Ingraham grew up in Glastonbury, Connecticut, where she was born to Anne Caroline (née Kozak) and James Frederick Ingraham III. Her maternal grandparents were Polish immigrants, and her father was of Irish and English ancestry. She graduated from Glastonbury High School in 1981.
Ingraham has had three stints as a cable television host. She first became a host on MSNBC in 1996. In the late 1990s, she became a CBS commentator and hosted the MSNBC program Watch It!. Several years later, on her radio program, Ingraham began campaigning for another cable television show. She gained her wish in 2008, when Fox News Channel gave her a three-week trial run for a new show entitled Just In. In October 2017 she became the host of a new Fox News Channel program, The Ingraham Angle.
In 2012, Ingraham was rated as the No. 5 radio show in America, by Talkers Magazine. In November 2012, she announced her departure from Talk Radio Network, declining to renew her contract with TRN after nearly a decade of being associated with the network. She was the second major host from TRN's lineup to leave the network that year: TRN's other major program, The Savage Nation, left TRN two months earlier. Her new program, syndicated by Courtside Entertainment Group, began airing on January 2, 2013 and went off the air in December 2018. Ingraham continues to produce podcast material for Courtside's PodcastOne division.
Along with businessman Peter Anthony, Ingraham founded and owns Ingraham Media Group, which produces the new media publication LifeZette. Ingraham serves as editor in chief. The website's subsections are PoliZette, FaithZette, PopZette, and HealthZette.
Ingraham has been described as "no stranger to generating controversy" by Variety, and as a "name-brand provocateur" by Politico.Business Insider has referred to Ingraham's on-air style as "wad[ing] into debates on racism and gun violence".
In June 2019, Ingraham mocked reports that Trump had delayed his participation in D-Day commemoration activities to sit for an interview with her, strongly dismissing them as "patently false — fake news,” despite video of the interview showing Trump saying, “These people are so amazing, and what they don't realize is that I'm holding them up because of this interview, but that's because it's you."
In her senior year at Dartmouth College, during her tenure as editor-in-chief of independent campus newspaper The Dartmouth Review, Ingraham wrote several controversial articles. She sent a reporter undercover to a campus LGBTQ meeting, and later received criticism when, despite an oath of confidentiality being read to participants, Ingraham published a transcript of the meeting and included the names of the attendees, describing them as "cheerleaders for latent campus sodomites". Ingraham claimed confidentiality did not apply, because the meeting had been advertised, and defended the outing of the gay students as a "freedom of the press issue".
Jeffrey Hart, the faculty adviser for The Dartmouth Review described Ingraham as having "the most extreme anti-homosexual views imaginable", claiming "she went so far as to avoid a local eatery where she feared the waiters were homosexual".
In 1997, Ingraham wrote an essay in The Washington Post in which she stated that she had changed her views on homosexuality after witnessing "the dignity, fidelity, and courage" with which her gay brother, Curtis, and his partner coped with the latter being diagnosed with AIDS; Curtis's partner ultimately died of the disease. Curtis, on the other hand, has called his sister "a monster" and said she was influenced by their father, whom he described as a Nazi sympathizer as well as an abusivealcoholic. Ingraham has stated that she supports civil unions between same-sex partners, but believes marriage "is between a man and a woman".
Immigration and diversity
Ingraham holds anti-immigration views. In 2014, she denounced House Majority Leader Eric Cantor after he expressed support for the DREAM Act and a GOP bill to grant a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants. At the time, Cantor faced a primary challenge from Dave Brat, which he would go on to lose. According to The New York Times, "Few people did more than Ms. Ingraham to propel Mr. Brat ... from obscurity to national conservative hero." Ingraham said the race would go "down as one of the most significant repudiations of establishment immigration reform that I've seen in my 20 years of doing politics," and that due to the outcome of the race, "immigration reform is DOA." That same year, Ingraham harshly criticized Republican congresswoman Renee Elmers for expressing support for a comprehensive immigration bill which included a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who were in the country at the time. In an interview with Elmers, Ingraham accused Elmers of supporting amnesty and using liberal talking points, and said her arguments were "infuriating to my listeners".
In September 2017, amid reports that Trump was considering an agreement with Democrats on amnesty for approximately 800,000 DREAMers, Ingraham criticized Trump, tweeting "When does American working class w/out real wage increase in 15yrs & who send their kids to overcrowded public schools get amnesty?" In July 2018, Ingraham harshly criticized Republican congressman Kevin Yoder after he expressed support for a Democratic bill that rolled back Attorney General Jeff Sessions' order that immigration judges not be allowed to grant asylum to asylum seekers fleeing domestic abuse or gang violence in their home country. She called on the congressman to "to stop selling out the Trump agenda."
On the June 18, 2018, broadcast of The Ingraham Angle, Ingraham likened detention facilities where children separated from their illegal immigrant parents by the Trump administration are kept to "summer camps" that "resemble boarding schools." She further described criticism of the family separation policy as "faux liberal outrage." Ingraham had referred to the border crossings as "slow-rolling invasion of the United States." Ingraham's comments followed an MSNBC report by Jacob Soboroff which was broadcast on June 14, 2018. The report described a Texas detainment facility setup to be like a "dormitory structure" with a cafeteria and rooms that contained four beds in each. The day after Ingraham's comments aired, school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg tried to renew boycotts of businesses that advertise on The Ingraham Angle, but the show lost no more advertisers.
