Bill O’Reilly is proud to report that The Factor remains the most watched show on cable news, just as it has for 15 years. Every night more than 5-million viewers tune in to The Factor. It’s a remarkable fact, and that support and loyalty also account, in no small measure, for the success of Bill’s many other projects.
After five best-selling books and a memoir, Bill took to writing about history. Killing Lincoln was first, followed by Killing Kennedy, and then Killing Jesus. The latest book, Killing Patton, chronicles what Bill calls “the strange death of WWII’s most audacious general.” Like the others, Killing Patton hit the top of the New York Times best seller list its first week in the marketplace.
And here’s some additional advance news: Bill is currently working on another book in the “Killing” series. Look out for more information on that.
Bill is also the Executive Producer of a popular new Fox News Channel series about the American West called Legends and Lies.
O’Reilly grew up on Long Island, NY. He earned a BA from Marist College (in history, naturally), a Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University, and a second MA in Public Administration from The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Q. Loyal viewers of the O’Reilly Factor are fully aware that you are a major supporter of veterans’ charities. However, while doing research for this interview I was surprised to learn that 26 organizations (and not just veterans’ groups) are listed as “Bill’s Charities” on your Bill O’Reilly website. What is the criteria that is used for an organization to become one of “Bill’s Charities?”
A. I like to check out the charities myself and not depend on the analysis of others. So, for example, the Best Friends charity in Washington D.C., I know Elayne Bennett who runs it and I know exactly where the money goes in mentoring for children. Same thing with the RESPONSIBILITY charity in San Diego. I visited the facilities and saw first-hand what they do. So we choose our charities based on eyewitness reports.
Q. The first charity listed on “Bill’s Charities” is the Independence Fund. The mission of the Independence Fund is “Moving Our Nation’s Severely Injured Veterans Towards Greater Independence.” With that mission in mind, the Fund is known for providing highly mobile, all terrain “track chairs” to severely injured veterans. Each chair and trailer cost $16,000 and is life changing.
Bill, can you tell us how and why you became involved with the Independence Fund? Do you know how many veterans have received track chairs as a result of your on-air support encouraging viewers to donate?
A. I learned about the Independence Fund from Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin. Over the years I visited wounded vets at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington and have come to know their situation pretty well. So when the new high tech wheelchairs became available, I decided to raise as much money as possible so that every vet who needs a wheelchair can have one.
Q. Do you believe it was your Catholic upbringing, and faith that serves as the foundation for your extensive involvement with charitable organizations?
A. The Christian philosophy is to help people who are in need. I believe in the philosophy. I’m in a position to help, so I do.
Q. O’Reilly Factor viewers have heard you say that proceeds from merchandise purchased at your Bill O’Reilly website are donated to charity. Will you share with us just how much money your web merchandise has raised?
A. We have donated approximately seven million dollars over the years to charities based upon revenue from BillO’Reilly.com.
Q. On May 21, you and Gary Sinise are headlining Rockin’ the Boat, a benefit concert to be held at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square. The concert will benefit the Independence Fund and the Gary Sinise Foundation (which also helps veterans.) During the concert are there any secret plans to surprise an injured vet(s) with the gift of a track chair? Will the O’Reilly Factor be broadcasting live from the concert? (Surely, viewers would love to hear you sing.)
A. At the Rockin’ The Boat benefit we will give a wounded veteran the 1,000th track chair that we have acquired. But there is still more to be done on this front. I’ll be at the event with Gary Sinise and we will run some of the footage on The O’Reilly Factor but it will not be live.
Bill, on behalf of our readers, thank you for participating in this Buzzworthy interview.
BizPac Review readers are encouraged to learn more about Bill O’Reilly’s charities and how you can donate or attend the upcoming Rockin’ the Boat benefit concert on May 21.
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