The former hellchild from Hempstead, Hannity is the polarizing conservative talk radio and television host of Fox's Hannity. He is also the author of best-selling liberal beat-downs like Let Freedom Ring, 2004's Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism and Liberalism. and 2010's Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda.
Hannity's grandparents came over the good ol' fashioned way: legal immigration from Ireland. Hannity admits to being a childhood terror—drinkin', smokin', cuttin' school—but turned his act around at 22. He dropped out of both NYU and Adelphi, and got his start at 27 hosting his own (ill-received) conservative radio show at UC Santa Barbara radio station KCSB-FM. Billing himself "the most talked about college radio host" he began marketing his broadcasting skills, eventually landing at WVNN in Athens, Alabama, and on to WGST in Atlanta in ‘92. His big break came in ‘96 when he was tapped by Fox News' Roger Ailes to be one half of point-counterpoint talk show duo: Hannity and Colmes. After Colmes' announced he was leaving the show in 2009, Hannity took over the time slot with his show Hannity. Known for his conservative moralist rhetoric and on-air spats, he is a bastion of family values for the red states who tune in to watch his programs.
Since 2003, he has hosted country-themed conservative fundraiser and country-themed Freedom Concerts. The concerts have featured such artists as Charlie Daniels, Billy Ray Cyrus, Hank Williams, Jr., Ted Nugent, Montgomery Gentry, Martina McBride, Buddy Jewell, LeAnn Rimes interspersed with conservative sermonizers Newt Gingrich, Jon Voight, Rudy Giuliani, Oliver North and G. Gordon Liddy. The concerts are said to have raised over 9 million for charities centered around war veterans and their families, while many find the actual family donations to be dubiously low.
Hannity married Jill Rhodes Hannity—an ex air force brat—and is a father of kids: Patrick and Kelly. The family lives in Long Island.
[Image via AP]