She never crawled. One day around nine months of age, her dad held up a cannoli she wanted to taste across the room. So, she did what she had to do and walked her tiny butt across the kitchen to get what she wanted. A crazy Italian on a mission from the start, you might say.
Jedediah Bila grew up in Staten Island, New York, where she attended an all-girls Catholic high school that taught her a lot about herself she didn't plan on learning. She left that school highly disciplined. She knew how to study. She knew how to ace a test on really short notice. She knew how to write a fantastic term paper. She even knew how to navigate a group of mean girls without getting unnerved. But she also knew that she craved creativity and that she had missed out on the chance to explore for the sake of exploring, without worrying about grades or transcripts or any of that practical stuff. Her brain had been found in that school, but her identity had somehow been lost. College, she vowed, would be different.
Bila graduated Valedictorian of Wagner College with a B.A. in Spanish. She didn't know why she had chosen that subject matter, except for the fact that the language sounded really beautiful and she thought it would be cool to do everything in Spanish that she could do in English. She loved her impractical reasoning and all the amazing courses she became immersed in because of it. She decided that maybe she wanted to be a college professor, as academia always seemed to feel warm and welcoming. So, she harnessed some of that discipline from her high school days and managed to secure a Ph.D. fellowship from Columbia University. She had found love and friendship at that small Staten Island college. Most importantly, though, she had found herself.
Bila earned a Master of Arts from Columbia in Spanish, but found herself feeling like there was something else out there waiting to be discovered. She left the program and took a number of jobs--Adjunct professor at her former college, Marketing Associate at an insurance company, restaurant manager. She thought she might want to be an actress, as that had been her childhood love, watching her Director mom teach improvisation classes out of their Staten Island home growing up. She completed a Saturday program at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. She took a few waitressing jobs and even headed out to Los Angeles for a few weeks, but New York City was tugging her back. The timing just didn't feel right for that journey.
Bila took a job teaching at a private school on Manhattan's Upper East Side. She became a middle school and high school teacher, student advisor, and academic Dean. Working with children reminded her to smile when life got hard and to laugh way more than she ever thought possible. But something was still missing. And then she remembered her writing.
She had always curled up on the couch on lazy afternoons to write journal entries. She had published poetry in college in her school's literary magazine. Writing had been her refuge. Perhaps that was the key to something. She sat at her computer for the better part of six months writing what will likely one day be part of a memoir. It got the writing wheels rolling. She had no intention of publishing that book at the time, but it reminded her where her passion rested. Storytelling. Making people think through written words. That's what had been missing.
After a conversation with a family friend about voter fraud one day, she wrote a column and stuck it on a blog. Soon after, she reviewed a talk radio host's book and stuck that on there too. Her father called her from the car one night to tell her that the famous radio host whose book she had reviewed was somehow reading her writing on air. Mark Levin introduced her name to millions of people that night.
A short time later, she got a call from Sean Hannity's team at Fox News. She accepted their invite to appear on the Great American Panel to talk about news of the day. She pretty much had an opinion on everything, so she took the plunge and figured it would be an experience to write about one day. Her parents were terrified. But something happened that night on air. Somewhere under the bright lights, amid the TV crew and beautiful set, she felt like she had found an unexpected home. That appearance turned into many more at Fox News, some at CNBC and MSNBC, and suddenly a TV commentator was born.
Bila signed with Fox News and found herself co-hosting “Outnumbered” and “The Five,” guest-hosting “Red Eye” and “Kennedy,” and doing a wide array of contributor spots on politics, culture, entertainment, and more. She wrote columns on politics, relationships, fitness, and culture at FoxNews.com, PoilcyMic, The Daily Caller, Townhall, Verily, The Blaze, and other locations. She published a series of journal entries-turned book in 2011 titled “Outnumbered: Chronicles of a Manhattan Conservative.” She became a featured speaker for the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute and Young America's Foundation at colleges and institutions around the country.
In September of 2016, Bila spread her wings and began a new role as co-host of ABC's “The View.” As the resident libertarian, she defends free markets, low taxes, and your right to marry whomever you want and to refuse health insurance if you so desire. She speaks from the heart on everything from politics to dating to celebrity news. She considers herself a pretty simple girl from Staten Island with an opinion.
In her spare time, Bila loves working out, eating healthy food, and smooching her 8-pound Maltese. She looks pretty together, but spills coconut ice cream on new clothes fairly often and accidentally slips on banana peels far too regularly. She fantasizes about a simpler time by watching “Back to the Future” more than she should and daydreams about winter cabins with fireplaces and all that good, homey stuff that Christmas movies are made of.
Bila doesn't believe in love at first sight or beating around the bush. She loves honesty, fidelity, and superheroes with hidden vulnerability that fall in love like crazy and question their potential just like the rest of us.
Also? Vanilla cake with vanilla icing. Her answer to just about everything.