Home » Gayle King: From media newbie to ‘100 Most Influential’

Gayle King: From media newbie to ‘100 Most Influential’

Find out how King rose to fame, success, and influence in the media industry and beyond

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

Gayle King, an illustrious American television personality, author, and esteemed broadcast journalist, has left an indelible mark on the media landscape. Her role as editor-at-large for the revered O, The Oprah Magazine, and her co-hosting position on CBS News’s flagship morning program, CBS Mornings, have propelled her into the forefront of journalism. A testament to her influence, she was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in 2019.”

Gayle’s remarkable journey in media began as a production assistant at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, where her path intertwined with the iconic Oprah Winfrey, who was an anchor at the station at that time. Her career later took her to Kansas City, where she excelled as a weekend anchor and a versatile general-assignment reporter at WDAF-TV. Beyond her professional achievements, King’s upbringing provides insight into her strong foundation, born on December 28, 1954, to Peggy Tucker and Emmett Scott King in Chevy Chase, Maryland, United States., and spending a formative period in Ankara, Turkey, from ages 6 to 11, where her father was stationed as an electrical engineer. At 11, she returned to the United States with her family, where her father continued his engineering career, while her mother, a homemaker, provided the nurturing environment that fostered her success. She is also part of a close-knit family with three sisters.

With an exquisite blend of white and European heritage, King’s ethnicity mirrors her rich cultural diversity, and her unwavering commitment to the Christian faith reflects her values. However, it is not just her heritage that has drawn attention but also her remarkable net worth, estimated at approximately $72 million, with an annual income (from CBS) of around $11 million. In every facet of her life, King shines as a symbol of grace, intelligence, and influence, leaving an indomitable legacy in the world of journalism and beyond. Some of King’s notable investments are:


In 2021, King invested $50,000 in GaBBY Bows, a company founded by Gabby Goodwin, a 14-year-old CEO from South Carolina. This investment was part of a larger $200,000 funding round to support the business, which specializes in hair care products and accessories. Today, GaBBY Bows is not just all about bows and berrets but also plant-based wash-and-style products, lifestyle goods, business mentorship programs, and even a retail store and girls’ salon. Their mission remains the same: boost confidence, build community, and revolutionize beauty for growing girls and their moms.


In 2008, King expanded her real estate portfolio by acquiring a Manhattan penthouse, valued at $7 million. This property, spanning 2,500 square feet, features amenities like a 750-square-foot wraparound terrace and two fireplaces. It has three bedrooms and three full bathrooms, along with one half bath alongside 12-foot high ceilings, a modern kitchen with a center island, as well as a family room, and a dining room and living area. Meanwhile, her Greenwich, Connecticut home, a 10,000-square-foot property she had purchased in 2000 for $3.6 million, was listed for sale at nearly $7.5 million. Intriguingly, this property is registered under Overground Railroad LLC, a firm with connections to Oprah Winfrey, as indicated by public records. King’s decision to sell the Connecticut residence and invest in the Manhattan penthouse marks a significant shift in her property investments during that year. Gayle King lives in a 7,300 square-foot luxury house located in Chevy Chase, Maryland. King has bought this property for a price of $9 Million. King’s house is fitted with seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, one big pool, and more such features. Notably, there are over 9 real estate properties under King’s ownership, through which she receives rent income each month.


King has also made significant contributions to literature which has accordingly lifted her fortunes to impeccable lofts. Her book “Note to Self: Inspiring Words From Inspiring People” is a compilation of heartfelt stories and life lessons from various individuals, offering readers both inspiration and a chance for introspection. In this book, twenty-first-century luminaries share advice and encouragement with their younger selves. The letters cover a wide range of perspectives, including those from Oprah, now-President Joe Biden, Chelsea Handler, Maya Angelou, a Newtown father, and a military widow. It’s a moving reflection on the joys and challenges of growing up, making it a perfect gift for any occasion. As at 2023, Gayle has made about $3 million on book royalties.


King’s discerning investment in McDonald’s reflects her keen business insight and strategic financial planning. Aligning herself with a universally acclaimed fast-food brand, this step adds a dynamic edge to her diverse investment portfolio. It exemplifies her ability to extend her influence from the media realm into shrewd economic ventures.


A significant portion of King’s wealth is supported by her investment in PayPal, a dominant player in the digital payment sector. This decision exemplifies her skill in recognizing and leveraging cutting-edge financial technologies, thereby reinforcing her reputation as a shrewd investor. Her selection of PayPal, an emblem of innovation in financial transactions, underscores her acute awareness of market trends and her exceptional business acumen.

  • VISA

Choosing a company synonymous with secure transactions and innovation, King’s investment in Visa highlights her astute business acumen in the global financial industry. It positions her as both a media powerhouse and a shrewd investor in pivotal ventures.


King has expanded her investment portfolio by investing in CitiGroup, a prominent financial institution. This move demonstrates her continued interest in the financial sector. CitiGroup is renowned for its global presence and commitment to excellence in financial services.


King’s investment in Tesla showcases her visionary approach to finance, aligning with the forefront of sustainable technology. Her choice reflects a commitment to environmental responsibility and astute financial acumen, positioning her as an advocate for innovation and sustainable progress.

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