The Truth About Lou Dobbs

In a world of conservative commentators, there are few men who stand out above all the rest. Names that come to mind include Bill O'Reilly, the late Rush Limbaugh, and, of course, Lou Dobbs. Over the years, Dobbs has made a name for himself as one of the most formidable political pundits in the game today. However, his career has been anything but a straight line. Unannounced to many, Dobbs never really dreamed of being on TV. After earning a degree in economics from Harvard, he worked for anti-poverty nonprofits, per The New Yorker.

It was by chance that he was tapped by Ted Turner to help launch CNN. From there, Dobbs skyrocketed to fame, but with fame comes controversy. Over the years, Dobbs has been embroiled in a series of controversies that have forced him to move from network to network and change his political beliefs from moderately centrist to radically right. An intensely private person, Dobbs has lived a fascinating life. Read on below to learn more about it.

Lou Dobbs has a high net worth

When you've been on television for a long time, it's more than likely you've built up an impressive net worth. So, just how rich is Lou Dobbs? Let's break it down.

After graduating with a business degree from Harvard University in 1967, Dobbs moved to Arizona, where he worked as a local reporter. After that, he moved around, eventually landing an anchoring spot in Seattle where he was poached by Ted Turner to join CNN. He was at CNN for over a decade before joining Fox. By that time Dobbs had built an impressive fan base thanks to his time at CNN, his radio shows, and the books he'd released. Fox took all of that into account when they offered him a lucrative contract for joining the network, per Celebrity Net Worth.

So if we add that all together (plus some good property investments), what do we get? Well, despite leaving Fox in 2021, Dobbs is still worth an estimated $20 million. How exactly does she spend all that dough? If his Instagram is any indication, mostly on travel and horses. These days, Dobbs is easing into retirement by working less and enjoying his time on his 300 acre New Jersey horse farm, and taking the occasional road trip with his wife Debi Segura.

Lou Dobbs is close with Donald Trump

If you know one thing about Lou Dobbs, it's that he's super tight with Donald Trump. As soon as Trump landed in the oval office, Dobbs was on speed dial offering his two cents on immigration and international policy initiatives. In general, Trump broke with tradition by maintaining an exceptionally close relationship with key members of the press, however his connection with Dobbs was something special. "While the president and Lou are friendly, it's not like his relationship with a lot of other people in the media who like him," said Stephen Bannon when speaking to The Washington Post in 2019. "This is about policy. They're completely in sync on immigration and trade and what that all means for wages and how the Republican elite has failed."

The relationship between the two men has played out in more ways than just policy advising. Insiders told the outlet that Dobbs had essentially converted his Fox Network show into Trump 2020 propaganda. Trump, for his part, has spoken openly about his admiration for Dobbs. "Lou has a very strong opinion on the border, and I do listen to that opinion," Trump told the Washington Post. "I think he respects what I'm doing, and I respect the job he does," the former president said. "He really gets the word out. There's no question about it."

Lou Dobbs' daughter is an impressive athlete

Off-air Lou Dobbs is a pretty private guy. He might like to share his political opinions but when it comes to his personal life, he likes his space. Dobbs has four kids, and one of them, his daughter Hillary, takes after dad.

While Hillary isn't the most outspoken when it comes to politics, she and her dad share a lot of interests. For starters, they both graduated from Harvard, and they both love the outdoors. A quick scan of Dobbs' Instagram will prove that the former news host loves spending time outside with his horses. Hillary has turned her inherited passion for animals into a profession.

Hillary is a decorated Grand Prix showjumper and professional rider. She also holds the title of youngest rider to win more than $1 million in prize money, per Horse Talk. A scary knee injury took her out of the game for a while. As of 2019, though, Hillary is back in the saddle (no pun intended) and teaching riding to promising young equestrian enthusiasts in New Jersey, per

Lou Dobbs was radicalized by 9/11

Lou Dobbs came to fame after joining CNN in 1980. By 2010, though, both he and the network were ready to part ways for the final time (Dobbs left briefly in 1999 to pursue an internet startup.) This time, it was Dobbs' political beliefs that caused the riff. According to Dobbs, the September 11th terrorist attacks drastically altered his politics.

Over the years, he became increasingly radicalized until he was too far to the right, and too divisive to remain at CNN, per NPR. Things deteriorated to the point that Dobbs was apologizing on air for offensive comments about the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and coming under fire for misreporting facts about disease spread related to illegal immigration.

By 2010, Dobbs was firmly behind the birther movement, and as far as CNN was concerned, it was time for Dobbs to go. So he departed CNN (not on the best of terms), and began looking for a platform where his populist ideals would be more welcome. Long story short, he landed at Fox, where producers were more than happy to promote Dobbs' more radical views.

