Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan Biography

Journalist, Editor, Talk Show Host (1965–)
Piers Morgan hosts his own interview show, Piers Morgan Tonight, and served a judge on America's Got Talent from 2006 to 2011.


Born in England in 1965, Piers Morgan started out as a newspaper reporter. He landed the job of editor of the News of the World in 1994 and moved over to The Mirror the following year. Morgan became one of Britain's best-known media figures during his time with The Mirror. Fired in 2004, he moved on to other types of media projects. Morgan became a judge on America's Got Talent in 2006. In early 2011, he debuted his American talk show Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN.

Early Life

Born on March 30, 1965, in Newick, East Sussex, England, television personality Piers Morgan has become an international celebrity as the host of his own interview program Piers Morgan Tonight. He lost his father, Vincent O'Meara, when he was still an infant. His mother remarried, and he took his stepfather's last name, becoming Piers Pughe-Morgan.

Morgan grew up in Sussex, where his mother and stepfather ran a local pub. Both he and his family were politically conservative and strong backers of Margaret Thatcher. At first, Morgan was educated at a private school, but the family eventually ran out of money for his school fees. He had to go to a local comprehensive school where he had a tough time fitting in. Morgan was bullied and beat up by his new classmates.

Newspaper Editor

Morgan turned to journalism as a career in the 1980s. He started out as a reporter for newspapers in Surrey and South London. In 1989, Morgan joined The Sun as entertainment editor. There he wrote and edited a gossip column. Morgan himself was often featured alongside celebrities in his column. His career in media, however, really took off in 1994 when Rupert Murdoch selected him to be the new editor of the weekly tabloid News of the World. At only 28 years old, Morgan became one of the youngest editors to run a national British newspaper.

After a brief stint at News of the World, Morgan took the reins of The Mirror in 1995. He developed a reputation as an aggressive and sometimes controversial editor. Through his newspaper, Morgan ran inside stories on the royal family, including Princess Diana's harassment of a married art dealer. He opposed Britain's involvement in the Iraqi war and published articles criticizing the British government, including Prime Minister Tony Blair. The desire to get the scoop at any cost got The Mirror in trouble on a number of occasions. Model Naomi Campbell won her case against the paper for invasion of privacy.

Morgan lost the top post at The Mirror over different story in 2004. He ran photographs that reportedly showed British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, but the images later proved to be false. Rather than slinking away in a cloud of scandal, Morgan took his firing as a chance to recreate himself as a media personality.

Television Fame

After his unpleasant exit from The Mirror, the always opinionated Morgan moved to the small screen as the co-host of a political chat show. He also chronicled his many experiences as one of Britain's most famous media personalities in his popular 2005 memoir The Insider and conducted numerous celebrity interviews for British edition of GQ.

In 2006, Morgan gave the United States a taste of his sharply critical self as a judge on America's Got Talent with David Hasselhoff. He later worked alongside Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel on the popular show. Morgan got involved another reality television program, becoming one of the most loathed competitors on The Celebrity Apprentice in 2008. Despite the lack of public support, he emerged victorious in Donald Trump's series of battles to determine who had the greatest business acumen. Morgan raised eyebrows two years later when he was named as the successor to talk show host Larry King.

Morgan debuted his new CNN show Piers Morgan Tonight in early 2011 and featured Howard Stern, George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey among his first guests. Never one to hold back, he has become an outspoken figure in the American gun control debate. Morgan has devoted numerous episodes of his show to this issue and showed himself to adamantly pro-gun control. He has called for a ban on assault weapons and for Americans to stand up to the powerful gun lobby. As Morgan once tweeted, "Here's the one unassailable, inarguable fact about gun control: You can't shoot anyone without a gun."

For his hard-line stance on gun control, Morgan has been criticized by the likes of such conservatives as Rush Limbaugh. He has inspired his opponents to campaign to have him deported and more than 100,000 people have signed a petition on the White House's "We the People" site. Still Morgan does still have his supporters. His old boss, Rupert Murdoch tweeted, "Let's have petition to keep Piers Morgan in the U.S. We need him, as does CNN."

Personal Life

Morgan is married to Celia Walden. The couple lives mainly in New York City, but they also spend time in California and London. They welcomed their first child together, daughter Elise, in November 2011. Morgan has three older sons from his first marriage.

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