Lawrence O'Donnell
Lawrence O'Donnell
Lawrence Francis O'Donnell, Jr. is a progressive political analyst, journalist, actor, producer, writer, and host of The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, a weeknight MSNBC opinion and news program. O'Donnell called himself a "practical European socialist" in a Newsmaker Interview dated November 11, 2005. He frequently filled in as host of Countdown before getting his own show on the cable network.
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Lawrence O'Donnell's personal information overview.
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There's Still No Evidence That Trump Sent Investigators To Hawaii To Dig Up Dirt On Obama
Huffington Post - 5 months
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Huffington Post article
Moderators Challenging Candidates' Lies Isn't 'Opinion.' It's Journalism.
Huffington Post - 5 months
As MSNBC’s Matt Lauer came under heavy criticism Wednesday night for his performance as moderator during the network’s Commander-in-Chief forum, his colleague Chris Matthews came to his defense. During that forum, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump trashed his Democratic opponent for supporting the 2011 U.S. intervention in Libya. Critics were incensed at Lauer for failing to point out that Trump himself had supported the intervention as well. This was Matthews’ argument: Had Lauer called out Trump on the inconsistency, it would have sounded like Lauer was expressing an opinion. Actually, no. He would have simply been practicing journalism.  Trump has repeatedly claimed he was a staunch opponent of the Iraq War, which is not true. Lauer failed to challenge Trump on this lie as well ― even after Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, mentioned during the first half of the forum that the real estate developer had supported the invasion.  Clinton also told Lau ...
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Huffington Post article
Native Americans Fighting To Protect Sacred Land Find Ally On Mainstream News
Huffington Post - 6 months
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota fear their sacred lands and livelihoods are in danger from a planned oil pipeline, and a major mainstream news anchor has taken up their cause. MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell delivered an impassioned plea on behalf of the Sioux tribe and all Native Americans “who were here before us, long before us, [and] have never been treated as friends.” In an Aug. 25 episode of “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” the host reminded viewers of the country’s “original sin” of invading and stealing Native American lands, saying, “This country was founded on genocide before the word ‘genocide’ was invented.” “While this in itself is not news, the source of this statement is,” noted the staff of Indian Country Today in response to O’Donnell’s segment. Fierce advocacy for Native American rights is common among activists and historians, the outlet wrote, but a rare find on mainstream news. O’Donnell is among a gro ...
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Huffington Post article
MSNBC Interrupts Hillary Clinton's Speech To Complain About Her Voice
Huffington Post - 12 months
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Huffington Post article
Trump, the Press, And How to Treat a Liar
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Another day, another Donald Trump lie about the 9/11 terror attacks. Appearing on Face the Nation, Republican frontrunner Trump told host John Dickerson that prior to the attacks, the wives of the 9/11 hijackers "knew exactly what was going to happen" and were flown "back to Saudi Arabia" days before the hijacked plane strikes. This is complete nonsense. As The Washington Post explained, "There is no support for Trump's claims ... virtually all of the hijackers were unmarried." And anyone who followed news of the attacks, and the subsequent years-long investigation, ought to know that. But on Face the Nation, Dickerson didn't flinch when Trump floated his latest 9/11 lie; Dickerson didn't question Trump's absurd claim. Then following his CBS appearance, the New York Times reported that Trump was "fuzzy" on his 9/11 facts and that the wives tale didn't "align" with "the timeline and details of the hijacking of the planes." Additionally, the Times suggested Trump was simply "hav ...
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Huffington Post article
John Heilemann and Mark Halperin Ponder Game-Changing Deal With MSNBC
Huffington Post - about 1 year
One of NBC News chairman Andy Lack’s biggest priorities has been the makeover of MSNBC. Since taking the helm earlier this year, Lack has overhauled the lefty cable-news channel into a more centrist outfit, stacking the schedule with hard news blocks and giving Brian Williams significant airtime during breaking news events. Now, as the presidential-election season heats up, Lack is looking to give a show to the campaign chroniclers John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. According to four media executives, Lack is in talks with Bloomberg Television to simulcast Heilemann and Halperin’s politics show With All Due Respect on MSNBC. One scenario being discussed is to air WADR at 6 p.m., filling the slot formerly occupied by Al Sharpton. The novel programming arrangement would conceivably benefit both sides. Heilemann and Halperin would gain access to a far larger audience than ratings-challenged Bloomberg TV provides. And Lack would find a solution to the problem of replacing Sharpton. Accor ...
