Who Is Dan Abrams?
Dan Abrams first became known to audiences through his coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial for Court TV. He later rose to prominence as chief legal analyst and anchor at NBC, before taking on similar duties for ABC. Abrams also hosted Live PD for A&E, owns several websites under the banner of Abrams Media and is a prominent environmentalist.
Early Years and Schools
Dan Abrams was born on May 20, 1966, in New York City, New York, to Efrat, a former Hebrew school teacher, and Floyd Abrams. His father earned renown as a constitutional lawyer and expert on the First Amendment, and both Dan and his younger sister, Ronnie, enjoyed listening to Floyd's anecdotes from the legal world as children.
Abrams went on to enroll at Duke University, graduating cum laude with a B.A. in political science in 1988, before attending Columbia University Law School.
Rise at NBC
Abrams began his news career in 1988, working at NBC Sports for the Seoul Olympics and Wimbledon. He rejoined NBC as a consultant in 1995 and became a general assignment correspondent in 1997, making his mark as a regular contributor to programs like NBC Nightly News, Today and Dateline NBC.
Named the network's chief legal correspondent, he began hosting the nightly legal affairs show The Abrams Report in December 2001. His star continuing to rise, Abrams took over as general manager of MSNBC in 2006, though he stepped down from the role toward the end of 2007.
He went on to host a new prime-time show, Verdict with Dan Abrams, in 2009. The following year, he began hosting Chasing Justice on Investigation Discovery, building on stories that had been featured on NBC's Nightline.
After joining the nascent Court TV in 1992, Abrams landed his big break when he was tapped for coverage of the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials in the mid-1990s. During this time, he also covered the infamous assisted-suicide trials of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
After hosting a recap of Season 1 of A&E's prison docuseries 60 Days In in May 2016, Abrams became a regular contributor to the network.
In October 2016, Abrams began his run as host Live PD, a show that follows police officers in real time as they handle day-to-day duties. Unlike predecessor law enforcement shows like Cops, the live format entails that quiet moments feature prominently in the programming, but also ensures that a genuine sense of unpredictability and danger accompanies the action that flares up. Following the success of its first season, Season 2 was under way in October 2017. Live PD ended its run in May 2020.
'Grace vs. Abrams'
In January 2018, it was announced that Abrams would co-host a new show, Grace vs. Abrams, alongside fellow legal analyst Nancy Grace. Known for their spirited debates on Good Morning America, the two will rehash and discuss the legal issues surrounding some of the most famous crimes and trials in history. The show, which will be filmed before a live studio audience, will debut March 29th.
In 2009, the network analyst launched Mediaite, a blog covering media news, in what became the first in a series of web properties under the banner of Abrams Media. As of February 2018, the roster included The Mary Sue, which explores pop culture and technology through a female lens; Runway Riot, a fashion site; and Law & Crime, which covers high-profile legal happenings. Former Abrams Media sites include SportsGrid and Gossip Cop, both of which continue under different ownership.
In February 2011, after 15 years at NBC, Abrams joined ABC News as its legal analyst. In June 2013, he was named chief legal affairs anchor for ABC News and anchor of Nightline, but he stepped down from the nightly news program at the end of 2014. Abrams has also served as a substitute anchor and regular contributor to Good Morning America.
In 2011, Abrams unveiled his first book, Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers and Just About Everything Else. He said the book stemmed from his research into an article that claimed women were better at certain jobs, and was surprised to find evidence that backed those assertions.
Abrams' second book, Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency, came out in June 2018. He has also written articles for an array of top publications, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast.
In November 2008, Abrams announced the launch of Abrams Research, dedicated to helping clients develop social media strategies, drive traffic to their websites and improve relationships with customers.
Abrams has also been involved in the restaurant business, teaming with fellow media honcho Dave Zinczenko to open The Lion in Manhattan's Greenwich Village in 2010 and White Street in TriBeCa in 2014. However, both establishments are now closed.
In September 2004, Abrams revealed that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer the previous year, at age 37. After initially telling only a handful of people — and lying to co-workers about the reason for his absence — Abrams decided to go public with his story to honor Sean Kimerling, another young network personality who was undergoing treatment for the same disease at the same time, but did not survive his battle.
Girlfriend and Son
Once known for an active social life, he had romantic ties to actress Renee Zellweger and supermodel Elle Macpherson. Abrams also had a longterm relationship with Florinka Pesenti, a public relations executive and the first female winner of The Amazing Race.
Abrams has since been spotted more frequently around Manhattan and in Southampton, Long Island, with son Everett, born in June 2012.
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