Various commentators criticized Ingraham's comments, with The Atlantic claiming she was alluding to the U.S. becoming "less and less white with every passing year". Many outlets argued that it echoed white nationalist rhetoric or that itself constituted a "white nationalist rant". Ingraham's comments were endorsed by David Duke. In response, Ingraham called Duke a "racist freak whose name I won’t even mention." Some mainstream media described Ingraham's views as advocating the white genocide conspiracy theory. In her August 9, 2018 Ingraham Angle monologue, Ingraham stated she was not talking about "race or ethnicity" and went on to say, "There is something slipping away in this country and it's not about race or ethnicity. It's what was once a common understanding by both parties that American citizenship is a privilege, and one that at a minimum requires respect for the rule of law and loyalty to our constitution."
In October 2018, Ingraham urged her audience to vote Republican in the upcoming midterm elections, saying that Democrats "want to replace you, the American voters, with newly amnestied citizens and an ever-increasing number of chain migrants."
In May 2019, Ingraham showed a graphic on her show of "prominent voices censored on social media", which included "people who believe in border enforcement, people who believe in national sovereignty." Among those listed was Paul Nehlen, known for making numerous anti-Semitic remarks, who was banned from Twitter after making racist remarks about Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Harry.
In September 2014, Ingraham claimed that President Obama sent assistance to Africa during the 2014 Ebola outbreak and exposed Americans to the virus because of his guilt over "colonialism." In June 2019, she spread unsubstantiated claims that asylum seekers to the United States may carry ebola.
LeBron James and Kevin Durant comments
In February 2018, Ingraham was criticized for making dismissive comments that NBA players LeBron James and Kevin Durant should not opine on politics. Ingraham stated, "It's always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball" and that the basketball stars should "shut up and dribble." Her comments came the week following James' interview with Cari Champion of ESPN where James spoke about his personal life as well as politics, stating that he felt statements made by the president are "laughable and scary." Ingraham characterized James' comments as "barely intelligible" and "ungrammatical."
Ingraham issued the following statement on the matter, obtained by TheWrap: “In 2003, I wrote a New York Times bestseller called 'Shut Up & Sing,' in which I criticized celebrities like the Dixie Chicks & Barbra Streisand who were trashing then-President George W. Bush. I have used a variation of that title for more than 15 years to respond to performers who sound off on politics. I've told Robert De Niro to 'Shut Up & Act,' Jimmy Kimmel to 'Shut Up & Make Us Laugh,' and just this week told the San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich to 'Shut up & Coach.' If pro athletes and entertainers want to freelance as political pundits, then they should not be surprised when they're called out for insulting politicians. There was no racial intent in my remarks – false, defamatory charges of racism are a transparent attempt to immunize entertainment and sports elites from scrutiny and criticism. Additionally, we stated on my show that these comments came from an ESPN podcast, which was not the case – the content was unaffiliated with ESPN.”
Stoneman Douglas shooting comments
In March 2018, Ingraham's show was boycotted by 27 sponsors after she ridiculed David Hogg, a 17-year-old student survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, for supposedly complaining about being rejected by four colleges. In response, Hogg posted a list of Ingraham's advertisers and called for a boycott, accusing her of cyberbullying. After several advertisers left the show Ingraham apologized, which Hogg dismissed as insincere. Advertising time during the show dropped by as much as 52 percent. After Ingraham returned from a pre-planned vacation following the boycott, her program earned its best ratings ever, spiking 25% in total viewers and saw an increase of 36% in the key 25-54 age group demographic. As of October 2018, blue-chip companies have continued to shun Ingraham's show despite the increased ratings. In December 2018, Hogg announced that he had been accepted to Harvard University.
The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places, first published June 2000, it was updated and reissued in paperback December 25, 2005. It accuses Hillary Clinton of being a faux feminist, whose "liberal feminism has created a culture that rewards dependency, encourages fragmentation, undermines families, and celebrates victimhood."
Power to the People, a New York Times number one best seller, published September 11, 2007, focuses on what Ingraham calls the "pornification" of America and stresses the importance of popular participation in culture, promoting conservative values in family life, education and patriotism.
Of Thee I Zing, a New York Times best seller, published July 12, 2011. The book is a collection of humorous anecdotes meant to point out the decline of American culture, from muffin tops to body shots.
Billionaire at the Barricades, published 2017. The book explains the 2016 election victory of Donald Trump as the continuation of a populist revolution, initiated by Ronald Reagan, with strong working class support.
^Shapiro, Gary (April 28, 2006). "Dartmouth Review Celebrates 25 Years". The New York Sun. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2008. "The Review made me who I am", the radio host and former editor-in-chief of the Review, Laura Ingraham '85, said.
^ abc"DARTMOUTH GROUP IN PRIVACY BATTLE". Concord, New Hampshire. Associated Press. July 15, 1984. Archived from the original on March 30, 2018. Retrieved March 29, 2018. A student reporter's taping of a Gay Students Association meeting and the publication of excerpts in an unofficial Dartmouth College newspaper have stirred a dispute over privacy rights and freedom of the press.