Laura Jarrett is a popular American political TV reporter, who is also a practicing litigation attorney. She is also famous for being the daughter of Valerie Jarrett, former Senior Advisor to the President.
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Early life and family
Laura Jarrett was born in 29 October 1985, in Chicago, Illinois USA, so holds American nationality. Laura was born into the family of William and Valerie Jarrett – Valerie June Bowman Jarrett was born on 14 November 1956, in Shiraz, Iran, where her father, James E. Bowman, who was a geneticist and pathologist, ran a children’s hospital. She is famous for being the former Senior Advisor to Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. During the same years she also held the position of the Director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Valerie is also famous for being the person who arranged for Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson Obama to meet, at the time she interviewed Michelle for a position in the mayor’s office. Laura and Valerie have a very warm relationship, and always support each other whatever happens in their lives. On her Instagram account Valerie once shared a heart-melting detail that it was St. Valentine’s Day of 1985 when she found out she was pregnant with Laura.
Laura’s father, William Jarrett, worked in the sphere of obstetrics and gynecology; his father, Vernon Jarrett, was a Sun-Times Chicago reporter. Laura’s parents ‘married in 1983, separated in 1987, and divorced in 1988’, as her mother, Valerie, briefly said in her interview with Vogue in 2008. Laura’s father passed away on 19 November 1993, when he was only 40 years old, and holding the position of the director of Jackson Park Hospital obstetrics and gynecology department.
Laura shared she had hard times when her parents were divorcing, and even harder times when she eventually lost her father. As of 2020, Laura resides in Washington D.C.
Laura attended her local high school in Chicago, and after her matriculation in 2003, she enrolled at one of the colleges of Chicago. Later she graduated from Harvard Law School with a BA in law in 2010; while there, Laura held the position of the news articles selection co-chair and editor, working at the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. She also wrote several articles, mostly on the law, violence and gender.
Laura started her law career in the position of a judicial law clerk, working for the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois.
Later she served the Honorable Ann C Williams, working on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, and was then hired by the State and Federal bar in Illinois. Laura is very picky with the cases she works on. She mostly chooses those on litigation, defending companies and people who were involved in investigations around the government, brought by the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission, adding to various complex litigations in commercial fields. Laura also devoted a lot of time working on pro-bono cases, defending victims of sex trafficking. As of 2020, Laura still works as an attorney in her private practice.
Laura’s attorney background helped her a lot in her TV reporting career.
She joined CNN in September 2016, after several successful appearances as a political commentator and guest speaker on various political shows on CNN. Laura successfully covered multiple significant stories about the cases of the Trump administration, which also included the migrant family separations, when the wall started to be built at the southwest border of the US. She also covered the travel ban cases, and the firings of Andrew McCabe, the FBI Deputy Director, and Jeff Sessions, Attorney General. Laura also reported on the stakes battles which happened between Capitol Hall and the Justice Department. In May 2017, Laura was the principal figure of CNN’s reports on Robert Mueller’s appointment to the position of the Special Counsel, overseeing the famous Russia investigation.
In 2018 Laura covered the report of the Justice Department Inspector General on the investigation the FBI held on Hillary Clinton and her handling of classified information. Laura also reported on Senator Bob Menendez’ corruption trial. Laura quit her work with CNN in March 2019 to focus on her upcoming delivery, returning on 2 December 2019 after her maternity leave, which she was happy to announce on her Instagram account. She is currently anchoring the “Early Star” morning show with Christine Romans, Laura’s first show anchoring was aired on 2 January 2020.
Controversy with Roseanne Barr
Laura and her mother, Valerie, became victims of online bullying, when Roseanne Barr, a famous American comedian and actress, called Valerie an ape in 2018 in one of her tweets.
Roseanne, who is also a writer and television producer, has been mentioned in similar conflicts many times, including the case of Roseanne’s offense of Susan Rice, but the resonance of that conflict made her successful ABC sitcom “Roseanne” to be canceled as soon as the controversy was up, and Roseanne was also dropped by the talent agency she worked with for many years. All the writers, actors and other staff who worked on her show, were fired too. Later Roseanne apologized for her tweet and said she was sorry for the people who lost their jobs: ‘@ValerieJarrett i don’t know if u saw it, but I wanted2 apologize to u 4 hurting and upsetting u with an insensitive & tasteless tweet. I am truly sorry-my whole life has been about fighting racism. I made a terrible mistake wh caused hundreds of ppl 2 lose their jobs. so sorry!’, Roseanne wrote on her Twitter account on 30 May 2018.
However, Roseanne soon got back to her sharp opinions and offensive tweets, sharing and posting other people’s tweets about reverse racism. A lot of people wrote that Roseanne shouldn’t have received the multiple awards she won earlier. In 1988 and 1997 Roseanne won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for Best Actress for her work in the ABC show “Roseanne”, but many people claimed her awards should be taken away. In 2012 Roseanne was the California-based Peace and Freedom Party presidential nominee.
For the Jarrett family the controversy was highly principal, as their impact in the anti-racism issues was huge. In fact, Laura’s great-great-grandfather from her mother’s side, Robert Robinson Taylor, was the first African-American student who could enroll at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, back in 1888; Taylor was also the first accredited African-American architect.
Personal life, husband Tony Balkissoon
Laura started dating the Canadian politician Tony Balkissoon in 2008. The couple married in 2012, and the wedding ceremony was attended by such politicians as Tony’s father, former Ontario MPP Bas Balkissoon; Eric Holder, the former US Attorney General, and the former President of the United States, Barack Obama with his wife Michelle Obama. Laura gave birth to her son James Anthony Balkissoon, as she shared the happy news on her Instagram on 16 July 2019.
Who is Tony Balkissoon?
Born in Scarborough, Ontario Canada, Tony Balkissoon is now 35 years old, as of 2020, the son of Bas and Tahaya Balkissoon; his father is a mature politician, who earlier served as a Scarborough City Councilor and then Toronto City Councilor, quitting his career from the position of the Ontario MPP.
Tony has an elder sister Denise, who is a freelance journalist and the winner of the National Magazine Award for her impressive work with The Grid. Tony also has a brother. A Harvard Law School graduate, Tony has been working at Loevy & Loevy in the position of a justice fellow since 2016. Starting from 2018 he has been a member of the LAF Board (Legal Assistance Fund Board of Trustees).
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
Laura adores reading; the list of her favorite books includes “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris. She also stated that the books that impressed her very much were “The History of Sexuality” by Michel Foucault, and “In Cold Blood” by Truman Garcia Capote.
— CNN Early Start (@EarlyStart) January 15, 2020
Laura likes warm weather, so she still calls Chicago her favorite place on earth, especially in summer. Laura enjoys travelling around the globe.
Appearance, clothing style
Laura has middle-length dark-brown hair and dark brown eyes. She is 5ft 5ins (1.65m) tall and weighs around 132lbs (60kgs); her vital statistics are not known at the moment. As to her clothing style, Laura has always preferred wearing feminine dresses which emphasize her curves. She now chooses dresses of one color without any bright patterns to hide the changes to her figure after the pregnancy, using the textures and the dress cut to deal with her current fit.
Net worth and salary
As of 2020, Laura net worth is estimated at close to $1 million. Her husband Tony’s wealth is estimated at over $2 million, and her mother, Valerie Jarrett, has a reputed net worth of over $13 million.