How Glenn Beck Became The Most Powerful (And Notorious) Man On Television

Glenn Beck

Photo: LAT

Thursday is Glenn Beck‘s last day at Fox News.His time there, while brief — actually only 29 months — has unquestionably left a huge impact (the man can’t even go to Bryant Park without causing a national incident.) 

He sells books like Oprah, draws enormous crowds on the National Mall in August, is arguably the most polarising figure in the nation today, and is now attempting to replicate all this success online.

GBTV will launch properly in September — after Beck hosts his rally in Israel — under the watchful eyes of every TV exec and television star curious to know whether it is possible for one man (or one brand) to carve out a profitable place in the media landscape using only the Internet.

While we wait to see, here is a look back at how Glenn Beck became GLENN BECK. 

Feb. 10, 1964: Glenn Beck is born in Washington State. In 1979 Beck's mother commits suicide (subsequently followed by his stepbrother's suicide). Beck says he turned to 'Dr. Jack Daniel's' to cope with the losses.

1983: At age 19 Beck moves to Washington D.C. and begins working at WPGC radio station.

1994: Following Beck's divorce from his first wife (with whom he has two daughters), he becomes sober with help from Alcoholics Anonymous. Beck later claimed that he'd gotten high daily for 15 years, since age 16.

1996: With a written recommendation from Senator Joe Lieberman, Beck attends a theology class at Yale University while working for a New Haven radio station.

1999: Beck marries his second wife Tanya. She insists they choose a religion and subsequently they both convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2000: The Glenn Beck Program first airs on WFLA-AM in Tampa, FL. Two years later, Premiere Radio Networks takes the show nationwide, launching on 47 stations.

2002: Beck creates Mercury Radio Arts, later known as Glenn Beck Inc.

2006: CNN's Headline News announces new weeknight Primetime show 'Glenn Beck.' That November, Beck interviewed recently elected congressman Democrat Kieth Ellison (who also happens to be Muslim).

March 4, 2008: While still on HLN (and in a sign of rhetoric to come) Beck asks if (then-Presidential Candidate) Barack Obama is the anti-christ.

January 2009: Beck leaves Headline News for Fox News Channel. His first show airs the day before Obama's inauguration. His first guest is Sarah Palin.

March 13, 2009: Beck tearfully announces his big 9.12 Project.

May 20, 2009: In what may be Beck's last live appearance on a TV show not airing on FOX, Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters take on Beck during an appearance on 'The View' for comments made on his show, calling him 'a lying sack of dog mess.'

July 28, 2009: While appearing on Fox&Friends Beck says he believes Obama is racist against white people. It's a remark that has since been mentioned in every profile about Beck, and subsequently lost him a slew of advertisers.

September 2009: 'Arguing With Idiots' makes the New York Times' Best-Seller List within first week of release. It is the latest proof of Beck's Oprah-like dominance of book industry.

September 2009: Beck is featured on the cover of TIME as the mainstream media begins to catch on to the Beck phenomena.

August 28, 2010: Beck hosts the 'Restoring honour' rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. By some estimates 300,000 people attend. Unlike the other cablers, FOX opts not to cover it.

April 6, 2011: After months of rumours and anonymous back-biting in the media, Beck confirms his departure from Fox on-air.

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