The Untold Truth Of Peter Doocy

In 2009, Peter Doocy, then just 22 years old, was appointed by Fox News as a general assignment reporter. His father Steve had been the long-running host of flagship show "Fox & Friends" and started working at the channel in 1996. 

Since taking after his dad and landing a job at the politically conservative network, Peter has risen through the Fox ranks to White House correspondent, covering numerous current events, political developments, and national tragedies. Doocy's interview with Robert O'Neill, the ex-Navy SEAL who claimed to have killed Osama bin Laden, pulled in record-breaking ratings

But what about the man behind all those antagonizing briefing questions? These days, Peter Doocy can be found traveling the world or questioning President Biden at press conferences in the White House. "During his coverage of Biden, Doocy's signature ability to elicit a response yielded several viral and newsworthy moments," his Fox News bio aptly notes. 

From sporting ambitions to side hustles, here's a closer look at the Villanova University graduate.

There's a mutual respect between Peter Doocy and Jen Psaki

It doesn't always seem like it, but Peter Doocy and Jen Psaki apparently do have a mutual respect for each other. Fox News' White House correspondent and Joe Biden's press secretary have repeatedly clashed since the 46th came into power, largely thanks to the former's pointed queries and the latter's biting responses (nicknamed Psaki bombs by fans) at various briefings.

But for a profile of Psaki in The New York Times, Doocy insisted that there were no hard feelings between the pair: "It never feels like I'm getting smacked down or vice versa. I understand why it looks like that, some of the ways that stuff gets clipped, but it doesn't feel like that in the room." The political science graduate then referred to the time that his apparent nemesis congratulated him on getting married in one particular news conference as proof.

It was a sentiment echoed by Psaki in an interview with Mediaite: "My engagement with him, people don't always see this, but outside the briefing room, it is entirely professional and entirely, hopefully, responsive. There's a performative component from the TV side of the briefing room."

Peter Doocy is married to another Fox name

Fox News gradually appears to be turning into a family business for the Doocys. Steve is a longtime host of "Fox & Friends," and his son Peter was appointed general assignment reporter in 2009. In 2020, the younger Doocy married Fox Business regular Hillary Vaughn.

The pair tied the knot in an intimate ceremony at South Carolina's Palmetto Bluff Resort. And Steve, who served as best man, couldn't have been more stoked to welcome his new daughter-in-law into the Doocy clan, posting on Instagram, "We are so happy for both of you. For any parent who proudly watches their kid's wedding, you know exactly how Kathy [Steve's wife and Peter's mom] and I feel. Please join the Doocys and congratulate [Peter and Hillary] as their adventure begins!" The Fox News veteran was still gushing about the big day a week later, telling viewers of "Fox & Friends" that only 18 people were invited to the nuptials, which had been delayed by three months due to the coronavirus.

Hillary currently serves as a correspondent on Fox Business, having graduated from the network's Junior Reporter Program, where she trained in New Hampshire. She's since covered the likes of the 2020 Iowa caucases and the funeral of President George H.W. Bush.

The correspondent speaks to his father every day

Steve Doocy rarely got the chance to take his kids to school because of his early morning duties on "Fox & Friends." However, he more than made up for it with the quality time he spent with them in the afternoons and evenings, with the family always spending at least an hour in the kitchen together either cooking or eating dinner. 

And son Peter Doocy remains grateful that he had such a loving upbringing, telling Deseret News, "I was very lucky that my mom and dad were at every baseball or soccer game or practice. They were always early to pick us up. We always knew that they were there. So I think, when you think back to being a kid, just knowing that your parents are right there when you need them, to support you or help you, whether you're at home or not, was very important and it's something I think of often now."

Family time remains paramount to both parties, too, with the White House correspondent adding that he doesn't go a day without speaking to his father, or texting him at the very least: "I grew up in a house where I got to see my parents every day. They set a really good example for my sisters and I, and I got to see that every day until I left for college."

Peter Doocy's childhood bedroom remains a shrine to him

It appears as though Steve and Kathy Doocy found it hard to say goodbye when son Peter Doocy headed for Villanova University to study political science. In fact, more than a decade after he graduated, the White House correspondent's childhood bedroom has barely been changed since he flew the nest.

In a joint interview with Deseret News, Doocy Sr. told Doocy Jr., "Peter, I'm going to embarrass you a little, but the Curious George (stuffed animal) that you grew up with and took to college is upstairs in a plexiglass box; just like Buzz Lightyear and Woody in 'Toy Story,' he's up there guarding your childhood, surveying your childhood."

And it looks as though the shrine is there to stay. The Doocys have no plans to move from the New Jersey home in question, particularly due to the amount of work they carried out when they bought it. Steve remarked, "Being a handy guy, I did all the molding, I painted every room in the house. We have too much sweat equity in this particular house, and too many memories. So why leave?"