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Huffington Post article
MSNBC's Alex Wagner Gives Ben Carson A Much-Needed History Lesson
Huffington Post - over 1 year
MSNBC's Alex Wagner schooled GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson on American history Thursday, following Carson's assertion that not one signer of the Declaration of Independence had ever held elected office. “The claim that every signer of the Declaration of Independence had no elected office experience is absolutely not true,” said Wagner, who was filling in for Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word." She pointed to a Facebook post by Carson in which he argued that his lack of political experience should be something for voters to admire rather than find troubling. "I have no political experience. The current Members of Congress have a combined 8,700 years of political experience. Are we sure political experience is what we need," Carson wrote. "Every signer of the Declaration of Independence had no elected office experience. " Wagner tore into the last sentence, which was later edited to say "no federal elected office experience."   An excerpt of Carson's origin ...
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Huffington Post article
Fox News Beats CNN In October Ratings, Despite Democratic Debate
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Despite a huge boost from airing the Democratic presidential debate, CNN fell just a hair short of beating Fox News in the ratings game in October, according to ratings agency Nielsen. In the coveted 25-54 age group, CNN drew 293,000 viewers during primetime in October -- just 1,000 short of Fox News’ primetime viewership for the same demographic. Fox News remained the cable news leader in all other categories as well. The network drew an average of 1,085,000 total viewers in October, and 1,760,000 during primetime. Among all basic cable channels, Fox ranked third behind ESPN and the Major League Baseball playoffs on TBS. As it did in September, Fox News still boasts the top 14 cable news programs. “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” “The Kelly File” and “Hannity” have been No. 1 in their time slots for 25 months, while “The O'Reilly Factor” has remained in the top perch for 179 consecutive months. CNN viewership has nonetheless improved since last year, averaging ...
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Huffington Post article
Breaking: NBC workers headed to 30 Rock to confront hosts over union strife
Salon.com - about 3 years
Workers from an NBC-owned company will head to MSNBC’s “30 Rock” headquarters later this week, in hopes of delivering a petition and securing an audience with primetime hosts who’ve so far been silent about their struggle. “Frankly,” said Writers Guild of America – East Organizing Director Justin Molito, “if we don’t have people overcoming their personal fears and speaking out that are in such high-profile positions as MSNBC hosts, what does that say about the climate of fear at NBC?” Peacock Productions workers and fellow WGA-E activists plan to show up at 30 Rock on Thursday with petitions addressed to five MSNBC anchors: Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, and Chris Hayes. Molito told Salon the activists will ask for the hosts to be paged to come downstairs and personally receive the letter, which was backed by the AFL-CIO and hosted by MoveOn, and now boasts 10,000-some supporters. Maddow, O’Donnell, Sharpton, Schultz, Hayes, and NBC did not respond to Fr ...
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Salon.com article
Same Love
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Mary Lambert was thrust into the public eye when she appeared on stage at the 56th Grammy Awards and performed "Same Love" with famed hip hop recording artist Macklemore. The lyrics of the song, co-written by Mary, support legalizing same-sex marriage and an end to a culture of hate against people who are gay: The right wing conservatives think it's a decision And you can be cured with some treatment and religion And a certificate on paper isn't gonna solve it all But it's a damn good place to start No law is gonna change us We have to change us Whatever God you believe in We come from the same one Strip away the fear Underneath it's all the same love Raised by a lesbian mother, Mary has used her music as a platform for social justice. And while some found "Same Love" and the marriage of 33 couples on air at the Grammys controversial, there's no doubt but that this made a huge impact on people around the world. While "Same Love" and the weddings during the Grammys ...
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Huffington Post article
Defending the Market (Sunday at 10PM ET on FNC)
Fox Business News - about 3 years
MARKETS UNDER ATTACK: "The problem with Obamacare isn't too much socialism, it's still too much capitalism," says Bill Maher on HBO. On MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell said, "We need to take the political sting out of the word socialist." No. We need to remind Americans that socialism and all forms of big government lead to stagnation and poverty. I'll debate Congressman Charles Rangel, who tells me not to make laws sound "negative." FREE MARKETS HELP POOR PEOPLE: Economists Abby McCloskey and Victor Claar point out 500 million people have lifted themselves out of poverty in the last five years, thanks to the worldwide movement toward freer markets. RAISIN REGULATION: Unfortunately, in America, markets become less free. One example: something called the Raisin Administrative Committee demands raisin farmers give the government almost half their crop. Marvin Horne, owner of Raisin Valley Farms, said no. The government says he owes 1.2 million pounds of raisins. MARKETS NOT CAPITA ...
