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Lawrence O'Donnell
Lawrence O'Donnell.jpg
O'Donnell at the 2009 premiere of Polliwood
Born November 7, 1955 (1955-11-07) (age 54)
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Occupation Political analyst
Family Father: Lawrence Francis O'Donnell, Sr., Mother: Frances Marie Buckley
Spouse(s) Kathryn Harrold
Ethnicity Irish American
Religious belief(s) Catholic
Notable credit(s) Politics: The McLaughlin Group, Morning Joe Acting: Big Love and The West Wing

Lawrence Francis O'Donnell, Jr. (born November 7,[1] 1955) is an American political analyst for the cable news channel MSNBC, who has appeared on The McLaughlin Group, The Al Franken Show, and Countdown with Keith Olbermann. He is an Emmy Award-winning producer and writer for the NBC series The West Wing and creator and executive producer of the NBC series, Mister Sterling. He appears as a recurring supporting character on the HBO series Big Love, portraying an attorney. He also occasionally fills in for Keith Olbermann, hosting the Countdown with Keith Olbermann news commentary show on MSNBC when Olbermann is absent.




Personal life

O'Donnell was born in Boston on November 7, 1955; the son of Frances Marie (née Buckley), an office manager, and Lawrence Francis O'Donnell, Sr., an attorney.[1] He graduated from Harvard University in 1976.[citation needed] In 1994, O'Donnell married television and movie actress Kathryn Harrold, best known for playing movie legend Lauren Bacall in the 1980 made-for-TV movie Bogie.


O'Donnell is widely known as an outspoken television political commentator, and was the Democratic Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Finance from 1993 through 1995. In 1992, he was Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

O'Donnell made himself a key figure in the coverage of the Valerie Plame scandal by naming Karl Rove as the primary source for Matt Cooper's story. He is well known for his strong dislike of California's current governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He calls himself a "practical European socialist."[2] His aggressive debate style has led to several notable on-air confrontations.[3][4][5]

In 2009, O'Donnell has been a regular contributor on Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough.

Also in 2009 and 2010, O'Donnell began appearing occasionally as a substitute host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, particularly when Keith Olbermann's father was ill in hospital.


O'Donnell plays 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; and appeared in the role of a judge on an episode of Monk.


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