Ellison Barber is a FOX News correspondent based in Washington D.C., but for Super Tuesday on March 3, she is covering the North Carolina primary. Barber has been with the FOX News family for almost three years, covering national politics but also global affairs, like the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela in 2019.
As results start to roll in on Super Tuesday, here’s what you need to know about Barber.
1. Ellison Has Famous Parents
Ellison Litton Barber was born on October 20, 1988 to Reverend Don and Cheryl Barber. She is the middle of three daughters; her older sister is Stewart Barber Young and her younger sister is Lindel Barber Waclawski. They were all raised in Atlanta where Don and Cheryl are hosts of an Emmy-nominated talk show.
GoodNews is a family-oriented, faith-based entertainment talk show that has interviewed dozens of celebrities, including Raven Symone, Kathie Lee Gifford, Ron Howard, Kathy Ireland, Hilary Swank, Denzel Washington, Robert De Niro, Miley Cyrus, Kirsten Dunst, Sandra Bullock, Will Smith, Susan Sarandon, and Dave Matthews.
Don and Cheryl also do speaking engagements for everything from professional corporate events to sports organizations to marriage retreats, “bringing their encouragement, humor, and inspiration to conferences, retreats, and meetings for churches, associations, corporations, and community organizations,” according to their talent agency website. Cheryl also does speaking engagements on her own for women’s ministry events and professional women’s groups, while Don does the same thing for men’s groups.
2. Wofford College Is a Barber Family Tradition
Ellison’s great-great-uncle Horace Smith (’54), grandfather Gary Barber (’54), and father Don (’86) all attended Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In a 2010 interview, Don told campus magazine Wofford Today that when his daughters were babies, he would dress them up in tiny Wofford sweatshirts in the hopes of having them follow in his footsteps when it was time to choose a college. Cheryl says that they didn’t push the girls to go there. They just hoped that they would.
“We didn’t push it,” said Cheryl, a then-counselor for Wofford and ’86 graduate of nearby women’s school, Converse College. “They’re all so different, but they each found something they liked in Wofford.”
The three Barber girls all attended Wofford, even managing to live in their father’s old dorm room, Greene Hall room 101. Stewart was an English and government major who graduated in 2009 and went on to work as a legislative correspondent for Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss.
Ellison majored in English and creative writing, graduating in 2012. She went on to become the Prince George’s County Deputy Bureau Chief for Washington D.C.’s CBS affiliate, WUSA, before starting at FOX News in 2017. Youngest Barber daughter Lindel graduated in 2014 and went on to work as a policy analyst and communications specialist for Intel Corporation.
“Wofford changed our lives, expanded our knowledge, challenged our perceptions, encouraged our service, and connected us to a great history and network of Wofford alumni who impact the world for God and good,” said Don.
3. Ellison’s 2016 Blizzard Feature Turned Into an Interview with Alexander Ovechkin
While working for WUSA, Ellison became the subject of a viral video when she was reporting on the 2016 blizzard that hit the East Coast and ran into none other than Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovenchkin.
Barber was reporting from outside a local gas station on January 22, 2016, when Ovechkin pulled up in his SUV and started filling up. She immediately recognized one of the best hockey players in the world and asked him if he would do a short interview with her, asking him why he was out in this blizzard. He told her they were getting gas for the snowblower so that they could try to help their neighbors clear their driveways and cars.
“We’re going to clear our neighbors, there’s nothing to do anyway … we’re from Russia, so we always have that kind of stuff. So we’re all good,” said Ovechkin.
4. She Was Caught In a Shootout In Colombia in 2019
Barber began working for FOX News in 2017, based in the Washington D.C. bureau. In 2019, she traveled to Venezuela to cover its humanitarian crisis as hundreds were fleeing for Colombia. While she was reporting on the unrest at the Venezuelan-Colombian border, gunfire broke out near the Simon Bolivar International Bridge that lasted for 30 minutes.
At the time, the Associated Press reported that thousands of Venezuelans were traveling to Colombia each day in search of basic necessities. The shootout happened when “contraband groups apparently fighting for these routes had a confrontation,” according to Colombia Migration Director Christian Kruger. Fortunately, only one person was injured when a woman who was not a part of the contraband groups was hit by a stray bullet. She was treated at a nearby hospital.
When Barber posted a video of the shootout to Instagram, she wrote, “A gang-like militia fires hundreds of shots in an area filled with Venezuelan migrants.”
5. Ellison Is Dating Musician Andy Tongren
One peek at Barber’s Instagram will tell you who her main squeeze currently is — Andy Tongren, the lead singer and guitar player for indie/alt rock band Young Rising Sons. The band formed in 2010 in New York after founding members Julian Dimagiba and Steve Patrick, who are childhood friends, saw Tongren playing a set in a bar and asked him to front their newly-formed band. Their debut single “High” gained a lot of attention when it was released in July 2014 and went on to be used by the NHL Awards, MLB Network, NBC, Red Band Society, and Selfie.
Tongren first appeared on Barber’s Instagram in October 2016, so the pair has been together for at least three and a half years. In October 2018, Barber posted a blurry photo of them together captioned, “When you’re so happy it doesn’t even matter that all the pictures turned out blurry and awful. I love you @andytongren.”
Then a year later, the two of them dressed up as the main characters from John Waters’ 1990 musical comedy Cry-Baby. Tongren was Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker (Johnny Depp in the film) and Barber was Traci Lords’ character Wanda Woodward. It looks like the two of them have a lot of fun together.