Biography of Charlie Rose

A Legendary News Anchor and Journalist

Talk show host Charlie Rose
Jamie McCarthy / Staff / Getty Images

Charlie Rose (born January 5, 1942) is a well-known journalist, news anchor, and host of "The Charlie Rose Show." Now living in New York City, Rose is respected for his long-standing career in journalism, which is marked by traditional ethics and ground-breaking interviews on PBS and CBS.

Early Years

Born Charles Peete Rose, Jr., he is the only son of tobacco farmers from Henderson, North Carolina. Rose's parents, Charles and Margaret, also owned a general store, and the family lived on the second floor of the family business. Young Charles - or Charlie, as he was called - got involved in the business early in his life, tending to small chores at age seven.

After high school, Rose attended Duke University. His first collegiate pursuit was pre-med, but that interest was soon superseded by politics and history. This was fueled by his work with North Carolina's Senator B. Everett Jordan.

He graduated with a degree in history and moved on to law at Duke University School of Law. There he earned his Juris Doctor in 1968. Additionally, he attended the New York University Graduate School of Business.

Rose Gets a Big Break

Soon after graduation, Rose moved to New York City, where he worked as a freelancer for the BBC. It helped that his wife, Mary King, also worked at the BBC. He supplemented that income with a full-time job at Bankers Trust, a famous, and now defunct, financial services institution in New York. His freelance work soon earned him a spot as a weekend reporter for a local news station.

Then came his big break. Well-known journalist Bill Moyers was impressed by Rose's work and hired him as the managing editor of his PBS program in 1974. A year later, Rose was named executive producer of "Bill Moyers Journal."

A Career on Camera

Rose's collaboration with Moyers would grow, and soon Rose found himself in front of the camera. He was working on Moyers' "U.S.A.: People and Politics" and had the opportunity to interview then-President Jimmy Carter. The interview earned him a Peabody Award and an eventual post at KXAS in Dallas, Texas, as program manager.

This position would lead him to CBS News and an anchor position on "CBS News Nightwatch," a late night program in the same vein as ABC's "Nightline." He worked there for six years before taking a job as anchor of a Fox network show titled "Personalities." The tabloid-like format of the program was too much for Rose, though, and he left the program in less than two months.

The Intimate Interviews of "The Charlie Rose Show"

Less than a year later, Rose debuted his signature talk show, "'The Charlie Rose Show" in 1991. This nightly staple of PBS programming was created by Rose and he acts as executive editor as well as host. It was not long before the show would gain national syndication and it has been a mainstay on public television ever since. The show is also broadcast on Bloomberg Television.

The show's signature style is different than almost any other talk show on the air. Rose and his guests sit in a quiet studio with no backdrop -- the set is literally pitch black. Only an oak table separates them, giving the intimate appearance of two people sitting alone in a kitchen late at night.

Typically, Rose and his guest are the only people in the studio at the time of the taping. Cameras are run by remote control from the studio control room. This allows Rose to conduct in-depth and often meaningful interviews -- more like conversations -- with the politicians, celebrities, athletes, and dignitaries who appear on the show.

Rose Returns to CBS

In 2012, Rose took on another role as co-anchor of "CBS This Morning" alongside Gayle King. The network announced Rose's new position in November 2012, explaining that it wanted to make the show more hard news and wanted a name brand like Rose to help lead that charge.

You will also often find Rose on CBS's "60 Minutes." He is a regular correspondent on the show, bringing his style of traditional journalism to the stories he covers.

Notable Achievements

  • Rose pledged Kappa Alpha Order at Duke.
  • Rose and his ex-wife, Mary King, met at Duke University. They were married until 1980. Rose and his partner Amanda Burden (Principal at Bloomberg Associates) have been together since 1993.
  • While on a 2006 assignment in Syria, Rose suffered shortness of breath. He was rushed to Paris and underwent heart surgery. In February 2017, Rose announced that he would undergo surgery to replace that original artificial aortic valve.
  • Rose returned to North Carolina in May 2010 to deliver the commencement address at North Carolina State University.
  • Rose may have been the man who broke up an on-air, cross-network fight between then NBC's Keith Olbermann and Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. Throughout the early 2000s, the two were regularly leveling insults and accusations at one another. It's said that Rose stepped in and convinced network executives to encourage a reduction in hostilities.
  • Rose has received many honors for his journalism and legendary career. Among those are the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and a spot on Time's 2014 list of the "100 Most Influential People.
  • After his September 2013 interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Rose won an Emmy Award as well as a Peabody.