Viewers may recognize her as one of the co-hosts of “The Five,” a weekly talk/debate show airing on Fox News but long before joining the network in 2006, San Francisco native Kimberly Guilfoyle was focused on yet a slightly different career. A graduate of the University Of San Francisco School Of Law, Guilfoyle knew from childhood her future goal was to become a prosecutor. “It was my dream to become a lawyer and help victims who didn’t have a voice,” she says.
In 2004 Guilfoyle made the transition to television as a host on Court TV and as a legal analyst on both ABC and CNN. Her foray into a new career came following the 2002 case the “People v. Noel and Knoller” a dog mauling case in which she was the prosecutor on. Not only did they win it was cited as the first murder conviction for a dog mauling case in California history.
Bella NYC sat down with the Fox News personality and former San Francisco First Lady to talk about her upcoming New Year’s Eve special along with her life both on-screen and off…
With a successful career in law and now television, was either on your radar growing up? As young kids we all have a vision or a dream of what we want to be when we’re older – were either of these yours?
Absolutely, they both were. I always wanted to be a prosecutor growing up. It was my dream to become a lawyer and help victims who didn’t have a voice. This later developed into a successful TV career and now I get to utilize my communication skills every day, discussing law, politics and entertainment on “The Five” in addition to my weekly segments on “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity.”
Your father was a prominent political figure in San Francisco. Would you say your interest in politics stems from his involvement?
Definitely. My father was one of the greatest inspirations in my life and he always will be, even though he has since passed. Being an immigrant from Ireland, he was always extremely passionate about serving in the United States, whether it was as a military man or a political figure in San Francisco. He was known as the “Godfather” in many political circles since he was always looking out for others and was for the people. That’s something I believe has stuck with me throughout my entire life, in many different aspects of it. At Fox I get to cover politics every day and I find it fascinating. Especially this past election, because I’ve had a front row seat to American political history.
Anyone besides your father who you looked up to, viewed as a mentor?
My mother. I look up to her not only as a role model for raising a child, but also as a strong, independent and compassionate woman. She was a special education teacher who was able to help those in need, and helping those in need is something I aspire to do as well through my charity work like “The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.”
After losing your mom you took on some very adult responsibilities at a young age – do you believe that those experiences, raising your little brother, cooking for your family, prepared you for life as an adult?
Losing my mother at the age of 11 was difficult but I believe those experiences did prepare me for life as an adult – it made me grow up rather quickly. Even though no child should have to go through the pain of losing a parent at such a young age, it made the bond with my brother, Anthony, all that much stronger and I am forever grateful to have him in my life. I raised him since he was eight years old and he has a special place in my heart.
What do you love most about New York City and what do you miss about San Francisco?
I love everything about New York! The people, the places, the fashion, it’s a city that never sleeps. As for San Francisco, I do miss the weather and the amazing friends that I grew up with there. My brother lives in Los Angeles and now I’m always traveling back and forth to the West Coast so I still get my slice of California sunshine.
What do you think are the necessary attributes to succeed in your business?
The ability to think fast on your feet, always come prepared, and know how to work well with a team.
In a 2014 interview with Elle, you said that “no two days are the same” and “one must be psyched about what they do” – describe a typical day for you?
I get up each morning and get my son Ronan ready. I make him breakfast, pack him lunch and then we’re off and running to school. It’s my favorite part of the day because I get to spend special time with my little man, who’s the treasure of my life. Then I’m off to the races and head to work –it’s always something different because you never know what kind of news is going to break. In between commercials I’ll share some laughs with my colleagues, then I head home, eat dinner and do homework with my son.
As a single mom how do you achieve the work/life balance?
It’s definitely not easy but I make it work. My son Ronan is my life and the reason I work so hard is to build a bright future for him. Sometimes I feel like I’m juggling a million things but it’s all worth it. I have been blessed with wonderful friends that love spending time with me and Ronan and have become family to us.
What advice would you share with others looking to follow in your footsteps?
One of the reasons I wrote my book, “Making the Case,” is to share that advice with others. I talk about the importance of landing a good internship, working hard, and having a great mentor. It’s also important to live life with no regrets because you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
As former First Lady of San Francisco you had the opportunity to host Prince Charles and Camilla – what other memorable experiences have you had either personally or professionally?
Hosting Prince Charles and Camilla is something I’ll never forget. I’ve had a lot of memorable experiences throughout my career, but this past year the ones that really stand out are times I had the opportunity to interview President-elect Donald Trump during his run for the Oval office. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he will accomplish for our country.
Since 2011 you have served as Ambassador for the Special Olympics NYC Junior Committee – does the organization hold a special meaning for you and what other organizations/charities do you work with?
It does – I always love to give back and impact the lives of others in a positive way. These are children who have overcome a lot of obstacles in their lives and never give up. To see the smiles on their faces when they succeed is so inspiring.
I also serve on the board of The Esophageal Cancer Education Foundation and sit on the Children’s Council of The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. There’s no better feeling than knowing you are helping out others, especially those who are in need. My parents always taught me to make this life about other people, and that’s what I aspire to do.
In your book you share stories from your life and career along with providing practical advice that can assist others in a variety of situations. While the book is a tool to help others, what would you say you took away from the whole experience of writing it?
Writing a book was something I always wanted to do and I’m very glad I did. Being able to look back on some of my achievements all packed into a few hundred pages is an indescribable feeling.
Did you enjoy the whole writing process and can you see yourself writing another book in the future?
It was a lot of hard work but I really did enjoy writing it. The fact that I am able to share my experiences and give others advice is very rewarding in itself. Giving back is very important to me. If I can reach out and help people in this way, it’s worth it. Writing this book was a positive experience and I’m open to writing another in the future especially since it was well received by young women.
You’ve accomplished so much in your career thus far, what do you see for yourself down the road? Is there anything specific you’ve yet to do but would like to?
I love what I’m doing and I love working for Fox News Channel. It’s always exciting to add new chapters to your life so who knows what the future holds, but that’s what keeps life enjoyable each and every day!
You have your New Year’s Eve special airing tonight – what are you most looking forward to in 2017?
I’m definitely looking forweard to making life easier (that’s my resolution)! I’m also looking forward to President-elect Donald Trump officially becoming our next Commander-in-Chief and seeing what’s in store for the future of the United States.
At Bella our tagline is, Beauty As Defined By You – how do you describe beauty?
Beauty is so much more than what you see on the outside; it’s a part of someone’s soul. True beauty is not measured by what you do for yourself, but what you do for others.
Finish this sentence, I am happiest when…
People around me are happy and healthy – that’s truly when I am happiest.
Tune in tonight to catch Fox News Channel’s All-American New Year Co-Hosted By “The Five’s” Kimberly Guilfoyle and Eric Bolling. Main coverage of the event begins at 11pm /ET live from Times Square in New York City.
Connect with Kim, @KimGuilfoyle!