Brian Kilmeade has been a key figure at Fox News for more than 20 years. But he not only co-hosts the network’s top-rated morning show, “Fox & Friends,” and hosts “The Brian Kilmeade Show” on radio, the husband and father of three is also a New York Times best-selling author. His latest book Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans, which peaked at #3 during 14 weeks on the NYT’s list, brought him to Regent University on January 26 for a unique Executive Leadership Series (ELS) event: “A Conversation With Brian Kilmeade.”
Just minutes before taking the stage at Regent Theatre, Kilmeade also gave Impact a preview of what the audience would hear: “I’m not just going to be talking about American history and these books, although I think they’ll enjoy that. But I’m also going to be talking about what I learned [by writing them] and what I’ve learned since. And that is: It’s the values and ethics learned along the way that shape who you are and how you respond.”
Kilmeade’s recent trilogy of books focuses on the heroic actions of America’s Founding Fathers. For him, researching and writing about our nation’s beginnings is a passion and a responsibility.
“I think by learning history,” he said, “and seeing how far we’ve come and … seeing how so many unlikely things happen along the way — maybe some would say divine intervention — then you realize this is pretty tremendous, and I have an obligation to keep it going.”
That commitment to “keep it going” was on full display before a packed house at Regent Theatre. Kilmeade told the crowd about his early days in broadcasting, which were full of ups and downs, highs and lows, small victories and big frustrations — like losing all of his belongings in an apartment fire: “I realized that life’s not perfect. You don’t blame. You don’t point fingers. … You learn, and you make the best of it.”
He added that failures are an opportunity to be successful and are necessary for people to go through along the way. But when Kilmeade walked into Fox News in 1997, he knew he had found a home.
“I felt like the guy who walked into Yankee Stadium when they were still [called] the ‘Highlanders.’ I saw the potential. I saw the mission,” he remembered. “And I knew … if I don’t blow it, this thing’s going to be like a rocket ship. And in a short time, we became the number one cable-news network in the country.”
Kilmeade quickly moved from discussing his broadcasting career to telling the audience why being an author is so important to him: “America is, fundamentally, very patriotic. We care about this country. If you can tell them a true story about who we are and how we became who we are, they can understand it.”
A rock-solid belief that the United States is an “exceptional nation” is obviously what drives Kilmeade. He closed his presentation with a patriotic challenge to Regent students, faculty, staff and guests.
“So-called ‘average, everyday Americans’ are doing extraordinary things because they believe in this country. That’s the people I’m looking at out here in this audience,” Kilmeade insisted. “The reason why we survived is because, I believe, there’s somebody pulling for America to work — not because we’re perfect, but because we’re trying to be. … The worst thing you could do is not try. Get in the game.”
For tickets to an upcoming Executive Leadership Series event or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, call 757.352.4245 or visit regent.edu/els.