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Who is Don Lemon? Don Lemon is a TV news anchor best known for hosting the weekend edition of “CNN Newsroom.” Before Don Lemon joined CNN, where he’s covered such stories as the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case and Boston Marathon bombing, he co-anchored the 5PM newscast at Chicago’s NBC5.

MUST SEE: Don Lemon Defends Himself On ‘The View’

Lemon landed in Chi-Town in 2003, following a stint in New York City as an NBC News anchor and reporter. Don Lemon is something of a controversial TV journalist, and his views on the black community have landed him in hot water with folks like Russell Simmons, who blasted Lemon for agreeing with FOX News host Bill O’Reilly’s assertions about young black men being to blame for the disintegration of their communities.

Who is Don Lemon? It’s a complicated question. Born March 1, 1966, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the “CNN Newsroom” anchor studied broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College in New York City, where he continues to serve as an adjunct professor. He also studied Louisiana State University, and after college, he worked as an anchor at WNYW in New York City, WCAU in Philadelphia, KTVI in St. Louis and WBRC in Birmingham, Ala. Don Lemon has spoken candidly about his private life, and in 2011, he came out as gay. A year earlier, he revelaed he’d been the victim of sexual abuse.

Who is Don Lemon? Controversies aside, he’s a decorated journalist, and his coverage of the capture of the D.C. snipers earned him a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. He also nabbed an Emmy for a report on Chicago real estate, and he’s got several other local Emmys to his credit. In 2009, Ebony named Don Lemon one of the most influential blacks in America. Still, for some viewers, it’s impossible to answer the question “Who is Don Lemon?” without focusing on his controversial views. In response to Bill O’Reilly’s assessment of the African American community, Lemon listed five things black people should do to improve their communities. Don Lemon says blacks should “pull up your pants” and stop busting sags, stop using the “N word,” “stop dropping trash” in their neighborhoods, get an education in order to break the poverty cycle and stop having babies out of wedlock.

MUST SEE: Russell Simmons Pens Open Letter To CNN’S Don Lemon

Who is Don Lemon? A conservative, some say, responding to those remarks. “When this country closes 50 schools in black communities and continues to build more prisons, I know that young people see through the institutionalized bullshit that is laid out in front of them every single day of their lives,” said Russell Simmons, taking Don Lemon to task for not mentioning the institutional troubles he believes are to blame for problems in the community. “The lucky ones, like you and me, owe a real explanation of the problems in our community to the ones who are still living in struggle, not some old, conservative talking points left in the garbage from Mitt Romney’s campaign. I understand personal responsibility far too well, but you can’t ask them to pull up their pants and then stand idle as they fear getting shot in the heart by wannabe cops while walking home to watch basketball games.”

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