From Alabama Roots to the National Spotlight
Jill Rhodes, born on August 27, 1962, hails from Alabama. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Alabama University. In 1991, while working as a political columnist for the Huntsville Times, she received a call from conservative radio talk show host Sean Hannity, who asked her to advise him on interesting story ideas. Hannity was hosting a talk show for a Huntsville, Alabama radio station at the time. The couple met later that year and married in January 1993. They have two children, Patrick and Merri Kelley, and reside in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, with a second home in Naples, Florida.
Following Hannity to the Big Apple
Born and raised in New York City, Hannity attended New York University and later moved to Santa Barbara, where he worked at a radio station while attending school. From the beginning of his career, Hannity made waves as a conservative political commentator, sometimes sparking controversy. After his radio contract expired, he began working at a Huntsville, Alabama radio station, where he met his future wife. Jill followed Sean Hannity to Atlanta, Georgia, where he helped launch Fox News. The family then moved to New York, where Hannity co-hosted Fox’s “Hannity and Combes” and “The Sean Hannity Show.” Jill Rhodes worked as a book editor in New York before the couple started their family.
A Dynamic Duo: Jill’s Continued Collaboration with Hannity
Jill Rhodes has always been her husband’s closest advisor. He dedicated his first book, “Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism,” to his wife. Jill currently works as an editor on his Fox show “The Hannity Show.” Since the departure of Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly from Fox last year, Hannity’s show has become the conservative station’s evening staple.
Standing by Her Man Amid Controversy
Jill Rhodes continued to support her husband during accusations of sexual harassment. Beginning in 2013, rumors circulated that Sean Hannity and major contributors to Fox had sexually harassed women working at the station. Last year, Fox chief Roger Ailes and commentator Bill O’Reilly left the station over revelations of sexual harassment. Hannity was accused by Debbie Schlussel, a conservative blogger, of inviting her to his hotel room and, when she refused, blacklisting her from the cable television station. Rumors that Rhodes and Hannity were headed for divorce proved to be unfounded.
Weathering the Storm of Ongoing Controversy
It’s not surprising that Sean Hannity, a leader in the Birther Movement against then-President Barack Obama and an outspoken critic of the LGBT community, would continue to stir up controversy. In fact, Hannity has called himself a television personality more than a political commentator. Hannity is well known for his ties to President Donald Trump. Recently, Hannity was named as a client of Trump’s controversial attorney Michael Cohen. More recently, Hannity claimed that his retention of Cohen is tied to real estate deals, which has stirred up more controversy. Hannity took out a $2.5 million loan on the family’s Long Island home to invest in real estate. Since the 1990s, Hannity has invested in a Georgia-based real estate company that has set up 20 shell companies to purchase nearly 900 properties in seven states. Jill Rhodes continues to quietly support her husband through all of the controversial moves he makes. She has let it slip that she intends to move to the family’s Florida home permanently once her children are in college.