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Jeff Zeleny's Geni Profile

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Jeffrey Dean Zeleny

Also Known As: "Jeff Zeleny"
Current Location:: Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, United States
Birthplace: Exeter, Fillmore County, Nebraska, 68351, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Dean Zeleny and Private
Brother of Private and Private

Occupation: Pulitzer Prize-winning print and broadcast journalist
Managed by: Ashley Odell
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Jeff Zeleny

Jeff Zeleny is the Senior Political Correspondent for CNN.

He joined CNN from ABC News, where he was their senior Washington correspondent since 2013. He reported extensively on the 2014 midterm elections and the Republican Party as it gained control of the U.S. Senate. He also reported from Ferguson, Missouri, covering the protests in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting.

Prior to ABC News, Zeleny was the national political correspondent for The New York Times. He was the paper's lead reporter during the 2012 presidential election and covered Barack Obama's 2008 campaign to the White House. Zeleny also covered the first two years of the Obama administration as a White House correspondent, traveling across the country and the world. He also covered Congress for the Times.

Before The New York Times, Zeleny was the national political correspondent for the Chicago Tribune where he covered the 2004 presidential campaign and the early years of the George W. Bush administration. He joined the Tribune in 2000 as a reporter on the Metropolitan desk in Chicago, where he was a member of the reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism for documenting gridlock in the nation's air traffic system.

Zeleny began his journalism career at the Des Moines Register and is a native of Exeter, Nebraska.


Jeffrey Dean Zeleny was born on June 10, 1973, in Exeter, Nebraska. His mother is Diane Naomi Zeleny (née, Yeck) and his father is Robert Dean Zeleny. He has two older brothers, James Robert Zeleny and Michael Jon Zeleny. He graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1996, where he studied journalism and political science. While at university, he was the editor of the Daily Nebraskan, the school's newspaper.

Zeleny, who is gay, is unmarried. He is a parishioner of St. Matthew's Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. He has overcome stuttering and stammering to enjoy a successful career in broadcast journalism. He loves all things Nebraska, especially Cornhuskers football.

His ancestors were part of the wave of Bohemian immigrants who arrived in rural Nebraska to work on the railroads. He himself was raised on a farm.


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Jeff Zeleny's Timeline

June 10, 1973
Exeter, Fillmore County, Nebraska, United States