Maria Bartiromo: 11 Facts About The Fox News Host

Of all the news media personalities to have made a name for themselves, very few rival the power and magnitude of Maria Bartiromo. A shark among a sea of male journalists, Bartiromo had to fight her way to the top. Her journey was far from easy, but Bartiromo was nevertheless able to start her illustrious media career in the halls of CNN before heading to CNBC, where she covered finance for decades. Bartiromo quickly became known for her financial literacy and her specific means of reporting — she was fearless, she didn't take no for an answer, and she wasn't dismayed by the male-dominated environment she was navigating. If anything, it made her stronger. Then, in 2014, Bartiromo switched things up and went to work for Fox News.

There, Bartiromo transformed into one of Donald Trump's favorite anchors, complicating Bartiromo's reputation for some. Here's what else you should know about the controversial Fox News host.

She was the first journalist to regularly report live from the New York Stock Exchange

Maria Bartiromo made history when she became the first journalist to report live on the air from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Not only was her access a huge deal, but her status as a young female financial journalist did not go unnoticed. She paved the way for women in financial journalism, all while bringing the once inaccessibly New York Stock Exchange comings and goings to American living rooms.

"When I first got down to the floor 15 years ago, people were bumping into me. I was actually literally physically in their way because they needed to get to their post, they needed to get to the stocks that they were going to trade before the market got away from them," Bartiromo told CNBC about her early time reporting from the floor. She noted that these days, the hustle and bustle has been replaced by the electronic trading system. She said the difference is "night and day."

Recalling what it was like to get her start on the floor, Bartiromo told CNBC that while some people — like former stock chairman Richard Grasso — made things seamless for her, others weren't as supportive. Nevertheless, she kept going.

Her birthday falls on a tragic day for the American people

Birthdays are a day of celebration, but it's complicated for Maria Bartiromo. Having been born on September 11, 1967, her birthday now falls on one of the most tragic days in American history. Bartiromo was actually broadcasting from the New York Stock Exchange on that horrific day in 2001. Recalling what happened as the 9/11 attacks evolved, Bartiromo told CNBC that her day started with flowers from her assistant before everything quickly descended into chaos.

"We saw the first plane go into the first building on television. And then my boss, David Friend, calls me up and says, 'Go outside and call into the studio. Tell us what's happening.' So in a minute I was up on my feet, running to Broadway, and I got out to Broadway, and there were throngs and throngs of people looking straight ahead, and it was just the next block over," Bartiromo recalled. "And we saw one of the buildings on fire, and we were all stunned."

Bartiromo got set up and went on air, reporting what she was seeing in real time before tragedy quickly struck again. "Right in front of my eyes, the second plane came and crashed into the second building. ... A guy next to me said, `Oh my God, the world will never be the same.' And I turned to him, and before I could even finish saying, 'What do you mean?' I knew what he meant."

Maria was given a choice nickname due to her work

Maria Bartiromo was an impressive journalist in her own right, but she still faced the patriarchal mentality that dominated both finance and journalism at the time. The very definition of an outsider, both due to her sex and status as a reporter, Bartiromo had to figure out how to forge her own path forward. 

Quickly becoming known for her "hyper-competitive, no-nonsense, Brooklyn-born business" mind, according to The Daily Beast, Bartiromo picked up the nickname "Money Honey." She was stunning, good at her job, she could play hardball with the financiers.

Of that time in her life, Bartiromo told The Daily Beast, "I was at CNBC for 20 years and I loved it. But they presented a contract to me that they wanted me to sign for another five years — and it would have been five years of doing what I was doing," she said, noting that being forced with such a decision gave her the opportunity to do something different and jump from CNBC to Fox News.

Maria was fired from her first job at a bridal salon

You may know Maria Bartiromo from Fox News, but if the cards had been played differently, you may have gotten to know her on "Say Yes To the Dress." As it turns out, one of Bartiromo's first jobs was as a stock clerk for Kleinfeld, the famed bridal boutique at the center of the hit TLC show. Bartiromo was seemingly a natural for the job, but things eventually took a turn for the worse.