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Fox Business News article
Lawrence O'Donnell To Bill O'Reilly: 'War On Christmas' Is Not Actually Real (VIDEO)
Huffington Post - about 3 years
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell had some news for Bill O'Reilly on Monday night regarding his annual 'War on Christmas': It doesn't actually exist. "Bill grabs his musket and bravely sallies forth to fight the 'War on Christmas,'" O'Donnell mocked. "This is the 'O'Reilly Factor' writers' favorite time of year because they get to recycle a dozen years of 'War on Christmas' scripts." O'Donnell pointed out what he believes is the absurdity of O'Reilly's "war" by showing a clip from O'Reilly's show of a cartoon that read, "The following Christmas special actually mentions the word Christianity. Viewer discretion is advised." "Well, I guess that means 'viewer discretion is advised' tomorrow night at 7 p.m. on NBC," O'Donnell responded before cutting to the promo for NBC News' tree-lighting ceremony that is called "Christmas in Rockefeller Center." The "Last Word" host dug into O'Reilly's show for embarking on the same battle year after year even though O'Donnell says there is really no b ...
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Huffington Post article
President Obama meeting with liberal members of the media — looking for help? Click to see who the President is meeting with…
Fox News - about 3 years
Per Ed Henry:   Around 10:15am, a series of liberal radio, tv, print, and online journalists were spotted arriving at White House, expected to meet with the president.   Not a complete list. Among the folks seen walking into the West Wing –   From MSNBC: Lawrence O’Donnell, Ezra Klein, Ed Schultz From Fox: Juan Williams From Huffington Post: Howard Fineman From Mother Jones: David Corn From New Republic: Jonathan Cohn The post President Obama meeting with liberal members of the media — looking for help? Click to see who the President is meeting with… appeared first on Gretawire.
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Fox News article
Lawrence O'Donnell, Glenn Beck Might Play Cop Partners In Movie
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Lawrence O'Donnell and Glenn Beck might play cop partners together on the silver screen. Yes, that's right. Penn Jillette appeared on Tuesday's "Last Word," where he announced his upcoming horror movie "Director's Cut." He said that two of the actors had already been cast: O'Donnell and Glenn Beck. Jillette, who is crowdfunding the movie, explained online: "I have gotten a tentative okay from BOTH Glenn and Lawrence to be in 'Director’s Cut.' They have both agreed to appear AND ACT in 'Director’s Cut.' Yeah, you’ve seen them in movies before, but it’s always playing themselves or generic newscasters. In our movie (and we’re all making this together), they will be playing police officers discussing their 'good cop/bad cop' strategy. Lawrence and Glenn have never met before but they will meet in person on the set of 'Director’s Cut.'" Beck and O'Donnell appeared in a video together, from different locations, for the movie's fundraising campaign. As of Wednesday afternoon, $880 ...
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Huffington Post article
Watch: Behind the NRA's Phony UN Conspiracy Theory
Mother Jones - over 3 years
The National Rifle Association went on the attack this week over a landmark international arms treaty signed by the United States, claiming it will jeopardize Americans' right to bear arms and even lead to mass confiscation of their guns. Mother Jones senior editor Mark Follman spoke with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell about how the influential gun lobby hypes misinformation to protect the $12 billion a year gun industry. Watch: Read our full special report on gun laws and the rise of mass shootings in America. Mark Follman is a senior editor at Mother Jones. Read more of his stories and follow him on Twitter.
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Mother Jones article
Syria: The American People's Right to Ask Why
Huffington Post - over 3 years
In the past 12 years the United States has been involved in three military conflicts in the Middle East region. Only one had lasted mere months. First there is still the war in Afghanistan, beginning a month after September 11, 2001. Two years later in March 2003 began the war in Iraq, finally to end in December 2011. And third let's not forget Libya, the only conflict that was brief that lasted from March 2011 to October 2011. Let's not also forget the cost in money spent, blood spilt, and shattered lives. According to NationalPriorities.org at their website, since 2001 the current cost of the Afghanistan War has reached over $650 billion and still climbing. The cost of the Iraq War although having ended almost two years ago, is still climbing and has reached over $800 billion. The total monetary cost of the two major wars has now climbed close to $1.5 trillion so far. And for every hour that passes, since 2001 the American people are currently paying just over $11 million per hour f ...
