CHICAGO — Long before she was tangling with The Donald, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was learning how to stick up for herself as a Chicago attorney battling other powerful men.
Donald Trump is interviewed by Kelly for a Fox News special airing Tuesday at 7 p.m., locally on Fox32. Previously, he has called her a "bimbo" and a "lightweight reporter."
But in a New York Times magazine profile, a former partner at the Bickel & Brewer law firm said that when she was hired for their Chicago office in the late 1990s, she was anything but lightweight.
At the time the firm was considering hiring her, there were no female associates.
Robert Cummins, then a partner at the firm, said he "asked some of the other associates to take her out to see if she could handle the firm’s macho culture." She could, rising at the firm as a corporate lawyer.
Her law background would serve her well as a journalist. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a former federal prosecutor, once told Politico: “She’s a very good questioner, and you can tell she’s an attorney.”
It wasn't all work when she was in Chicago, though. Kelly, who grew up in upstate New York, met her former husband, Dan Kendall, at a street festival here. He was a medical student.
In 2001, just after 9/11, "We had a beautiful church wedding in Chicago and the reception at the Waldorf," Kendall said in an interview with the Daily Mail, adding that they had a Rolls Royce pick them up. He got a job at Johns Hopkins and the two moved to Baltimore.
Kelly "was burning out as a lawyer in Chicago and she decided to take a class which included reporting and she did very well with it," earning a job at a local TV station, Kendall said.
"I started off as a lawyer for almost a decade before I decided I was completely burned out," Kelly told Business Insider. "When choosing a new profession, I just said to myself: 'What can I do that would utilize some of these skills, but that I would enjoy a little more and will also be fun and still intellectually stimulating?' And this was an obvious choice."
After 4½ years, she and Kendall divorced.
"I wanted a wife and she wanted a wife — we both needed someone to cook and clean and support us. Sometimes with two professionals, it doesn't work out," he said.
Both have remarried — she wed author Douglas Brunt and they have three children. But she and Kendall remain friends, he said, with Kendall even appearing on her show as a medical expert.
Megyn Kelly of FOX News once worked as a lawyer in Chicago. [Getty Images]
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