Jeff Zucker was born in Homestead, Florida, on April 9, 1965. He is best-known as the president of CNN Worldwide. This role involves him overseeing CNN, CNN Digital, CNN International, and HLN. He began his career in the television industry in 1986 and has risen up the ranks ever since and is now one of the most powerful men in the American television industry. Despite being well-known for his current career, there are many things you might not know about this man. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Jeff Zucker.
1. He Showed Good Leadership Skills as a Teen
Jeff Zucker has had many leadership roles within the television industry, all of which have required him to demonstrate good leadership skills. He began to show such skills while he was still a teen. He attended North Miami Senior High School and was the captain of the tennis team. He was also president of his sophomore, junior, and senior classes and the editor of the school newspaper. When he attended Harvard University, he was president of ‘The Harvard Crimson’, the school newspaper. This all shows that Jeff Zucker was destined for a future career that involved leadership.
2. He Failed to Get into Harvard Law School
Jeff Zucker’s life is marked by many successes. However, attending Harvard Law School is not one of them. He had studied at Harvard University and graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in American History. He then intended to go to Harvard Law School but failed to get a place. However, it is perhaps a good thing that he did not succeed as it is only down to this failure that he began working as a researcher in the television industry and this has led to the professional success he enjoys today.
3. He Had a Long Career at NBC
Prior to landing the role as president of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker enjoyed a long and successful career at NBC. He began working for the network as a researcher in 1986 after leaving university. He was hired in preparation for the coverage of the Olympics in 1988. By 1989, he was a field producer for ‘Today’ as was promoted to executive producer of the show in 1992. This was just the first of many major promotions as he became the president of NBC in 2000 and by 2003. After several more promotions, he was named as CEO of NBC in 2005 and then became president and CEO of NBC Universal in 2007. When he left NBC in 2010, he worked for a few years at Disney and ABC before joining CNN.
4. He Has Had Colon Cancer Twice
Zucker has beaten colon cancer twice. He was first diagnosed at the age of 31 but beat cancer after receiving chemotherapy and undergoing surgery. The colon cancer returned when he was 34. He underwent surgery for the second time and successfully beat cancer again.
5. He is a Family Man
Despite having a hectic and demanding career, Jeff Zucker is also a family man. He married Caryn Stephanie Nathanson in 1996. At that time, his wife was a supervisor for ‘Saturday Night Live’. The couple has four children together.