Bill O'Reilly Writes About His Formative Years

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's book about his formative years and how they shaped the man he has become is out in a new paperback edition.

The book's title, "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity," comes from a phrase a no-nonsense nun used to describe O'Reilly, then a smart aleck third-grader.

Read an excerpt below.

Introduction: Reading This Book Will Dramatically Improve Your Life!

Got your attention, didn't I? Hopefully, that hyped- up statement will prove to be true, although I fully realize there will be skeptics. After all, I've had four consecutive number one nonfiction best sellers, so what is there left to say? I mean, come on, everybody knows O'Reilly is a champion bloviator, but is another book really necessary? I think so.

You see, I've never really explained how I got to be that showy bloviator; I have not defined exactly how my opinions, which so rankle more than a few sensitive souls, were formed. So that's what this book is all about: defining the experiences that have shaped my thinking, propelling me into becoming one of the most controversial human beings in the world. Also, I think you'll find the following pages interesting on a number of other levels besides my life experience. This book is full of stories and references that, perhaps, were important in your life as well. By design, much of the story is about me but not all about me. Thank God.

We can't begin at the real beginning, September 10, 1949, because not much was happening in my world at that time. I was just a normal baby, nothing unusual. No strange-looking eyes like those Village of the Damned kids. Wow, were they spooky or what? To this day, I remember those urchins scaring the Milk Duds out of me in a dark Long Island movie theater.

No, my point of view really began taking shape at age four, when, in a New York neighborhood teeming with children, playtime became an intense experience. A few years later, my intellectual development (such as it was) started to accelerate at a Catholic grammar school that was simply unforgettable. And it is at that school where this story begins.

The year was 1957, the month September, and I had just turned eight years old. Dwight Eisenhower was President, but in my life it was the diminutive, intense Sister Mary Lurana who ruled, at least in the third-grade class where I was held captive. For reasons you will soon understand, my parents had remanded me to the penal institution of St. Brigid's School in Westbury, New York, a cruel and unusual punishment if there ever was one.

Already, I had barely survived my first two years at St. Brigid's because I was, well, a little nitwit. Not satisfied with memorizing The Baltimore Catechism's fine prose, which featured passages like, "God made me to show His goodness and to make me happy with Him in heaven," I was constantly annoying my classmates and, of course, the no-nonsense Sister Lurana. With sixty overactive students in her class, she was understandably short on patience. For survival, she had also become quick on the draw.

Then it happened. One day I blurted out some dumb remark and Sister Lurana was on me like a panther. Her black habit blocked out all distractions as she leaned down, looked me in the eye, and uttered words I have never forgotten: "William, you are a bold, fresh piece of humanity."

And she was dead-on.

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