Connie Chung is a Chinese-American journalist and news anchor. It’s possible you noticed her on the 60th anniversary of the Miss Universe pageant. Nope, she wasn’t one of the contestants but was one of the seven telecast judges of the 2011 event. If not, then you know her from either NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, or MSNBC. She’s literally been all over the television news networks in the US. She particularly became famous after she moved to NBC in 1983. This was after working with CBS for a while. That was the season she started to experience tremendous growth in her career.
The American journalist has been severally honored for her contributions to the field. She’s received three Emmy awards, has been honored with the George Foster Peabody Award, and has bagged the Amnesty International Human Rights Award. Besides those, Connie Chung has received a handful of accolades for an investigative report she did on a 1966 civil-rights incident. It is said that her report led to the indictment, trial, and conviction of a murderer three decades later.
Connie Chung was Born and Raised in Washington 75 Years Ago
Connie Chung was born Constance Yu-Hwa Chung on the 20th day of August 1946. She is the youngest of her parent’s 10 children. Unfortunately, 5 died before she was born in Washington D.C. Her family lost five kids to war and immigrated with the remaining 4 to America in 1945. Connie joined them the following year; she was the only one born in the States. Chung’s father, William Ling Chung, worked as an intelligence officer in the Chinese Nationalist Government.
Flashback Friday! Me and Connie Chung, back in the day.
With our parents (mine r at the ends)! She was a big mentor. pic.twitter.com/WkA9ULXluT
— Kaity Tong (@KaityTong) December 10, 2016
Even though Connie Chung acknowledges she is as “American as anybody,” the journalist doesn’t consider herself as half American and half Chinese as both of her parents are from China. She prefers describing herself as Chinese instead of Chinese-American.
For high school, she attended the Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. When she graduated, she moved on to the University of Maryland, College Park where she earned a journalism degree in 1969. It’s on record that Chung was a Harvard fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center of J.F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has served in a number of top positions related to journalism at the University of Maryland and other prominent institutions of learning.
Connie Chung’s Net Worth Is Primarily From Her Journalism Career
After so many years of hard work and commitment, it is expected that the renowned journalist should be among the high-earning people in the industry. And as it should be, she has a mouthwatering net worth of $20 million which she earns from her different investments. The bulk of her net worth comes from her career as a journalist and TV personality.
Highlights of Connie Chung’s Journalism Career
Connie traced her decision to become a journalist to 1969 when she decided to major in television journalism in college after an internship where she watched reporters do their stuff. Her journalism career, nevertheless, started with her employment as a secretary at Washington’s WTTG-TV. She eventually became a reporter and worked for various American television news networks, including CNN.
She worked in Washington as a reporter and then correspondent for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite in the early 70s prior to moving to Los Angeles to anchor for KNXT (KCBD-TV) from 1976 to 1983. Chung was the anchor of NBC News at Sunrise for three years, from 1983 to 1986, and subsequently, the anchor of the network’s Saturday edition of NBC Nightly News until 1989. While still with the network, she also co-hosted two NBC newsmagazines, American Almanac and 1986 alongside Roger Mudd.
Chung joined CBS in 1989 as the host of Saturday Night with Connie Chung (later renamed Face to Face with Connie Chung) until 1990. Moreover, she anchored CBS Sunday Evening News from 1989 to 1993. Prior to leaving the network in 1995, she hosted Eye to Eye with Connie Chung and had an unsuccessful co-anchoring stint on CBS Evening News (with Dan Rather).
Connie Chung Joined CNN in the Year 2002
She returned to TV in 1997, as the co-host of the Monday edition of 20/20 with Charles Gibson on ABC News. Chung then worked as a guest host of Good Morning America. She joined CNN in 2002 and briefly hosted her own program, Connie Chung Tonight until 2003 when it got suspended. The suspension was due to the Iraq war that started at that time and she had to assume duties on matters relating to the war.
Connie Chung had her last television hosting gig with Weekends with Maury and Connie on MSNBC in 2006. The show lasted for a few months and was canceled. The last episode did not end very smoothly for the journalist as her farewell performance received unpleasant reactions. She was dancing on a piano and singing off-key to “Thanks for the Memory” in an attempt to end the show on a special note.
In 1984, Connie Chung decided to try something outside journalism, and she was featured in a movie titled Moscow on the Hudson. However, she acted the role of a reporter as if deliberately maintaining her real-life personality in the movie. She acted alongside Robin Williams and the movie was directed by Paul Mazursky. The story is about the defection of a Russian musician who works with the Moscow Circus. Robin Williams played the role of the Russian musician and the movie got positive reviews altogether.
The Many Controversies That Trailed Connie’s Journalism Career
During the course of her career, Connie Chung’s trademark was interviewing. She is famed for being the first to interview basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson after he announced to the public that he was HIV positive. Her interview with U.S. Representative Gary Condit over the disappearance of Chandra Levy gained her a lot of attention. Levy was an intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons who disappeared in May 2001.
Despite Chung’s impressive career achievements, highlights, awards, and recognition, her career was lined with controversies that rocked her boat a bit. For one, Chung is regarded as one of the most criticized journalists due to her interview with Newt Gingrich’s mother, Kathleen Gingrich in 1995. In a nutshell, she was excessively grilled and crucified for luring Kathleen into saying her son thinks that then First Lady, Hillary Clinton is a bitch.
