Mar. 26th, 1959
Lansing, Michigan, USA
Chris Hansen's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[Complete List]
Christopher Edward "Chris" Hansen (born March 26, 1959) is an American television journalist. He is known for his work on Dateline NBC, in particular the former segment To Catch a Predator, which revolved around catching potential Internet sex predators using a sting operation.
Hansen was born in Lansing, Michigan and grew up in the northern Detroit suburbs of West Bloomfield and Birmingham. In an interview with the Lansing City Pulse, Hansen said that watching the FBI and police investigate the disappearance of 'Jimmy Hoffa' when he was fourteen inspired him to want to become a journalist. He graduated from Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications.
Hansen attended Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He became a reporter for Lansing NBC affiliate WILX in 1981 during his senior year at Michigan State University. He then reported for WFLA in Tampa, various radio stations and newspapers in Michigan, WXYZ in Detroit, and WDIV as an investigative reporter and anchor from 1988. In May 1993, Hansen joined NBC News as a correspondent for the news magazine Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric. He left the network in 2013.
Hansen's notable work for Dateline includes coverage of the Columbine massacre, the Oklahoma City terrorist attack, the Unabomber and the TWA Flight 800 disaster; as well as investigative reports on Indian child slave labor and on counterfeit prescription drug sales in China.
Hansen was responsible for most of Dateline's coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as stories on terrorist groups and the operations of Al-Qaeda. He exposed how a group linked to 'Osama Bin Laden' had tried to buy missiles and nuclear weapons components, and he also worked on an exclusive report detailing an attempted 1994 terrorist attack in France. His series on the lack of security at airports resulted in the Federal Aviation Administration opening an investigation and ultimately revising its policies.
In conjunction with the website Perverted-Justice, Hansen hosted a series of Dateline NBC reports under the title To Catch a Predator. Volunteers from Perverted-Justice impersonated underage people (usually 13-15) in chat rooms online and agreed to meet with adults for sex. The meeting places were "sting houses", where camera crews from NBC, and in later episodes local police, awaited the potential sexual predator.
Capitalizing on the success of Hansen and his Predator investigations, Dateline NBC created three Tuesday night spin-offs of its original concept; Hansen hosted To Catch a Con Man and To Catch an I.D. Thief. In March 2007, Hansen's book, To Catch a Predator: Protecting Your Kids from Online Enemies Already in Your Home, was released in the American market.
He is married to Mary Joan Hansen; the couple has two sons. The family resides in Connecticut.
From 2010 through 2012, Hansen had an affair with another journalist, Kristyn Caddell, which led to his departure from NBC.
Hansen has received seven Emmy Awards, four Edward R. Murrow Awards, three Clarion awards, the Overseas Press Club award, an IRE, the National Press Club award, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Award; as well as awards for excellence from the Associated Press and United Press International.
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