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Apr13 Ed Henry story
Apr13 Ed Henry story
Ed Henry is a “come here.” A native New Yorker who now lives in Chevy Chase, the chief White House correspondent for Fox News nevertheless knows his way around his corner of the state and is into exploring others.
Henry and his wife, Shirley Hung Henry, a senior CNN producer he met while working at that network before joining Fox in 2011, like to cross the Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore to luxuriate at the Hyatt resort in Cambridge. They also enjoy quiet meals in Baltimore’s Little Italy.
But for breakfast today, we meet at the no-frills Tastee Diner in Bethesda, not far from Henry’s modest 1957 brick rambler. If downtown Bethesda is a gourmet destination known for its upscale restaurants, the Tastee is the anti-Bethesda. Which suits Henry just fine.
While he’s one sharp dresser, with his signature bright four-square handkerchiefs—of which he owns 40 or 50—he was not to the manor born. His dad is a supermarket manager on Long Island; his mom worked as a bookkeeper before retiring. He is the first member of his family to go to college.
Henry is originally from working-class Astoria, Queens. The family later moved to Deer Park, in Suffolk County, further out on “the Island.” He’s a diehard Yankees fan, but enjoys taking his children, Patrick and Mila, to Camden Yards to watch the Orioles, and he’s also become an avid Nats fan (and season-ticket holder).
Similarly, Henry enjoys being worlds away from work when helping coach his son’s Montgomery County basketball team.
The dimple-faced kid from Long Island, who is now 41, attended Siena College, a Catholic school in Upstate New York. He found his way south as part of American University’s semester-in-Washington program. It was enough to give him a touch of Potomac Fever, and he’s been here ever since.
Henry worked as an intern for the late—and legendary—syndicated columnist Jack Anderson while taking classes at the University of Maryland in College Park. His credits transferred to Siena, which awarded him a degree.
Instead of returning to New York, however, he matriculated to Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, where he did an eight-year stint. From there, he graduated to broadcast journalism—and a higher profile, first as a political commentator for local radio, then jumping to CNN.
“It’s a great privilege to do this job, asking questions of the president at a time of great upheaval,” says Henry, who currently serves as president of the White House Correspondents Association.
It’s not all hail to the chief, though. After all, one must still eat. For breakfast, Henry orders a Spanish omelet with wheat toast and coffee—and salsa.
Henry’s next stop today is the Fox News bureau, near DC’s Union Station. In his dark blue suit and cobalt tie with matching pocket handkerchief, he’s ready for prime time. He’s wearing Secret Service cufflinks, too, a gift from an agent. He also owns pairs from George W. Bush and Barack Obama, “to be fair,” and balanced, as they say at Fox.
And don’t be too impressed with his job, he cautions. The life of a White House reporter, while often exciting, can be tedious and far from glamorous. A winter holiday trip to Hawaii with the vacationing President Obama sounded good, he recalls, but the reality was different.
“I flew out first, my wife and kids two days later,” says Henry. “Then the fiscal cliff ruined our Christmas. I had to come back early. My wife and kids were stranded in Hawaii. I was getting reports from the beach.”
New Year’s Eve found him “in the basement of the White House at 11:59 p.m. How pathetic is that?”