Eddie O'Neill is “a sucker for a good story,” but this 40-year-old St. Louis native has a unique story of his own.
As the new reporter at The Rolla Daily News, O'Neill hopes to combine his love of people and the written word to continue storytelling as a life-long profession. O’Neill’s first day on the job was Monday, June 17.
Upon graduation from college with a media arts degree, O'Neill soon traveled to Mexico where he spent several years as a seminarian.
That was where he met the awe-inspiring Mother Teresa.
“I was interested in being a priest and joining the Order of the Charity of Fathers,” O’Neill said. “It became clear it wasn’t for me, but it was a very humbling experience.
"Combining my knowledge of faith and my writing skills, I have been a writer for Catholic publications for the last 10 years now.”
Now married to the love of his life, Renee, since 2004, and raising seven children, he feels Rolla is exactly where he needs to be.
O’Neill’s background is primarily in radio and in freelance writing and photography. Before moving to Rolla, he and his family were living in Colorado.
Here are a little more interesting facts about Eddie O'Neill.
What do you like most about Rolla? The small town feel. I've been (at the RDN) a week and I've been amazed by how many stories have come my way. I also like the jack-of-all-trades aspect of this. I like to get out and take pictures.
How did you know you wanted to be a journalist? I'm a sucker for a good story. I've always been intrigued by people's stories; everyone has a good story to tell, whether you're a farmer in Doolittle or the mayor of Rolla. I enjoy telling a good story whether it's through radio, TV or in print.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A baseball player. I wanted to play for the Cardinals.
What do you do to relax? “I have seven kids, so there is no relaxation. There's never a dull moment.”
Favorite book? “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Still telling stories, whether it's through print, radio or television, but so far it's been a great first week.
If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why? It would be the pope. We're Catholic, and I can't imagine what it would be like to be the pope, so I would pick his brain. Now there's a good story.
Page 2 of 2 - Who is your best friend and why? My wife. Because I am madly in love with her. Her name is Renee. She is a wonderful mom, and I couldn't do it without her.
What is your greatest source of inspiration? My Catholic faith. We will soon become members of St. Patrick's here in Rolla.
What time do you wake up in the morning, and what is the first thing you think about? I was up 6:10 a.m., and I think about the day ahead.
Name: Eddie O'Neill
Hometown: St. Louis
Education: Southern Illinois University, BA, Media Arts
Occupation: Reporter at the Rolla Daily News
Family: Wife, Renee, seven kids
Hobbies: photography, bluegrass and he plays the banjo