While working at the store, Bartiromo got in the practice of trying on the gorgeous wedding dresses before putting them back on the rack — and we don't blame her; we'd be tempted too. Her boss, however, quickly caught on to what she was doing, and the future journalist got a slap on the wrist. But, by strike number three, she was out of the job. "I cried the whole way home, but I learned a valuable lesson and that is — do your job," Bartiromo told the Los Angeles Times of her job gone sideways.

Nevertheless, Bartiromo picked herself up and remembered the work principles her parents taught her. As restaurateurs, the Bartiromos raised their daughter to have a strong work ethic, and she worked in the family-run operation, Rex Manor in Brooklyn, manning the coat check.

Maria was the first person Donald Trump sat down with after the 2020 election

The 2020 presidential election was contentious, to say the least. Donald Trump not only dragged his heels when it came to conceding to Joe Biden, but he started pedaling stolen election conspiracy theories that quickly took hold. While Biden's win was indisputable, Trump held onto his claims that he was the rightful victor, and he spoke at length about his stance in an interview with Maria Bartiromo.

While some were expecting the known financial powerhouse to challenge him, Bartiromo ended up agreeing with Trump and pushed her own theories about the election and its legitimacy. "Mr. President, you have said many times that this election was rigged, that there was much fraud and the facts are on your side," Bartiromo said at the top of the interview. "Let's start there. Please go through the facts. Characterize what took place."

From there, Trump doubled down on his claims that he won the election, and Bartimoro did not push back as many had presumed. Commenting on her lack of fact-checking, CNN contributor Joe Lockhart told The Washington Post, "She used to be the Larry King of the business world. But I think she saw the ratings for the likes of Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity and even Lou Dobbs, and she saw that the way to survive at Fox is to go all-in for Donald Trump."

The journalist had a creative solution when challenged at her first news gig

Every new hire wants to impress the boss, but Maria Bartiromo went the extra mile when she was brought into the news industry. After transferring from C.W. Post College to New York University, Bartiromo got hired at WMCA Radio — it is still in operation today and serves as a largely Christian radio programming station. Bartiromo seemingly knew that everything she did on the job would make or break her media career, and she had a creative solution when faced with a peculiar challenge.

Barry Farber — a famous voice at the station at the time — was gifted "100 pounds of frozen North Carolina pork barbecue," he told The New York Times. Farber was seemingly at a loss with what to do with the meat, but Bartiromo jumped into action. She found a charity that would take the frozen pork off their hands, and — like any 20-something young hire trying to impress — she loaded it into her car and drove all 100 pounds over. "She had the stuff and she knew how to deploy it," Farber told The Times about Bartiromo, who, as we all know, took that drive and dedication all the way to the top.

Joey Ramone wrote a song about her

It's not everyday that you receive an email from a punk legend, but that was what happened when Joey Ramone of the Ramones dropped a note in Maria Bartiromo's inbox. "I started getting emails from him and he would say Maria, 'What do you think about Intel or what do you think about AOL?' and I thought, 'Who is this person emailing me? It's crazy, he's calling himself Joey Ramone,'" Bartiromo told The Guardian. "Sure enough it was him and we developed this friendship. And he was attuned to the markets. He really understood his own investment portfolio. Joey Ramone was a fantastic investor."

Ramone and Bartiromo became so close that he eventually wrote a song about her. He invited Bartiromo to hear the song in person, but she was unable to as she had to get up early the next day for work. Instead, she sent a camera crew to capture the performance, and the news personality was stunned by what transpired. "Sure enough, the cameraman came back with the tape and there's him and his band with this song Maria Bartiromo and I just love it. It's a tremendous tribute. I just love that. It's great, just great," she said of the tune.

Bartiromo has been married to her billionaire heir husband since 1999

Fox News host Maria Bartiromo married Jonathan Steinberg, an investor and son of billionaire Saul Steinberg, married in 1999. Bartiromo met Jonathan in 1990 when she was fresh out of New York University, and he was more public-facing than she was at the time. He oversaw both a hedge fund and a finance magazine, according to The New York Times.

