John Conolly is a marketing professional and the husband of Fox News anchor Sandra Smith. She first joined the network in 2007 as a reporter for Fox Business.
Conolly and Smith met through work in Chicago. They have been married for more than a decade and have two children together.
Conolly’s last name is misspelled as “Connelly” in other online articles. But based on press releases related to his career movements, his social media accounts and a 2013 article he and Smith did with the Chicago Tribune, “Conolly” is the proper spelling.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Conolly Said He Knew Immediately Smith Was His Future Wife When They Met at Work in Chicago
Conolly and Smith met on her first day of work at Terra Nova Institutional in Chicago. She was hired as a sales trader. In a 2013 feature in the Chicago Tribune, Smith recalled that Conolly had been wearing a bowtie and wasn’t initially paying her any attention as the head of the firm introduced her to her new colleagues. He had to be prodded away from his work before he smiled at Smith and introduced himself.
Conolly would later describe the moment as love at first sight, at least for him. He told the Tribune, “I knew right then that she was the girl I was going to marry.”
At the time, Conolly did television commentary for the firm and encouraged Smith to give it a try. Smith said Conolly coached her as she filmed a practice TV spot. It turned out to be a great business decision for Smith. Conolly was leaving the firm to start his own business. Smith replaced him as the firm’s chief TV commentator.
At this point, Conolly and Smith’s relationship was still professional. But that soon changed. Smith told the Tribune that after getting the keys to her new apartment, she invited Conolly over to see it. Conolly brought over champagne and plastic glasses to celebrate. Their first date to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra soon followed.
Smith remarked to the Tribune that she never considered their 12-year age difference to be an issue. She was 23 and Conolly was 35 when they met. “He hadn’t been dating a lot. I reaped the benefits of that,” Smith said. “He gained all these other experiences — traveling, working. I don’t think I would have gotten all of John Conolly if I hadn’t met him at that time in his life.”
2. Conolly & Smith Made a Long-Distance Relationship Work Before Tying the Knot in 2010
Smith started providing financial analysis on television news networks soon after she started working at Terra Nova, as she discussed in an interview with Media Bistro. The TV spots soon attracted attention. She later told West Suburban Living, “I guess it was rather impressive to see a young woman on a trading floor on business television talking about customer order flow and S&P 500 charts.”
Bloomberg Television was among the entities that were impressed. The network offered her a job as a business reporter in New York City. Smith said career-wise, the transition was easy because she had an abundance of contacts from her years as a sales trader.
But the career opportunity also meant her relationship with Conolly would become long-distance, as he was still based in Chicago. They made it work with frequent flights and Smith told the Chicago Tribune that Conolly was supportive every step of the way.
Then in 2007, Smith was offered a job with Fox Business. That meant Smith’s move to New York would be permanent. But she and Conolly said they were both committed to surviving the struggles. While still engaged in a long-distance relationship, they got married on May 1, 2010. The ceremony was held at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.
The first few months of marriage remained long-distance. Conolly moved to New York in January 2011, although the couple told the Tribune they continued to spend about a week per month back in Chicago.
3. Conolly Has Focused on Commodity Management & Marketing During His Career
Conolly has spent his career in the financial sector. He now lists himself as self-employed on his LinkedIn account, but before embarking on his own, Conolly was a managing partner and chief marketing officer for Azul Partners, Inc. His job involved overseeing “all marketing and communication activities including product development, distribution, corporate communications, e-commerce, marketing communications and research,” according to his LinkedIn account. Conolly worked at Azul from March 2015 until December 2017.
According to a 2015 profile in Spend Matters, which is owned by Azul Partners, Conolly worked as a commodity trader early in his career. He credited his staying power in the industry to his ability to communicate decisions. “There’s a lot of ex-traders who are now tending bar at Teddy’s during the winter on Lake Geneva. I’ve worked for over 25 years with people who need to actively manage commodity price risk and supply chains: where the decision not to hedge might be as important as the decision to take some of the risk off the table,” Conolly explained. “I’ll blend my unique perspective, bringing commodity expertise – working with top commercial customers on commodity price management – with the ability to communicate this to a broad audience.”
Before Azul, Conolly was the director of product marketing for the CME Group for about seven years. He joined CME after selling his start-up business, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Conolly keeps a lower profile despite his wife’s job in the spotlight. Though he has a Twitter account, Conolly has not posted a tweet since July 2020 and his LinkedIn account has not been updated since late 2017.
4. Conolly Studied Painting in College
Conolly pursued a career in finance but he chose to study art as a college student. According to his LinkedIn account, Conolly studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1988 until 1991 and earned a bachelor’s of fine arts in painting.
Conolly shared his love of art with Smith on their second date. Smith told the Chicago Tribune that Conolly took her to the Museum of Contemporary Art on their second date. His mom and stepdad and some of Smith’s cousins came along.
Smith added, “He was also a very competitive sailor at the time and took me sailing on several of our initial dates. He was challenging me; I wasn’t going sailing and to art shows when I met him.”
Conolly also enjoys cooking, Smith says. She tweeted a photo in January 2016 of she and Conolly on the set of Fox & Friends. He came on the program to talk about how to make chili.
5. Smith & Conolly Have Two Childen & a Dog
Smith and Conolly welcomed their first child together in 2013. They named their daughter Cora.
About a year and a half later, in January 2015, they welcomed a son named John Jr. Smith’s Fox News colleagues shared the news on the air. They said the baby was nearly 10 pounds at birth.
Smith doesn’t post many photos of her children and when she does, their faces are at least partially obscured.