Who is 'pain in the neck' Kelly O'Donnell's husband? J David Ake is a veteran journalist

NBC's veteran reporter Kelly O'Donnell recently made headlines after Joe Biden called her a 'pain in the neck'; here's a look at her married life

                            Who is 'pain in the neck' Kelly O'Donnell's husband? J David Ake is a veteran journalist
Kelly O'Donnell and husband J David Ake keep their marriage under wraps (Twitter @KellyO, @jdavidake)

Veteran reporter Kelly O'Donnell has covered seven presidential campaigns and completed close to three decades with NBC. No stranger to the camera or the people on the other side of the screen, O'Donnell's expertise as a reporter has seen her cover every nook and cranny of American politics as a White House and Capitol Hill correspondent. But the one arena of her life that has been absolutely under wraps from all focus and limelight is her very private marital life with photojournalist J David Ake.

O'Donnell recently made headlines when President Joe Biden called her a "pain in the neck" after she asked him about the Department of Veterans' Affairs vaccine mandate on Monday, July 26. Biden had just met with Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi at the White House and as O'Donnell pressed him for answers, the president first took the jab at her with a smile and later ignored her question. 


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According to Hollywoodmask.com, O'Donnell would be just as evasive as Biden if anybody was to ask her about the details of her married life with Ake. Despite being in front of the camera for the most part of her day, it's all shut doors when it comes to O'Donnell's private life with Ake.

Who is Kelly O’Donnell's husband?

Ake has been the director of photography at The Associated Press since he was promoted in 2018. Before that, he served as the deputy chief for visual journalism at the Washington bureau of The AP. Ake, also a veteran in the world of media, has worked with reputed agencies such as Reuters, Agence France-Presse and United Press International. Having traveled to numerous countries across six continents, Ake has covered eight Olympic games, over 25 SuperBowls, three US presidential campaigns (2008, 2012, and 2016), the 9/11 twin tower attacks and also the devastating Hurricane Katrina. 

Ake was previously married to Karhryn Ake, with whom he shares a daughter called Danielle, a Northwestern graduate who works as a White House associate producer at CBS News. The other person closest to him has of course been his current wife O'Donnell, who has ensured to keep updates about her personal life away from social media. O'Donnell in fact didn't even share with her fans and followers just when and how Ake popped the question, and updates about them tying the knot.


The only time O'Donnell has ever mentioned Ake on social media was through a tweet posted a decade ago, where she shared a link to a photo by Alex Brandon and tagged Ake in the post, urging him to check out the link. The Tumblr link shared with her tweet on June 28, 2011, heads to an emotional photo of a mother kissing her son's coffin, but O'Donnell didn't add any particular context behind the photo, neither why she urged her husband to take a look, except to marvel at Brandon's work. 


O'Donnell and Ake appeared on social media once again, three years later, on May 4, 2014, when their mutual friend and fellow journalist Lauren Young tweeted a photo with the husband and wife duo in the frame along with Steve Holland on the extreme right. But surprising as O'Donnell's strict veil of privacy might be, it's not shocking because her social media handles are strictly focused on her career and work as a reporter. 


Just last year, O'Donnell celebrated completing 26 years with NBC News by posting a photo from her first day at the organization. Sharing a collage of 'NBC Day 1' and 'NBC Day 9,497', O'Donnell shared photos of herself from 1994 and 2020 respectively, marking her journey from a reporter to a Capitol Hill correspondent, who's traveled across 54 countries and covered a wide array of issues ranging from sports to politics and wars.


Having appeared regularly on NBC Nightly News, Today, Meet The Press and MSNBC, O'Donnell earned her first-ever regional Emmy for an impactful reporting of the Ohio prison riot. The Ohio native, who began her journalistic career as a reporter and an associate producer for WJW-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, was also inducted to the Ohio Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2007.