American political reporter Kelly O’Donnell can report on any topic assigned but ask her about her married life, and she will exemplify a perfect private person. Despite being a married woman who belongs to the media industry, she has kept details of her marriage under wraps. 

Here's all that we know!

J. David Ake Is a Photojournalist

O’Donnell's husband J. David Ake is a director of photography at The Associated Press. Before his promotion in 2018, he served as a deputy chief for visual journalism at the Washington bureau of The AP. 


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Ake is a veteran photojournalist with experience in major media outlets such as Reuters, Agence France-Presse, and United Press International.

He has traveled to various counties of six continents and documented significant stories, including eight Olympics, over 25 Super Bowls, three presidential campaigns in  2008, 2012, and 2016, the 9/11 terror attacks, and Hurricane Katrina. 

Ake also has a daughter named Danielle from his relationship with Karhryn Ake. A Northwestern graduate, Danielle works as a White House associate producer at CBS News. 


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She Once Mentioned Her Husband in a Tweet

O'Donnell has kept her social media handles away from her marriage, never updating her fans about her married life. She has also shared no details of when and how she got engaged or got married. 

Having said that, she once mentioned her partner in a tweet.

On June 28, 2011, she shared a picture clicked by Alex Brandon and praised the shot, saying it was worth seeing. The image captured an emotional moment where a mom can be seen planting a kiss on her son's coffin. O'Donnell mentioned Ake on the post and suggested that he should see the photo. 

Then on May 4, 2014, their friend, fellow journalist Lauren Young, posted a picture that captured the husband-duo wife in a single frame. The photo also featured Reuters reporter Steve Holland on the far right. 

O'Donnell's Career in NBC News

The news correspondent may not be open regarding her personal life, but she is vocal about her profession.

On April 26, 2020, just a day before her stay with NBC News touched 26 years, O'Donnell posted a collage with two pictures. One picture was from the first day she joined NBC, and the other was from 2020. The comparison, which showcased her healthy weight gain over the years, was a tribute to the media giant. 

O'Donnell stated she was grateful to be a part of the channel for decades. 


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The Ohio native joined NBC News in 1994 as a reporter got promoted as a Capitol Hill correspondent in December 2007.

Throughout her career in NBC, she has traveled to 54 countries and covered all sorts of topics, including sports, politics, and wars. She feeds stories to NBC shows like Today, NBC Nightly News, and Meet The Press.

Her exciting and hard-hitting live reporting of an Ohio prison riot earned her a regional Emmy Award. Then in September 2004, she even got inducted into the Ohio Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame. 

Her Age and Early Life 

O'Donnell was born on May 17, 1965, in Westlake, Ohio.

The journalist, who has a height of 5 feet and 4 inches, attended Northwestern University. She graduated in social policy.


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In 1987, she started her journalistic career as a reporter and an associate producer for WJW-TV in Cleveland, Ohio. After around six years, the 56-year-old left the channel and joined NBC News.