Bartiromo and Jonathan were 31 and 34, respectively, at the time of their wedding, and they tied the knot at Jonathan's father's house in Quogue, New York. The couple remain married, as of this writing, and reside in a five-story townhome on the Upper East Side. The couple chose not to have children, as Bartiromo told MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell back in 2012 (via Adweek). "I hope I don't have regrets for not having children at some point, I'll be honest in telling you that," she said. "I have no idea at some point if I will. But at this moment in time, I feel good about the choices that I made."

She was a crucial aspect of the Fox News-Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit

Though Fox News is in the business of reporting the headlines, they were the ones making the news cycle when sued by Dominion Voting Systems. The voting company sued the network for perpetuating false claims about their systems and the 2020 election, and at the heart of the lawsuit was none other than Maria Bartiromo. After legal documents and depositions as part of the $1.6-billion case were released, it became clear that Bartiromo was a key player, cited throughout for pushing false claims on air. In fact, court documents showed that in the surrounding days of the 2020 election, Fox News executives became increasingly concerned about Bartiromo's pushing of conspiracy theories. Her text messages to and from former Trump adviser Steve Bannon were also included.

"I want to see massive fraud exposed. Will [Trump] be able to turn this around[?] I told my team we're not allowed to say pres elect. Not in scripts. Not in banners on air. Until this moves through the courts," Bartiromo wrote to Bannon in text, court documents show. Bannon responded, "U are our fighter. Enough with the sad. We need you."

Gary Schreier, the senior vice president of Fox Business who'd been working alongside Bartiromo for more than a decade, apparently privately messaged Fox Business President Lauren Petterson, saying Bartiromo had "GOP conspiracy theorists in her ear and they use her for their message sometimes," according to The New York Times

The journalist has maintained a close relationship with Donald Trump

The role of journalists, especially in the political arena, relies on impartial relationships with public figures. This is certainly not a standard that Maria Bartiromo holds herself to when it comes to Donald Trump, and the depth of their close relationship has been discovered over time. Before she sat down with him to discuss the 2020 election, Bartiromo told then-chief of staff Mark Meadows exactly what she would be asking the then-president — a decision that raised concerns about her ethics as a journalist. Text messages obtained by CNN showed Bartiromo saying, "Hi the public wants to know he will fight this. They want to hear a path to victory. & he's in control," before she detailed the questions she would then ask him.

The close relationship between the two didn't stop in the professional area, either. In August 2023, Bartiromo and her husband traveled to New Jersey to have dinner with the former president and former First Lady Melania Trump — the event taking place mere hours after he was charged and pleaded not guilty to federal charges regarding the 2020 election and Capitol riots on January 6.

"It was a very nice dinner, and the crowd at the Club went wild with love!" the former president's spokesman, Jason Miller, told the Daily Mail after the fact, proving just how close the Fox News host and politician are behind closed doors.

Maria is a successful author

In addition to her career spanning CNBC and Fox News, Maria Bartiromo has enjoyed a successful vocation as an author. She has written and co-written numerous books throughout her career, including her well-received "The 10 Laws and The Weekend That Changed Wall Street" and "The 10 Laws of Enduring Success." When the latter was being released, Bartiromo sat down for an interview with Success, where she was asked if she'd found professional and personal fulfillment. "Success is knowing yourself — an inner comfort and inner contentment," she explained. "I do [have it]," she added.

It's not hard to understand why. As Success detailed, in just one week, Bartiromo had interviewed then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, film professional Oliver Stone, as well as prepped for sit-downs with former First Lady Laura Bush, former President Bill Clinton and the Crown Prince of Bahrain. She also hosted a special and interviewed Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger — known for his incredible actions while safely landing a passenger plane on the Hudson — and took part in the Clinton Global Citizen Awards Ceremony. Whew. All of this happened on top of her media schedule and her life outside of work (if there is one). As the journalist once told New York Magazine, work is pretty much her life. "I love what I do," she admitted. "But I have not been able to figure out the balance in life."

 To say that Bartiromo has found success in a grave understatement.