Lou Dobbs' wife was arrested

Lou Dobbs has come under fire for his political and economic stances more than a few times, but in 2003 it was his wife, Debi Segura's, turn. Segura is a former sports journalist who married Dobbs in 1982, per Married Biography. She has never been as politically vocal as her other half, but nearly two decades later, Segura found herself at the center of a tabloid scandal when she was briefly arrested at Newark airport with two of her children. Apparently, Segura had been attempting to board a flight to Florida at the time. The only problem was Segura had a loaded 25-caliber semiautomatic pistol in her purse. Oh yeah, it was also unlicensed. Segura was held at Newark Airport for a little over an hour. Her gun was confiscated and she, along with her kids, were allowed to board their flight to Florida.

Dobbs stepped up and defended his wife a few days later on air. "She picked up the purse, threw things in and completely forgot about it," he said, per the New York Post. "She keeps [the gun] there because when I'm traveling, she wants to have it," he explained. Ultimately Dobbs thought it was best to apologize for the snafu and move on. "We're embarrassed, and we want to apologize to the law-enforcement agencies," he said. It seems like she learned her lesson, as Segura has never been caught with an unlicensed firearm again.

Dobbs has been accused of misreporting facts

During his heyday at CNN, Lou Dobbs came under fire for misreporting facts regarding illegal immigrants. Dobbs claimed on-air that between 2004 and 2007, there were around 7,000 new cases of Leprosy in the US. He further alleged that the increase in Leprosy cases was directly related to an increase in illegal immigration from Mexico. When outside parties started checking his stats, though, it became clear that Dobbs was grossly misinformed. Dobbs appeared on CNN where he was questioned about the report, which the interview stated seemed to cite little to no evidence to back up the claim.

When confronted, though, Dobbs doubled down with, "If we reported it, it's a fact," per The New York Times. It turns out, however, that it was not fact. In fact, as far as facts go, Dobbs couldn't have been more off base. According to the outlet, Between 2001 and 2007 national Leprosy cases had only increased by 76 percent, which according to experts, is not significant. Dobbs would not apologize. When confronted once again by the New York Times, he curtly replied, "You've raised this to a level that frankly I find offensive."

Lou Dobbs grew up poor

Lou Dobbs might be one of the most successful political and financial commentators of our time, and he might live in a massive house on a massive horse farm, but his upbringing was surprisingly humble. Before attending Harvard University, Dobbs spent his youth working on a farm baling hay. Per his own admission, Dobs grew up "poor" in a working-class household in rural America. Part of his childhood was spent in Texas, but the latter was spent in Idaho after his father's business didn't succeed and the family abruptly moved. The tough circumstances surrounding his upbringing inspired Dobbs' interest in finances and eventually directed him towards obtaining a business degree, per Magic Valley.

Surprising though it may be, it seems that Dobbs never forgot his roots. Upon graduating college, he spent several years working for anti-poverty programs. Dobbs lost interest in community outreach, though, and turned his attention to broadcasting, beginning the career journey that catapulted him to the political powerhouse he is today, per Washington Post. He knows where he came from, however. Dobbs' New Jersey compound is worth millions, but he still likes to hang out in the barn with his horses, bailing hay.

Lou Dobbs thought about running for office

For someone as well versed in politics as he is, it's no surprise that Lou Dobbs once considered getting more involved himself. After leaving CNN in 2009 and before joining Fox in 2011, some thought Dobbs might not return to television and might instead run for office. At the time, Dobbs wielded nearly unparalleled political power. Democrats and Republicans were vying to get his backing on various legislation. "If he likes our bill, it would be a real shot in the arm," Senator Chuck Schumer told The Wall Street Journal in 2010.

Some New Jersey locals were hoping Dobbs would take it a step further and actually run for office in 2010 against incumbent Senator Bob Menendez. "A number of groups have asked me to think about politics and have tried to persuade me to get involved in various campaigns," Dobbs told the New Jersey Monthly. "What I want to do right now is focus on dealing with the two basic public policy issues that I think are really important: the economy and job creation, and illegal immigration and border security."

As for a 2012 run, Dobbs wouldn't explicitly rule it out, saying simply, "I don't leap at things. I make careful evaluations and I make grown up, responsible decisions."

He did not like Barack Obama

As much as Lou Dobbs loved Donald Trump, that's how much he hated Barack Obama. Dobbs was one of the original leads of the "Birther Movement"–a right-wing smear campaign against the former president in which his political opponents alleged that Obama's birth certificate was fake, that he was not born in the U.S., and was therefore unqualified to be president. Obviously, the allegations were meritless, but they were nonetheless click-baity.

Despite openly talking about how there was reportedly ample evidence Obama was not born on U.S. soil, Dobbs backtracked when confronted with questions about his problematic views. "Seemingly the questions won't go away because they haven't been dealt with," he said on an episode of "Lou Dobbs Tonight," apparently suggesting that it was Obama's fault for not releasing his birth certificate, per NPR. Dobbs doubled down the following day, claiming, "All [Obama] has to do is produce the original birth certificate."