He doesn't mix with his father at work

In 2019, Peter Doocy reported on claims that Joe Biden had used his position as then-vice president to help his son Hunter Biden get on various company boards. Of course, the left saw this as a blatant case of pot calling the kettle black. Critics might say that Peter, who took up his Fox News post shortly after graduating from Villanova University, is no stranger to nepotism himself. Politico acknowledged that Doocy's acquaintances have differing views of the newsman: a "hardworking, serious" reporter who can stand his own, or "a Fox scion — the journalistic equivalent of a legacy admission." The outlet noted that Doocy had an internship with the network in 2004.

"Fox & Friends" host Steve Doocy may have put in a good word in for his son, who grew up visiting the set for "Take Your Kids to Work Day." But speaking to Deseret News in 2021, Peter insisted that he's risen through the ranks off his own back. In fact, the White House correspondent doesn't mix with his dad at work at all: "He and I are in different departments, and by the time I get in most days, he's already home, and I have different bosses than he has, and different sets of producers and editorial people."

John McCain could have had a drink with Peter Doocy

Peter Doocy first made a name for himself in 2008 at age 20 with the question he posed to presidential candidate John McCain on the Villanova University leg of the Hardball College Tour. The televised event, ironically sponsored by Fox News' rival MSNBC, was staged to help students get up-close and personal with those in the race for the White House. And Doocy sure tried to capitalize on the interactive experience.

Referring to a then-recently published photo of Hillary Clinton treating herself to whisky at a bar in Indiana, Doocy asked McCain, "I was wondering if you think that she's finally resorted to hitting the sauce just because of some unfavorable polling. And I was also wondering if you would care to join me for a shot after this" (via NBC News).

McCain, who, of course, lost out to Barack Obama in the subsequent election, was initially left slightly wrong-footed by the question, as Doocy explained in an interview for The Villanovan alumni magazine: "He paused and had this great reaction. He collected himself, and he eventually came around to saying that it was one of the two best questions he had heard in the entire campaign. As a college junior, this was so cool to hear." It seems unlikely that McCain took Doocy up on his offer of a drink, but the quip seemed to catch the attention of the Fox News bosses who hired Doocy.

Peter Doocy's most embarrassing moment occurred while he was covering Hurricane Sandy

Peter Doocy first went viral in 2012 while covering the impending Hurricane Sandy for Fox News in Delaware. But it wasn't for his knowledge of tropical storm-force winds. Instead, it was for the kind of mishap you'd expect to see on "America's Funniest Home Videos."

The gaffe occurred while Doocy was being questioned by anchor Martha MacCallum about the expectant natural disaster in the state. After clarifying for everyone's benefit that he wasn't a meteorologist, the correspondent managed to get his foot stuck in the sandy pathway he was walking along. "Not a pretty picture here in Delaware, but I'm okay," Doocy stated. MacCallum responded, "Oh, Peter. Take it easy out there."

When asked about his most embarrassing and most memorable moments on camera by The Hill two years later, Doocy didn't even have to hesitate about his answers: "Fell into a hole on live TV during Superstorm Sandy coverage (continued with the live shot, by the way). Memorable? Like five minutes later, when the picture of me falling into the hole was on every website (heard from a lot of old friends)."

Peter Doocy could have been a Yankees shortstop

Peter Doocy appears to be something of a sports fan. When asked by Politico how he was celebrating his 32nd birthday in 2019, the correspondent was planning to "catch the final round of The Open golf tournament at Royal Portrush." And he'd previously told The Hill that his favorite activity was attending Washington Nationals games.

Doocy had childhood ambitions of being a baseball player; only problem was that the newsman didn't appear to be particularly gifted on the field.

In fact, long before his son joined him at Fox News, Steve Doocy helped Peter get some more game time, as he explained to Haute Living: "When he was, I think, in seventh or eighth grade, he really wanted to play on one of the big baseball teams in our town, and it was hard for him to get on the team and get to play. It was a very competitive town. I figured out the only way he would be able to play every game was if he had a really good coach, someone to look out for him. And, you know what, I just decided I would volunteer to coach even though I did not know that much about baseball."

He has mainstream tastes

Ahead of his major scoop with Robert O'Neill (the Navy SEAL who claimed to have fired the shot that killed Osama bin Laden), The Hill decided to lighten the mood a little and find out what makes Peter Doocy tick away from the world of serious news reporting. The conservative figure's get-to-know-me questionnaire from 2014 might seem a little predictable.

Doocy cited unfashionable chart-topping soft rockers Dave Matthews Band as his favorite musical outfit, the Oscar-winning epic "Forrest Gump" as his ultimate movie, and the clichéd "Did it hurt ... when you fell from heaven" as his go-to pick-up line. We can only assume that he didn't use the latter on his eventual wife Hillary Vaughn.

Elsewhere, Doocy opted for "interesting people" in relation to his favorite thing about Washington, D.C., (and New York Avenue's traffic cameras as his least favorite) and said he enjoyed a nap after his workdays were finished. Doocy likes to be where the action is, later telling Haute Living, "I always want to be where something interesting is happening and this job is the best way to do that." 

The Villanova University graduate threw The Hill a little bit of a curveball in his questionnaire. When asked what he'd choose as the theme song to his life, Doocy revealed that, thanks to a BuzzFeed quiz, he now knows it would be Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back."

