Mike Gallagher : biography
Mike Gallagher (born April 7, 1960) is an American radio host and conservative political commentator. He is the host of The Mike Gallagher Show, a nationally-syndicated radio program that airs throughout the United States on Salem Radio Network and is also a FOX News Channel Contributor and guest host. According to Talkers magazine, Gallagher is the sixth most-listened-to radio talk show host in the United States.
On May 8, 2006 Gallagher used his show to raise money for the creation of homes in poverty-stricken areas of Jamaica in conjunction with Food for the Poor, during a live broadcast in the Jamaican national capital. Gallagher is also the namesake of his main charity, Gallagher’s Army: The Mike Gallagher Show Charitable Foundation, which he founded in 2005 after he began asking his listeners and others to support the families of American military families. In 2008 Gallagher expanded his efforts by founding the Gallagher’s Army: Fallen Officer Fund, which gathers funds from his listeners and others to support the families of police officers who have fallen in the line of duty.
Gallagher was born in Dayton, Ohio. He attended Chaminade-Julienne High School in downtown Dayton (graduating in 1978), where he was active in the school radio and TV station, theater (he had lead roles during all four years of school), the school band and chorus. In 2008, his wife Denise died one day shy of her 52nd birthday, from endometrial cancer.
From September 6 to September 11, 2011 Gallagher made a week-long cameo in the Broadway show Memphis, stating it was the culmination of a lifelong dream.
Gallagher has made his views on the protesting of American war dead upon their return from theatres of war, using his air time to try and prevent such protests from taking place. On October 6, 2006, Gallagher convinced the controversial Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church to appear on air with an hour of air time in exchange for not picketing a funeral for victims from the Amish school shooting near Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. Initially, Gallagher offered the organization money to not picket the funeral. With this gesture being accused of being blood money, the syndicated radio host gave the church an hour to appear on air. The Amish funerals went on peacefully after the contract signed with WBC stipulated a $500,000 fine if there were picketers anywhere near the funerals., The Age, October 5, 2006
Following plans by the Westboro Baptist Church to protest funerals of victims of the Virginia Tech massacre, Gallagher offered the group three hours of airtime in exchange for an agreement not to protest these funerals. The WBC was the in-studio guests of Gallagher’s program for its entirety on April 24, 2007. He has made a similar agreement with Westboro concerning possible protests at the funerals of those killed in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011, despite the fact that emergency legislation passed on 12 January 2011 makes such protests illegal in Arizona.
In December 2006 Gallagher himself made a controversial comment on Fox News, in response to a discussion of whether film actors and television personalities should be held to account for public statements they make against the government in a time of war, specifically Joy Behar’s comparison of then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to Adolf Hitler. Gallagher stated that, "I think we should round up all of these folks. Round up Joy Behar. Round up Matt Damon, who last night on MSNBC attacked George Bush and Dick Cheney. Round up [Keith] Olbermann. Take the whole bunch of them and put them in a detention camp until this war is over because they’re a bunch of traitors."
As a 17-year-old high school senior in Dayton, Ohio, Gallagher talked his way into an on-air shift at WAVI-AM. His broadcasting career has taken him from Dayton to WFBC-AM in Greenville, South Carolina (now WORD-AM) where his ratings and revenue success led to his eventual promotion to station manager. From there, he became the afternoon drive-time leader in Albany, New York on upstate powerhouse WGY-AM. After Albany was the nation’s number one market, New York City, where Gallagher enjoyed a two-year stint as morning drive host on WABC-AM, the nation’s most listened-to talk radio station.