Dobbs' attacks on Obama continued long after he left office. Dobbs jumped at the chance to criticize the former president in 2017 when Obama commented on Trump's Twitter usage. Dobbs claimed it was unbecoming of one president to talk about another. "I mean, this is just bad manners," he said, per Chicago Tribune. "It's boorish, and it's absurd." Dobbs added that for criticizing his successor, he believed Obama should face some sort of legal repercussion. "I mean, he should be brought back by the marshals. Isn't there some law that says presidents shouldn't be attacking sitting presidents?" F.Y.I., U.S. marshals never bothered to get involved.

Lou Dobbs' home was attacked

Lou Dobbs was once again the center of controversy in 2009 when he made national headlines, except this time it wasn't for something he said on air. No, this time, Dobbs was a topic of conversation after calling the police to report that shots had been fired at his New Jersey home, per CNN. Dobbs relayed the story himself on his CNN show "Lou Dobbs Tonight."

"Three weeks ago this morning, a shot was fired at my house where I live," he explained per NBC. "My wife was standing outside and that followed weeks and weeks of threatening phone calls." Dobbs' wife, Debi Segura was not in the incident, nor was anyone else in the house. The police arrived and investigated, but by that time the perpetrator was long gone.

The police might not have found the person or people responsible, but Dobbs had a pretty good idea of who to blame. He pointed the finger squarely at his political opponents, who he claimed had created pro-immigration propaganda that directly conflicted with the narrative he relayed on his show. He asserted that the "propaganda" has angered someone to the point of attacking him. "They've created an atmosphere and they've been unrelenting in their propaganda," he said.

Lou Dobbs was forced out of Fox

Like so many other republican pundits, 2021 was not a good year for Lou Dobbs. Dobbs, an adamant supporter of Donald Trump's, spent most of 2020 talking up the president and his chances of reelection on his high-ranking Fox News show, "Lou Dobbs Tonight." Well, as we all know, Trump did not win, and not only did Dobbs have to face defeat, he also had to face some serious legal problems as well. In February 2021, Fox News was sued by Smartmatic USA Corp., a company responsible for building and supplying voting machines across the country. In the lawsuit, the company claimed that Fox News as well as Dobbs had made defamatory comments about the accuracy of their machines when implying that the election had been stolen from Trump. Smartmatic USA planned to sue Fox for a whopping $2.7 billion, per The Wall Street Journal.

Fox released a statement painting the lawsuit as ridiculous and claimed to support its anchors and their 2020 election coverage. Despite their claims of unending support for their employees, Dobbs ended up a sacrificial lamb, so to speak. With months left on his contract Dobbs' show was canceled and he was asked to leave the network. As of the time of publication, Fox is still in the process of attempting to dismiss the lawsuit, per Reuters.

Dobbs is enjoying his semi-retirement

It may never have been Lou Dobbs' choice to leave Fox in 2021 — long before his contract ended — but it seems like he's making the best of a bad situation. A quick glance at Dobbs' Instagram offers a wealth of insight into his days as a quasi-retiree. Most of his time seems to be spent relaxing on his palatial New Jersey horse farm. He's also made time to travel with his wife, Debi Segura. In August 2021, Dobbs commemorated a trip to Niagara Falls with a sweet photo of himself and Segura. "Deb and I enjoying beautiful Niagara Falls up close," he wrote.

Before you think that Dobbs is about to slip away into obscurity, don't. While he isn't on TV anymore, he still hosts a radio show on the Salem Radio Network. "The Lou Dobbs Financial Report," airs three times a day, five days a week. "The Lou Dobbs Financial Report" is a departure from Dobbs' time at major networks, as the show lasts just ten minutes. Dobbs quickly covers the top financial news of the day, and then, we assume, gets back to his horses.

Dobbs has been called a hypocrite

If you know one thing about Lou Dobbs, it's that he does not like illegal immigrants. His hardline stance on illegal immigration was a deciding factor in CNN's decision to ultimately part ways with him in 2009. Unfortunately, those controversial stances came back to bite him in a big way when just a year later, when The Nation reported that Dobbs was allegedly using undocumented immigrants for cheap labor on his New Jersey horse farm. According to the article, Dobbs hired illegal immigrants specifically to transport his daughter's expensive show horses back and forth from New England to Florida as the seasons changed.

One employee who spoke with the outlet claimed he worked 65 hours a week for $500 and was denied any overtime pay. "It doesn't matter what time it is: in the night or at dawn, you have to check the horse. You always, always have to be at work," another employee explained, adding, "I looked after Dobbs's horses while I was illegal."

Though he had never passed up an opportunity to talk about illegal immigration before, interestingly enough, Dobbs declined to comment on the piece.