Born Monica Rosie Lee, Monica Kaufman is the first Africa-American journalist to anchor a local Atlanta, Georgia, newscast, as of 2015. In addition to winning several Emmy Awards for her charisma and professionalism, Kaufman has encouraged minorities to break down cultural barriers, including Latino, Asian, African-American, and gay and lesbian barriers.
Kaufman was raised in a section of Louisville, Kentucky, called Smoketown, where she grew up as an only child with no exposure to her biological father until after graduating high school. After graduating from high school, an all-girl Roman Catholic institution named Presentation Academy, Kaufman went to the University of Louisville, where she dropped out at age 19 to marry. She then took a job with the Louisville Times as a clerk, but was soon put behind a reporter's desk. She returned to college to finish her degree.
From the Louisville Times, Kaufman went to WHAS-TV, serving as a reporter and anchor from 1973 to 1975. After that, she transitioned to Atlanta's WSB-TV. Among Kaufman's numerous awards are the University of Georgia, Broadcaster of the Year award; the National American Women in Radio and TV Commendation Award; and 28 Southeast Regional Emmy Awards. Kaufman has been married four times, most recently to John E. Pearson, a captain at the DeKalb Police Department. She has one biological child, Claire, and a stepson, John Jr.