Rita Cosby (born November 18, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York, but raised in Greenwich, Connecticut) is a veteran TV news presenter and senior correspondent who most recently worked at MSNBC.
Cosby has received three Emmy Awards, the Jack Anderson Award for investigative excellence, the Matrix Award, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
The daughter of a Danish mother and a Polish father who came to the U.S. after World War II
, Cosby grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut
, where she attended Greenwich High School
and freelanced for the local paper. She earned her bachelor's degree
from the University of South Carolina
. Cosby balanced college with a position at WACH-TV
, the local FOX
affiliate, and while working on a feature film, actor Patrick O'Neal
recommended her to Diane Sawyer
, who helped her obtain an internship on the CBS Evening News
. Jobs as an anchor/reporter at KERO-TV
in Bakersfield, California
in Charlotte, North Carolina
Fox News Channel
From 1995 to 2005, Cosby worked at Fox News
. At Fox, she hosted both The Big Story Weekend Edition
and Fox News Live with Rita Cosby
She has interviewed more than a dozen world leaders, conducting historic back to back interviews with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. She was the first reporter to see prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay and even interviewed Serbian president Slobodan Milošević who called her from his prison cell at the Hague. Years earlier, while broadcasting live from Belgrade during the NATO bombing, she broke the news that three American POWs were going to be released.
Cosby also made national headlines for her interviews with boxer Mike Tyson, singer Michael Jackson and convicted serial killer David Berkowitz, "The Son of Sam," who wrote to her during the Washington, D.C. sniper shootings in October 2002. As that story unfolded, Cosby secured another major first, by reporting the names and license plate numbers of the sniper suspects. In 2001, Cosby's interview with flight attendant Anne Marie Smith led to a U.S. Attorney's Office investigation of Rep. Gary Condit for obstruction of justice and witness tampering.
Cosby served as a lead reporter during the 1996 and 2000 Presidential campaigns. During the Monica Lewinsky investigation, she broke the news that President Bill Clinton was going to be subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury.
Cosby was promoted to weekend news presenter and senior correspondent.
In 2005, Cosby moved to MSNBC. She left the network in the spring of 2007 to pursue other interests.
Anna Nicole Smith book
On September 4
, Cosby released a book about Anna Nicole Smith
, titled Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith's Death
. The book's most controversial allegation is that Smith's attorney, Howard K. Stern
who claimed he fathered Smith's child Dannielynn
, and Larry Birkhead
, who established paternity of Smith's child, were seen in a sexually compromising position. The book also alleges that after Stern threatened to reveal Larry's sexuality, the two men reached a deal that would benefit them both following Smith's death in which Birkhead would gain custody of his daughter and Stern would remain executor of Smith’s estate. Cosby’s book also includes revelations about the drug overdose deaths of Anna Nicole Smith and her son Daniel Smith
. Both men deny these allegations, with Stern filing a US$60
million lawsuit against Cosby and her publisher and Birkhead threatening to follow suit. Cosby replied to the Stern lawsuit by saying "…we are solid on our facts more than ever…we are sure of what we have. I think it’s pretty surprising that these guys would launch some frivolous lawsuit to deflect and to smear and to intimidate and it’s not going to work." The book has become a New York Times