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Huffington Post article
TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Hello, good morning, and welcome once again to your Sunday Morning liveblog of the political news prattling that will occupy the television for a few hours as we all wait for BREAKING BAD to come on. My name is Jason, and we are continuing along in this "slow news month" of August when I wish we could all just take a long vacation. Speaking of, actually, while I won't be on vacation, this liveblog shall be dormant next Sunday, the 18th of August, because I will be traveling between places and won't have access to soul-killing political talk shows. That should be the last Sunday for a while in which I pull a George Stephanopoulos, though. Thanks to all of you for being patient with me over this summer of many breaks. I promise it will pay off down the line when I don't have a Meet The Press-induced psychotic break as soon as you might expect. As usual, here are fun things to do: converse in the comments, drop me a line if you need anything, follow me on Twitter if you're a ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lawrence O'Donnell
    FIFTIES
  • 2014
    Age 58
    O'Donnell returned to his MSNBC show The Last Word on June 23, 2014 following recuperation.
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    On April 12, 2014, he and his brother Michael were injured in a traffic accident while vacationing in the British Virgin Islands.
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  • 2012
    Age 56
    During the April 11, 2012 broadcast of The Last Word, O'Donnell apologized for the April 3, 2012 comments, stating that his comments offended many, including some of the show's most supportive fans.
    More Details Hide Details O'Donnell called himself a "practical European socialist" in a 2005 interview. O'Donnell again declared himself a "socialist" on the November 6, 2010 Morning Joe show, stating: "I am not a progressive. I am not a liberal who is so afraid of the word that I had to change my name to 'progressive'. Liberals amuse me. I am a socialist. I lie to the extreme left, the extreme left of you mere liberals." On the August 1, 2011 episode of The Last Word, O'Donnell further explained, "I have been calling myself a socialist ever since I first read the definition of socialism in the first economics class I took in college." O'Donnell went on to state that what he means by calling himself a socialist is: In late 2010 O'Donnell made a trip to Malawi with the intent of providing school-room desks for students who had never seen desks. MSNBC and UNICEF partnered to create the K.I.N.D. fund - Kids in Need of Desks - with the mission to deliver desks to African schools. Since its inception, the program has raised over $6.5 million, paying for approximately 100,000 desks to be delivered to classrooms. In addition, the K.I.N.D. fund also provides scholarships to help young girls in Malawi attend school.
    In the April 3, 2012 broadcast of The Last Word, O'Donnell made comments regarding the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), saying it was an "invented religion," which was "created by a guy in upstate New York in 1830 when he got caught having sex with the maid and explained to his wife that God told him to do it."
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  • 2011
    Age 55
    During an October 2011 interview, O'Donnell accused Republican primary candidate Herman Cain of sitting on the sidelines during the civil rights protests of the 1960s and also charged him with avoiding the draft during the Vietnam War.
    More Details Hide Details Conor Friedersdorf said the questions posed by O'Donnell were "offensive" and declared, "In this interview, O'Donnell goes to absurd lengths to use patriotism and jingoism as cudgels to attack his conservative guest, almost as if he is doing a Stephen Colbert style parody of the tactics he imagines a right-wing blowhard might employ. Does he realize he's becoming what he claims to abhor?" O'Donnell's interview with Cain was later defended by Reverend Al Sharpton. In 2007 O'Donnell criticized Mitt Romney's speech on religion stating that "Romney comes from a religion that was founded by a criminal who was anti-American, pro-slavery, and a rapist."
    On January 21, 2011, it was announced that O'Donnell would take over the 8 p.m. slot from Keith Olbermann after Olbermann announced the abrupt termination of his show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann; it later returned to the 10 p.m. hour.
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  • 2010
    Age 54
    On September 27, 2010, O'Donnell began hosting a 10 p.m. show on MSNBC, called The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.
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  • 2009
    Age 53
    Also in 2009 and 2010, O'Donnell began appearing frequently as a substitute host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, particularly when Olbermann's father was ill in the hospital.
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    In 2009, O'Donnell became a regular contributor on Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough.
    More Details Hide Details His aggressive debate style on that program and others has led to several notable on-air confrontations, one of the most notable being an interview with conservative Marc Thiessen on Morning Joe that became so heated that the conservative Scarborough took O'Donnell off the air.
  • FORTIES
  • 2005
    Age 49
    O'Donnell called himself a "practical European socialist" in a Newsmaker Interview dated November 11, 2005.
    More Details Hide Details He frequently filled in as host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC before getting his own show on the cable network. Beginning 24 October 2011, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell switched time slots with The Ed Show, with Ed Schultz taking over the 8 p.m. Eastern slot, and O'Donnell returning to the 10 p.m. Eastern slot. O'Donnell has also appeared as a political analyst on The McLaughlin Group, The Al Franken Show, and Countdown with Keith Olbermann. He was an Emmy Award-winning producer and writer for the NBC series The West Wing (and played the role of the President's father in flashbacks) and creator and executive producer of the NBC series Mister Sterling. He is also an occasional actor, appearing as a recurring supporting character on the HBO series Big Love, portraying an attorney. He began his career as an aide to U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and was Staff Director for the Senate Finance Committee.
