Rita Cosby is one of the most recognized and respected broadcasters in America who has attained an extraordinary level of success in multiple arenas that few in the media landscape have achieved.
Born in Brooklyn, she is a renowned Emmy-winning TV host, veteran correspondent and multiple best selling author, who anchored highly rated primetime shows on FOX News Channel and MSNBC. She currently does frequent hosting on HLN/CNN, is a special correspondent for top-rated CBS syndicated newsmagazine Inside Edition and co-hosts “Curtis and Cosby” weekdays 12-3 pm with Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa on the legendary WABC Radio, the most listened to talk station in America.
Heralded as one of the Most Influential Women in Radio from 2014 to 2018 by Radio Ink magazine, she was selected as Legend of the Year for 2018, chosen among all women on and off air in the radio industry. Rita has also been honored with six prestigious Gracie Awards, including “Outstanding Host” and “Outstanding Talk Show,” as well as "Best Talk Interview" for her exclusive with Hillary Clinton, which became one of the most quoted interviews of 2017.
She was the youngest senior correspondent in the country for a national TV news network when she extensively covered the White House, Capitol Hill and the Pentagon, breaking many major stories in Washington, D.C., including informing President Bill Clinton he had been subpoenaed to testify. In 2015, she was named WABC’s Political Editor and Host of “Election Central with Rita Cosby,” consistently obtaining headline-making interviews with top political figures that are shared with all Cumulus / Westwood One stations across the nation. On New York Primary Day 2016, she had interviews with all five Presidential candidates, all Republicans and Democrats still in the race, in an award-winning one-hour special.
Throughout her illustrious TV career, Rita has secured some of the biggest interviews, including exclusives with more than twenty world leaders, including six U.S. Presidents. She conducted historic back-to-back interviews with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, met with Fidel Castro in Cuba, and was one of the last American journalists to meet with Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Rita was also granted rare meetings with Pope Benedict XVI, and years earlier with Pope John Paul II to discuss death penalty issues after receiving an exclusive letter from Timothy McVeigh explaining why he carried out the Oklahoma City Bombing. In June 2014, she made international headlines again when she interviewed Pope Francis at the Vatican about his historic Mideast Peace Summit.
The first reporter to see prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay and witness an actual interrogation, she also interviewed Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic who called her from his prison cell at the Hague where he stood trial for war crimes. While broadcasting live from Belgrade during the NATO bombing, she broke the news that three American POWs were going to be released. During Hurricane Katrina, she provided extensive live coverage, hosting shows from New Orleans, revealing the widespread devastation, and soon after reported live from the war zone in Afghanistan and then along the U.S. - Mexico border with law enforcement, covering many angles of the immigration battle.
Additionally, she has conducted exclusive interviews with Erik Menendez and Dr. Jack Kevorkian, both behind bars. She’s also interviewed numerous celebrities and sports stars including Michael Jackson, Simon Cowell, Tom Hanks, Mike Tyson, Bruce Willis, Matt Damon, Stevie Wonder, Jon Bon Jovi, Hank Aaron, Mariano Rivera, Shaquille O'Neal and Dennis Rodman.
Honors for the three-time Emmy winner include the Matrix Award, Headliner Award and Jack Anderson Award for journalism excellence. She was also selected by Cosmopolitan Magazine as a “Fun and Fearless Female.” A recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Lech Walesa Freedom Award, she frequently hosts the National Memorial Day Parade broadcast to all US military installations around the world as well as Troopathon, a star-studded annual telethon which has raised millions of dollars for care packages sent to active duty service members.
She has written back-to-back New York Times Best Selling books and was listed in 2017 and 2018 among the Top 200 Most Influential Authors in the World. Her recent best seller, QUIET HERO: Secrets From My Father’s Past, details her fascinating discovery about her own father, a Nazi prisoner of war, who was saved by American troops. Having spoken at the United Nations, Capitol Hill and the Pentagon, her critically acclaimed memoir has become required reading at major US universities and used as a centerpiece for discussions on those dealing with Post Traumatic Stress and their families. A highly sought-after and gifted public speaker, she has traveled to six continents and captivated audiences with her powerful and deeply personal stories. In 2016, she was honored with the Jan Karski Humanitarian Award, named after one of the heroes of the Holocaust.
Because of Rita’s “extraordinary journalism and exemplary service on behalf of her community,” October 11th, 2010 was officially named “Rita Cosby Day” in the State of New York. In 2011, she was recognized by the US Congress for her professional and charitable achievements.