Again, in 2002, she experienced another wave of controversy with the famous tennis player, Martina Navratilova. The tennis player had criticized the American political system. An act Chung considered un-American and un-patriotic. She further suggested that Martina should go back to Czechoslovakia.
Connie was also heavily panned for her Oklahoma City bombing interview which ultimately led to her leaving CBS in 1995, following an unexpected demotion. During her interview with an Oklahoma City Fire Department spokesman, she asked sarcastic and insensitive questions that prompted thousands of people to write protest letters against her. She was eventually removed from the position of co-anchor of the CBS Evening News and made a weekend anchor. She left the network not long afterward.
Awards and Achievements of Connie Chung
The industrious journalist has contributed so much to journalism over the years through her works. As a result, she has been recognized and awarded at different levels, including;
- Honorary doctorates in journalism from different universities
- A certificate of achievement by the US Humane Society in 1969 for a series of broadcasts that helped to enhance public awareness of cruelty in seal hunting
- In 1975, ‘Ladies Home Journal’ named her the outstanding young woman of the year and she was also nominated for woman of the year.
- In 1993, history documented that Chung became the first Asian and second woman to anchor one of America’s major network newscasts, the CBS Evening News.
- Brooklyn Museum’s Sackler Center First Awards on April 18, 2012
- In 2013, Chung was nominated for induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame for General Services.
- In 2016, she got inducted into the 2016 New Jersey Hall of Fame in the Arts and Letters category.
Her Family Life: How Connie Chung Met and Married Maury Povich
Connie Chung married her talk show host husband Maury Povich in 1984 at the age of 38. Speaking about her “late” marriage, Chung said she was just all about her career that she forgot to get married. She is Povich’s second wife as he was married to Phyllis Minkoff for 17 years and they had two daughters – Susan and Amy.
The now happily married couple met for the first time in 1969 in Washington DC., in a TV station. Their first meeting was far from romantic. In fact, they hardly spoke. Chung mentioned that at that time, her husband was a superstar while she was just starting off her career; she was a copygirl. He was so focused on work and hardly paid any attention to her and his attitude really got to her. She worked there for two years before eventually leaving to find her feet in journalism.
Connie Dated Povich For 7 Years and They Are Now Grandparents
Five years down the line and fate brought them together again. This time, things were no longer as it was the last time they met. The little novice girl had gathered enough experience in the last five years to earn her the position of an anchor at CBS affiliate, while Povich was now her co-host. At that time, Connie was the only person he knew in Los Angeles. However, Povich later got fired which stirred up sympathy in Chung’s heart towards him. According to him, it was from pitying him that she eventually fell in love with him. He considers gaining her sympathy a way to Connie’s heart.
They eventually started dating in 1977, but it was not exclusive. He dated Chung for almost seven years before eventually tying the knot in 1984. After several failed in-vitro fertilization attempts to have a baby, they adopted a son, Matthew Jay Povich in 1995. Matthew who is currently 27 years old is an associate professor of physics and astronomy at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. The family resides in Flathead Valley, Montana and both TV hosts are grandparents of four.
How Has Their Marriage Survived For So Long?
From the day they had their small wedding ceremony of 65 and a rabbi till date, the couple has continued to grow stronger together. When asked how they managed to stay together for many years now, they revealed that they both have a good sense of humor and do not take each other too seriously.
Moreso, they understand their differences and work around it. For instance, Povich does not carry arguments over to the next day. No matter the fight, he forgets it once he has laid on his bed. Chung on the other hand keeps malice and would continue a previous argument the next day. They understand that they are different and they try to make it work.
One thing the couple has in common is their undying love for dogs. So much so that on their wedding day, they barely heard what the rabbi was saying because they were distracted by a dog barking in a building across the street
Where is Constance Yu-Hwa Chung Now?
Connie Chung departed from television for the first time in 1995 after she was demoted from being a co-anchor to being a weekend and substitute anchor, the aftermath of her Oklahoma City bombing interview. In fact, she asked to be let out of her contract. Part of the reason she stepped back from her career was so she could raise a family.
However, she returned two years later, stayed off air for a few years after she was dropped by CNN in 2003 before returning for what would become her last television show in 2006 as the co-host of Weekends With Maury & Connie with her husband. Since then, the veteran journalist seems to have largely disappeared from TV.
Thereafter, she seemed to be focused on raising her family. Although the transition from a high-profile TV job to full-time motherhood may have not been easy, she did it gracefully. Admittedly, there are times she misses being on TV but she hasn’t entirely retired from journalism. Chung turned her talents to a different form of journalism, print journalism. Together with her husband, she launched a Montana-based weekly newspaper, Flathead Beaconin 2007.
But in 2018, Connie Chung made a return to TV. She played herself in an episode of the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, a show that focuses on a Chinese-American family. She has also aired her opinions on national matters such as the 2016 general elections as well as expressed support for the #MeToo movement in February 2018.
Her Social Media Presence
Connie Chung is not active on social media. While there are some active social media users who have the same name and surname as hers, the journalist can not be found on Instagram or Twitter. However, she has a Facebook account on which she posted last in 2014, a clear indication that she is no longer active on social media.