Early life and educationKelly was born November 18, 1970, when she was nine years of age when her parents moved to Delmar, New York from Syracuse, New York. At Bethlehem Central High School, Kelly played on the basketball and field hockey teams, as well as captaining the cheerleading squad. Her father, who was on the staff of the University at Albany, died when she was 15.  She earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Syracuse University and her J.D. from Albany Law School, where she served as an editor of the Albany Law Review. In college, she was in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
 first as an associate in the Chicago office of Bickel & Brewer LLP, during which time she co-wrote an article for the American Bar Association's Litigation journal entitled "The Conflicting Roles of Lawyer as Director." She also practiced as a litigator with Jones Day in New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C., before leaving to pursue a career in journalism.
Broadcast careerWhile still practicing law in Chicago, Kelly took journalism classes and served an internship at the Chicago NBC News affiliate WMAQ-TV. After moving to Washington, D.C., she was hired by the ABC News affiliate WJLA-TV as a general assignment reporter. During her tenure at WJLA, Kelly covered significant national and local events, including major national events such as the 2004 presidential race and the D.C. sniper cases. She joined the Fox News Channel in 2004.
Prior to her anchor role, Kelly served as a general assignment reporter for Fox News based in Washington, where she provided live coverage of the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Chief Justice John Roberts. She also reported on the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the death of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
Kelly contributed legal segments for Special Report with Brit Hume and hosted her own legal segment, "Kelly's Court," during Weekend Live. She frequently appears on The O'Reilly Factor and occasionally fills in for Greta Van Susteren on On the Record. Most of Kelly’s reporting focused on legal or political matters. She also is a regular anchor, after beginning as a substitute anchor during weekends.
On February 1, 2010, Kelly’s show, America Live, replaced Fox News’ The Live Desk which was co-hosted by Martha MacCallum and Trace Gallagher. In turn, MacCallum took Kelly’s position on America’s Newsroom. She has been a regular guest-panelist on Fox News' late-night satire program Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, and she was a guest on the Howard Stern radio program on April 20, 2010.
Kelly's first marriage to Daniel Kendall, an anesthesiologist, ended in divorce in 2006. In 2008, she married Douglas Brunt, the president and CEO of Authentium, at Oheka Castle, in Huntington, New York. In September 2009, she gave birth to a boy, Edward Yates Brunt, named for his two grandfathers. On November 7th 2010 she announced on air she was pregnant with her second child, this time a girl. Yardley Evans Brunt was born on April 14th 2011.