Dana Perino is perhaps best known for her service under the George W. Bush administration as the 24th White House Press Secretary. She took up the position after her predecessor resigned following a bout of illness and a need to work in the private sector. She is also the second female press secretary, following Dee Dee Myer’s tenure under the Clinton Administration. She has moved on from the White House and uses her knowledge of politics as a commentator on Fox News, hosting The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino on the channel. With a podcast, two books, and even a part-time teaching role in her repertoire, it’s safe to say that Perino is a lady of several talents.
Who is Dana Perino?
Born in the Uinta County city of Evanston in the state of Wyoming, this former White House press secretary and political commentator was born Dana Marie Perino on May 9, 1972. Though she was born in Wyoming, her family moved to Denver, Colorado where she grew up. She attended Ponderosa High School in the suburb of Parker, Denver. After graduating high school, she enrolled at Colorado State University to study mass communications. She graduated from the university with a major in mass communications and a minor in political science and Spanish.
While attending college, she was part of the school’s public speaking team. She also worked at KTSC-TV, Rocky Mountain PBS’s campus affiliate. She continued garnering experience in the radio world by working at the radio station KCCY-FM, as a country music DJ from 2 to 6 a.m. Dana Perino furthered her education by going to the University of Illinois for her master’s degree in public affairs. While at Illinois, she worked for the WCIA TV station as a daily reporter.
Her Career History and Accomplishments
Once she was done with school, Dana Perino moved to Washington, D.C., where she began working as a staff assistant for Congressman Scott McInnis. After this, she served late Rep. Dan Schaefer as his press secretary for four years. Following Schaefer’s retirement in 1998, Perino moved with her husband (Peter McMahon) to Britain, returning to the States in 2001. Upon her return, she became a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, serving in the role for two years.
Dana Perino joined the White House staff for the first time in 2001 as the White House Associate director of communications for the Council on Environmental Quality. From 2006, Dana served as White House deputy press secretary while her boss, Tony Snow, was battling colon cancer. After a round of chemotherapy, Snow announced plans to move into the private sector, leaving the position of press secretary open to Perino. She served under former President George W. Bush, who announced Snow’s resignation in 2007.
After her tenure in the White House, Dana Perino joined Fox News as a political commentator, serving as a co-host on the channel’s talk show, The Five. Former US President Barack Obama would later appoint her to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors in 2009 – an appointment which was confirmed by the Senate in 2010. Besides serving in the political world, Dana has also been a part-time teacher for a political communications class at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. She bolstered her repertoire by becoming Crown Publishing Group’s editorial director in March 2011. She co-hosts a podcast on Fox News called Perino & Stirewalt: I’ll Tell You What.
Dana Perino has had a rather impressive career. With the different positions she has held so far, no doubt she has been able to earn a good living for herself. As White House Press Secretary, she received an annual salary of $172,200. Since she joined Fox News, she has enjoyed an annual salary upwards of $250,000. Rated one of the highest-earning female news reporters, Perino has a net worth of $4 million.
What About Her Family and Spouse?
Dana Perino is of Italian heritage. Her great-grandparents were immigrants who left their home country to settle in the United States. Her parents are Jan and Leo Perino. Her mother worked as a marketer for a private nursing home while her father used to own a convenience store in Denver. She also has a sister called Angie. Also, while not disclosing names, she has mentioned that her uncle and aunt own a bowling alley in Rawlins, Wyoming.
Perino is married to English businessman and entrepreneur Peter K. McMahon. Born in Lancashire, England on June 6, 1954, McMahon graduated from the University of Liverpool with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management. In 2006, he became the Chief Operating Officer of Canadian food retailer, Loblaw. He also became an American citizen in the same year.
She met her husband Peter on a flight to Chicago in 1997. The two were seated together and made a strong connection almost immediately. Calling their love story ‘Love at First Flight,’ the duo soon began dating each other. The relationship blossomed, and on September 30, 1998, they shared their vows and got married. The couple does not have children. However, they do have a dog named Jasper and Perino has written a book about him called Let Me Tell You about Jasper…: How My Best Friend Became America’s Dog. The book was published in October 2016 with the audiobook featuring some lines spoken by McMahon. Perino and her husband reside at their Bluffton, South Carolina home.