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Jacob Paul "Jake" Tapper (born March 12, 1969) is an American print and television journalist, currently the senior White House correspondent for ABC News in Washington, D.C. He was named to that position the day after election day 2008, having covered then-senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
He last interviewed Obama in July 2009 in Moscow, in an interview where the President expressed confidence that his foreign policy approach was starting to work and said regarding the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, "there's nothing that we would have done differently." That January, Tapper had broken the story of the tax troubles of then-Health and Human Services secretary nominee and former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), troubles that ultimately derailed Daschle's nomination.
Tapper was born in New York City and was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His mother, Anne Tapper, retired as a psychiatric nurse at Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center. His father, Theodore S. "Ted" Tapper, a Dartmouth graduate, was a president of South Philadelphia Pediatrics, a group medical practice, and is an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College, both in Philadelphia.
He attended Akiba Hebrew Academy and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1991 with a B.A. in history modified by visual studies. He briefly attended graduate school at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.
In 1992, Tapper was a campaign press secretary for Democratic congressional candidate Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (PA-13) and later served as her congressional press secretary. Tapper worked in public relations for Powell Tate, a Washington, D.C., public affairs firm run by Democrat Jody Powell and Republican Sheila Tate. He also worked briefly for Handgun Control Inc. (now the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence) in 1997. After writing many freelance stories, Tapper began his journalism career full-time as a senior writer for the Washington City Paper from 1998 to 1999 and wrote about his experience going on a date with Monica Lewinsky in 1998 for that publication, in a story that skewered Washington's culture of scandal. He was the Washington correspondent for Salon.com from 1999 to 2002, where he was an early questioner of the Bush administration's claims about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. He has also contributed to GQ, The Weekly Standard, NPR's All Things Considered, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. In 2001 he hosted a TV show on CNN called Take Five in which young journalists and commentators discussed politics and pop culture. In 2002 he hosted a series of entertainment news specials on VH1 and in 2003 he hosted shows focused on independent film on the Sundance Channel. ABC News hired him in 2003. Tapper has been a frequent guest on the Imus in the Morning radio program.
His comic strip Capitol Hell appeared in Roll Call from 1994 to 2003. He has also contributed cartoons to the American Spectator magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2006, he married Jennifer Marie Brown of St. Joseph, Missouri, who was a regional field manager in Washington, D.C. for Planned Parenthood Federation.
On July 6, 2009, former MSNBC television personality Dan Abrams launched a website service, Mediaite, reporting on media figures. The site ranks all TV-based journalists in America by influence. Tapper ranks, as of December 2010, at number one.
Tapper was considered one of the leading candidates to replace George Stephanopoulos as anchor of This Week. Stephanopoulos took over for Diane Sawyer, co-host of Good Morning America, when she assumed the role as anchor of World News. However, CNN's Christiane Amanpour was selected instead. Tapper served as the interim anchor until Amanpour took over the show on August 1, 2010.
Jake lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Jennifer and two children. The Tappers were married in 2006 in Jennifer's home state of Missouri.
|ABC News Chief White House Correspondent|
January 2009 – present