Nancy Humphries O'Dell was born on February 25, 1966 in Sumter, South Carolina. She moved to Myrtle Beach with her family shortly after birth and attended Coastal Academy High School.
O'Dell was a standout academic achiever, and attended Clemson University. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a major in marketing in 1990, being a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. During her time at Clemson, O'Dell showed off her modeling chops by winning the Miss South Carolina pageant in 1987, but did not place in the Miss America pageant.
O'Dell began her career as a reporter and anchor at WPDE-TV in her hometown of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She then worked a morning news anchor at WCBD-TV in Charleston. Her report on the leniency of police regarding DUI arrests resulted in the state issuing more stringent guidelines for arrests. This report won her the Best Report of the Year Award from the Associated Press.
In 1993, O'Dell joined NBC's WTVJ in Miami and began co-anchoring the late afternoon news with Jackie Nespral. She left the station in 1995 to relocate to Las Vegas with her then husband.
In 1996, O'Dell landed an opportunity with "Access Hollywood" as a weekend correspondent. Her efforts as a correspondent did not go unnoticed, and she was promoted to lead anchor shortly after working as a correspondent. O'Dell would serve in this position for thirteen years until 2009.
She is in line to become co-host of the most watched entertainment news program in the world, "Entertainment Tonight," in 2011 upon the retirement of Mary Hart, the current co-anchor.
O'Dell's contributions have not gone unnoticed by the media community, and worldwide viewers. She was honored by her home state of South Carolina numerous times. Most recently, in 2008, she was presented with a 'Key to the City of Myrtle Beach' in honor of her accomplishments and the pride she has for her hometown. The governor of South Carolina also declared February 1, 2006 "Nancy O'Dell Day" in honor of her achievements.
O'Dell has received many awards including three Associated Press Awards, two Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Awards, an Emmy Award and has also been nominated for seven additional Emmy Awards.
She is also an avid businesswoman, launching a partnership with Creative Memories to market her line of scrapbooks called The Hummingbird Collection. None of O'Dell's success would be possible without the education she received, and her dedication to her craft.
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