33 Facts About Ali Velshi


Ali Velshi was substitute anchor for Top Story with Tom Llamas on NBC News Now at weeknights and The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC at Friday night.

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Ali Velshi was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and raised in Toronto, Ontario, after moving there in 1971.

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Ali Velshi is an Ismaili Muslim of Gujarati Indian descent.

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Ali Velshi is the son of Murad Velshi, the first Canadian of Indian origin elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and his wife, Mila, who grew up in South Africa.

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Ali Velshi's parents operated a bakery in South Africa, but moved to Kenya in 1960, when Apartheid became oppressive.

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Ali Velshi attended Toronto's Northern Secondary School, where he was elected school president.

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Ali Velshi then earned a degree in religious studies from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, in 1994.

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In 1996, Ali Velshi was awarded a fellowship to the United States Congress from the American Political Science Association.

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In Toronto, Ali Velshi began his professional reporting career as a General Assignment reporter for CFTO.

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Ali Velshi later became a business reporter and anchor for CablePulse 24 and its then sister station CityTV.

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Ali Velshi hosted The Business News, Canada's first prime-time business news hour.

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Ali Velshi anchored several shows, including Insights, Business Unusual, Street Sweep, and Your Money, and co-hosted The Money Gang with Pat Kiernan before the network closed down in December 2004.

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In 2005, Velshi hosted 13 hour-long episodes of The Turnaround, a reality television show, during which he traveled across America introducing small business owners who were facing challenges or seeking to grow their businesses to high-profile mentors who helped the small business owners develop a plan for success.

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Ali Velshi joined American Morning as business correspondent in late 2006 and then again as co-anchor in 2011.

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In 2008, Velshi undertook a cross-country road trip aboard the CNN Election Express, during which he travelled from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Los Angeles, California, stopping along the way to discuss money issues with Americans.

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Ali Velshi hosted CNN's Energy Hunt, which took him to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and to the Oil Sands of Canada in 2008.

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Ali Velshi's hurricane reporting started in 2005 during Katrina, about which he reported live during the evacuation of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and then from damaged oil facilities in Eastern Texas and Southern Louisiana.

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Until leaving CNN, Ali Velshi co-hosted the market opening edition of World Business Today on CNN International.

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Ali Velshi has strongly defended the Muslim community's right to build a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York City.

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Ali Velshi has been in turn accused of downplaying the role that mainstream Islamic jurisprudence, scholarship, and interpretation play in the development and application of Islamic extremism and branding negative statements about Islam as biased.

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Ali Velshi was the first on-air personality to be hired for the new channel.

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The channel stated that it hoped that Ali Velshi's show would initially start off as a weekly show and become a daily show by the end of the year.

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Ali Velshi joined MSNBC in October 2016, with additional duties at MSNBC's parent news division, NBC News, for which he serves as Business Correspondent.

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Ali Velshi was appointed as the fill-in host of The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on Friday edition.

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However, in December 2019, Ali Velshi was moved to weekend mornings with his own show called simply Ali Velshi, a 2-hour solo act.

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Ali Velshi continues to substitute for other hosts in the weekday evening lineups.

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Ali Velshi has written monthly columns for both Money and Delta Sky magazine.

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In 2010, Ali Velshi was awarded the Queen's University Alumni Achievement Award; the highest award given to Queen's University alumni.

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Ali Velshi anchored CNN's global breaking news coverage of an attempted terror attack on a Delta flight into Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, for which CNN was nominated for a 2010 Emmy award.

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In 2017, Ali Velshi was named an honorary "Canada 150" Ambassador to help promote activities and events marking the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation.

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Ali Velshi played himself in the 2010 Oliver Stone film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

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Ali Velshi is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Economic Club of New York, the New York Financial Writers Association, The Paley Center for Media, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Chicago History Museum, a member of the Board of Trustees of Seeds of Peace, and a member of the Grand Challenges Advisory Committee of the National Academy of Engineering.

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Ali Velshi is on the Board of Trustees of the X Prize Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that designs and manages public competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit humanity.

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