  • 2004
    Age 48
    In October 2004, O'Donnell got into a heated debate on Scarborough Country with John O'Neill, spokesman for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, over the allegations O'Neill made against John Kerry in his book Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out against John Kerry.
    More Details Hide Details In the debate, O'Donnell repeatedly accused O'Neill of lying. Guest host Pat Buchanan tried to constrain O'Donnell with little success, and O'Neill at one point responded, "I will evidence if you'll shut up, Larry." Before showing a taped interview with RNC Chairman Michael Steele, O'Donnell caused controversy over his intro to the interview which was considered racially insensitive. He said, "Michael Steele is dancing as fast as he can, trying to charm independent voters and Tea Partiers while never losing sight of his real master and paycheck provider, the Republican National Committee." After drawing criticism from Steele and talk-radio host Larry Elder, O'Donnell apologized for his remarks. O'Donnell also drew criticism during an interview with Congressman Ron Paul, when Paul accused him of breaking an agreement not to ask him about other political candidates. O'Donnell said he was not part of any agreement, but an MSNBC spokeswoman stated, "We told Rep. Paul’s office that the focus would be on the tea party movement, not on specific candidates".
  • 2002
    Age 46
    In 2002, O’Donnell was supervising producer and writer for the television drama First Monday, and in 2003, he was creator, executive producer, and writer for the television drama Mister Sterling.
    More Details Hide Details O'Donnell played Lee Hatcher, the Henrickson family attorney, in the HBO series Big Love about a polygamous family in Utah. In addition to being a producer on The West Wing, O'Donnell also played President Josiah Bartlet's father in a flashback sequence of the episode "Two Cathedrals". He also portrayed Judge Lawrence Barr in two episodes of Monk. He played himself on an episode of Showtime's Homeland.
  • 1999
    Age 43
    From 1999 to 2000 he was executive story editor for 12 episodes, in 2000 he was co-producer of 5 episodes, from 2000 to 2001 he was producer of 17 episodes, from 2003 to 2005 he was consulting producer for 44 episodes, and from 2005 to 2006 he was executive producer for 22 episodes.
    More Details Hide Details O’Donnell won the 2001 Emmy award for Outstanding Drama Series for The West Wing, and was nominated for the 2006 Emmy for the same category.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1994
    Age 38
    In 1994, O'Donnell married television and movie actress Kathryn Harrold; they later divorced.
    More Details Hide Details O'Donnell and Harrold have a daughter, Elizabeth Buckley Harrold O'Donnell.
  • 1993
    Age 37
    He thus led the staff of the Senate's tax-writing committee during the consideration of President Bill Clinton's first budget, which Congress enacted in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.
    More Details Hide Details From 1999 to 2006, O’Donnell was associated with the television drama The West Wing. Over that time, he wrote 16 episodes.
    And then from 1993 to 1995, he was staff director of the United States Senate Committee on Finance, once again under Senator Moynihan’s chairmanship.
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  • 1992
    Age 36
    From 1992 to 1993, he was staff director of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, then chaired by Senator Moynihan.
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  • 1989
    Age 33
    From 1989 to 1991, he served as senior advisor to Moynihan.
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    From 1989 to 1995, he was a key legislative aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
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  • 1986
    Age 30
    In 1986, the book was made into the film A Case of Deadly Force, in which Richard Crenna played O'Donnell’s father and Tate Donovan played O'Donnell, and for which O’Donnell was associate producer.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1983
    Age 27
    In 1983, he published the book Deadly Force, about a case of wrongful death and police brutality in which O'Donnell’s father was the plaintiff’s lawyer.
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  • 1976
    Age 20
    He attended St. Sebastian's School (class of 1970), where he was captain of his baseball team, and graduated from Harvard College (class of 1974) with a major in economics in 1976.
    More Details Hide Details While at Harvard, he wrote for the Harvard Lampoon and was popular among its members due to his wit and sarcasm.
  • OTHER
  • 1951
    Age -5
    O'Donnell was born in Boston, on November 7, 1951, the son of Frances Marie (née Buckley), an office manager, and Lawrence Francis O'Donnell, Sr., an attorney.
    More Details Hide Details He is of Irish descent.
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