the birth of a daughter before she and husband John Conolly added to their family unit two years later with the arrival of a son. And parenthood initially allowed the "America Reports" host to take a break from the constant stresses and pressures of the daily news cycle.

Speaking to Elle magazine in 2016 just ahead of her second stint as presidential election moderator alongside Trish Regan, Smith recalled, "When I went on maternity leave, I went off the grid completely. You need that. You need to bond with your child, and that's so important." However, being a self-confessed "news junkie," the star couldn't keep her eyes away from the world's ongoings for too long, and within weeks she found herself immersed again in all the headlines.

So did her home life affect her role as one of Fox News' most dependable hosts once she returned to its New York headquarters? Well, yes, but in a positive way. Smith added, "Motherhood opened my eyes and broadened my perspective in so many ways. I'm better at my job for it — no question."

Sandra Smith loves the outdoor life

Alongside her daily duties as a Fox News host and mother-of-two, Sandra Smith also somehow finds the time to fit in the odd hobby, too. Like her colleague Bret Baier, she's an avid golfer and as a keen pheasant and grouse hunter, she's just as handy with a gun as she is with a putter.

In a 2015 chat with Outdoor Life, Smith revealed that she developed a love of nature in her teens. But it was a skeet-shooting date with her future husband John Conolly that introduced her to the joys of hunting: "He taught me the circle of life, and exposed me to beautiful land and beautiful hunting dogs. It was the most amazing experience."

And having started her career in the male-dominated world of the trading floor, Smith has no problem in dealing with those who hold archaic views about the sport: "I find hunters to be overwhelmingly gracious, wonderful people. So when I say this, I say this as the exception. But some men will challenge a woman in the field, and say, 'Oh, she can't possibly be a good shot.' But those people are like that in the rest of their daily lives, not just when they hunt."

Sandra Smith has a net worth of $6 million

It seems fair to say that the Sandra Smith household isn't short of a dollar or two. Her husband, John Conolly, has been in the financial industry since 2002, having worked as a chief marketing officer for Azul Partners, Inc. and a director of product marketing for the CME Group.

Smith herself has been an invaluable part of the Fox News line-up since she was poached from Bloomberg Television in the mid-'00s. And having learned the tricks of the trading floor from her father from a young age, the "America Reports" host no doubt knows how to be shrewd with her cash. Little wonder, therefore, that the former hedge fund account manager is said to have a net worth of $6 million.

But how does that compare to her Fox News colleagues? Well, according to reports, her former co-host Bill Hemmer has $9 million in his bank. However, they both have to go some way to beating the network's top earner, with Sean Hannity rumored to have a net worth of a staggering $250 million!