Peter Doocy tries not to call his dad 'dad'

Perhaps not wanting audiences to think there was a reason Peter Doocy bagged a job at one of America's biggest news networks so young, he and his "Fox & Friends"-hosting father Steve Doocy have tried their best to keep their family connection on the down-low.

The father, who claims the Doocys often get mistaken for brothers, told Haute Living that he would always refer to his son by his full name whenever they linked up on camera. In return, Peter would avoid referring to his father by any name, although this was occasionally easier said than done: "One time, he said, 'Brian, Ainsley and St-t-Dad.' He did not want to say dad but he does not call me Steve because that is weird. If people know that is your son, why would you call him by his first name? He learned from that and now he just goes, 'Back to you in the studio,' or something more generic."

Peter was allowed to proudly call Steve 'dad' on one occasion, though — an on-air Father's Day moment. The younger Doocy explained to Haute Living, "... And I did it from the White House North Lawn position, which I think in the history of the Washington, D.C., press world, it is the only time that correspondent standing on the North Lawn has thrown back to the anchor dad. I thought it was very cool."

Steve Doocy was jealous of his son's biggest scoop

In 2014, Peter Doocy landed the biggest scoop of his career to date when he interviewed Robert O'Neill, the Navy Seal who claimed to have killed the world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, during the Abbottabad raid. His father and Fox News colleague Steve Doocy had mixed reactions to the interview that gave the Fox News network its highest ratings for a documentary special ever.

Steve later admitted to Bergen Magazine, "As a journalist I was jealous. He got the exclusive! But as a parent I thought, 'The man who is interviewing that American hero is the guy who used to live upstairs.' I was very proud of Peter."

Of course, if it hadn't been for Steve, then Peter might not have been given such an opportunity in the first place, something which he remains eternally grateful for. The younger Doocy told Haute Living, "He has been in the business for so long. He was able to tell me, 'Okay, these are 10 mistakes that I made and I am going to tell you what they are so you can avoid them.' He essentially made a couple years worth of mistakes, so that I did not have to, because he warned me. He gave me the road map and I have relied on it heavily in this job."

Peter Doocy can occasionally give props to Joe Biden

Peter Doocy has built his latter-day career on being a nuisance to Joe Biden, whether it's accusing the President of being responsible for all the unrest in Afghanistan, pointing out his responses to the vaccination program as contradictory, or bringing up the federal investigation into his son Hunter. The 46th was once left so riled by the Fox newsman that he called him a one-trick-pony at a White House briefing. Well, a "one-horse pony," but you get the gist.

In a 2021 chat on his home network, Doocy explained how he's able to dredge up any moment from Biden's career to use against him: "For a relatively young person, I have a ton of Joe Biden knowledge built up in my brain from being with him for the last two-and-a-half years. And what I always try to do is just think about what he is saying presently and then how that is possibly not lining up with things he has said in the past."

But although the pair appear to be constantly at loggerheads, they're not totally averse to complimenting each other, either. Biden once described Doocy as "the most interesting guy I know in the press" (via the Daily Mail) while in return, Doocy told Fox News, "To his credit, he seems like he really enjoys having an opportunity to be challenged and to defend himself."

Peter Doocy is a part-time wedding officiant

As well as getting married himself in 2020, Peter Doocy also watched his younger sister Sally walk down the aisle. Well, he did more than that, to be fair. The White House correspondent officiated the ceremony. And this wasn't the first time that he'd been called on for such a role, either.

The year previously the political science graduate had been asked to officiate the wedding of a Fox News Channel producer. An online application and $40 later, and Peter had the legitimate power to join two people in matrimony. Luckily, his license was still valid when sibling Sally and her husband-to-be Ali Sadri discovered that their priest of choice had sadly died.

Peter was more than happy to serve as his replacement, telling People: "I've been carrying a card that certificates my 'Credentials of Ministry' around in [my] wallet ever since I got ordained online last year... I never thought I'd have another chance to use it. But when Sally and Ali asked if I could fill in, I quickly started mapping out the ceremony. I interviewed Sally and Ali separately, the same way I would interview someone at my day job, and wove their answers into a love story that also connected some dots to our family history."

He has a high estimated net worth

Peter Doocy once again made headlines in 2021 when he caused Joe Biden to scratch his head and entirely ignore a pointed question about immigration. "Mr. President, is it true we're going to give $450,000 to border crossers who are separated?" the Fox newsman asked the escalator-riding 46th, a reference to reports that illegal immigrants who'd been separated by the Trump administration from their families would receive compensation.

Of course, money is not something that Peter has ever really had to worry about himself. His father Steve Doocy is rumored to have a net worth of $11 million thanks to his decades-long stint as the host of "Fox & Friends," for which he earns an estimated $4 million each year.

And since following in his dad's footsteps, Peter has also been raking in a considerable salary, and one which has no doubt grown since he was appointed Fox News' White House correspondent in 2021. According to unconfirmed estimates, the Villanova University alum has between $500,000 and $2 million in the bank, but his earnings aren't officially known to the public.