- Began wearing his trademark bow ties in the ninth grade, he says (though he stopped wearing them in early 2006).
- Met his wife, Susie, while at prep school in Rhode Island. She was the headmaster's daughter.
- Began his journalism career in 1993 at Little Rock's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where he was an editorial writer.
- Left CNN in the wake of a heated 2004 exchange with Jon Stewart on Crossfire, shortly before the longtime political shoutfest was canceled; surfaced on MSNBC in early 2005.
- Was a contestant on the reality show Dancing With the Stars in 2006.
- In 2009, became a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C.
- Is an avid Grateful Dead fan.
- J. William Fulbright — Great-uncle
- Susie Andrews — Wife
- Dorothy Carlson — Daughter
- Lillie Carlson — Daughter
- Buckley Carlson — Brother
- Hopie Carlson — Daughter
- Patricia Caroline Swanson Carlson — Stepmother
- Richard W. Carlson — Father
- Buckley Carlson — Son
- Attended Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
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