Gretchen Carlson

Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan Crowned at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas

Carlson in 2011, photo by

Birth Name: Gretchen Elizabeth Carlson

Place of Birth: Coon Rapids, Anoka, Minnesota, United States

Date of Birth: June 21, 1966

Ethnicity: Swedish

Gretchen Carlson is an American broadcast journalist, author, television personality, violinist, and female empowerment advocate. She was the host of the show The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson from 2013 to 2016, and was a host on The Early Show on CBS and Fox & Friends. She was crowned Miss America in 1989, representing her home state, Minnesota. She was later chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors, and leads non-profit organization Lift Our Voices, which educates against sexual harassment.

Gretchen is the daughter of Karen Barbara (Hyllengren) and Lee Roy Carlson, a businessperson, who owned and operated Main Motor Sales, his father’s car dealership. She is married to sports agent and baseball player Casey Close, with whom she has two children.

Gretchen has stated:

Kaia, our daughter, is 7 and Christian, our son, just turned 5. The have very Swedish names because I’m 100% Swedish.

Gretchen has roots in Småland, Sweden on both sides of her family.

Gretchen’s paternal grandfather was Leroy/Le Roy Frank Carlson (the son of Frank August Carlson and Anna Mae Swanson). Leroy was born in Illinois. Gretchen’s great-grandfather Frank was Swedish. Anna was the daughter of Andrew Swanson and Sarah Johnson.

Gretchen’s paternal grandmother was Viola Marie/Maria Wanstrom (the daughter of Charles/Charley August Wanstrom and Alice Lydia Berglund/Borglund). Viola was born in Minnesota. Charles was Swedish, the son of Gustof Lorentsson Wanstrom and Martha Christine Johansson. Alice was the daughter of Andress Johann Borglund and Johanna Maria Fredriksdotter Olander, who were born in Alvsborglan, Sweden.

Gretchen’s maternal grandfather was William Justus Hyllengren (the son of Adolph Justus Hyllengren and Hilma Marie Swanson/Swenson). William was born in Minnesota. Adolph was the son of Swedish parents, Johannes/John Månsson/Monson Hyllengren, from Alvesta C, Kronobergs län, and Kerstin Olofsdotter, from Brohult, Alvesta, Kronoberg County.

Gretchen’s maternal grandmother was Edna Natalia Berenice Newstrom (the daughter of Edward Nystrom and Nora Regina Akins). Nora was the daughter of Jonas Johansson/Jonas P. Akins, who moved from Sweden to Minnesota and fought for the Union during the American Civil War, later becoming a prominent local businessperson.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2021) stated that Gretchen’s genetic ancestry consists of:

*69% Sweden
*30% Norway
*1% Finland

Sources: Genealogy of Gretchen Carlson –

Genealogy of Gretchen Carlson (focusing on her father’s side) –

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