It's unclear whether Bill O'Reilly was born angry. He remembers a happy childhood in a middle-class neighborhood on New York's Long Island. He worked his way up the TV food chain, from local news to the networks. First CBS, then ABC, saying he never quite fit in because of his refusal to compromise his principles.
For a while, O'Reilly abandoned hard news altogether, anchoring the tabloid news show "Inside Edition." But then in 1996, he was chosen to play the angry guy on the fledgling Fox News Channel, and cable TV has never been the same.
In the end, for all the bravado and bombast he uses to engage his audience, O'Reilly realizes the real key to success is credibility. More important than being perceived as working class or as the angriest man on television, O'Reilly wants to be known for being fair.
"I'm not trying to convince anybody to do anything. I want them to make up their own mind," he says. "And I think I'm fair. If I am not fair, hit me with it … Let me have it. But I think I'm fair."