Alfred Joseph “A.J.” Benza (born June 2, 1962) is a gossip columnist and television host. He was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York City, though he moved with his family to West Islip, New York on Long Island shortly after his birth. He has two sisters, Rosalie and Lorraine.
He is married to his second wife, Virginia Folk, and the couple have one child, a girl named Roxy.
After graduating from West Islip High School in 1980, Benza majored in journalism at C.W. Post College on Long Island.
During college he began writing for Newsday and was soon hired full-time as a gossip columnist for that paper and eventually for the New York Daily News. It was as a gossip columnist that he began appearing on E! Entertainment Television's The Gossip Show in the early 1990s. This led to appearances on Geraldo, Hard Copy, Montel, The Maury Povich Show, and various other television talk shows. He was later fired from the New York Daily News by editor Pete Hamill.
Soon after leaving the paper Benza was offered a job hosting a new show at E! entitled Mysteries and Scandals, which necessitated a move to Los Angeles, California. It was on this show that Benza popularized the catchphrase "Fame,