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Arianna Huffington

Campaigning for Governor of California, 2003
Born Arianna Stassinopoulos
July 15, 1950 (1950-07-15) (age 59)
Athens, Greece
Occupation Columnist
Nationality Greek American
Citizenship United States
Genres Non-fiction, Fiction
Subjects Politics, spirituality, environment, liberalism
Spouse(s) Michael Huffington (divorced 1997)
Official website

Arianna Huffington (born July 15, 1950) is a Greek-American author and syndicated columnist. She is best known as co-founder of the progressive news website The Huffington Post. She is the ex-wife of former Republican congressman Mike Huffington.

In 2003, she ran as an independent candidate for Governor in the California recall election.[1]

In 2009, Huffington was named as number 12 in Forbes' first ever list of the Most Influential Women In Media.[2] She has also moved up to number 42 in the Guardian's Top 100 in Media List.[3]


Personal life

Huffington was born Arianna Stassinopoulos in Athens, Greece, the daughter of Konstantinos (a journalist and management consultant) and Elli (née Georgiadi) Stassinopoulos, and is the sister of Agapi (an author, speaker and performer). To this day, she speaks with a marked Greek accent. She moved to England at the age of 16 and attended Girton College at Cambridge University where in 1971 she was President of the Cambridge Union Society, the third woman to hold the position, and graduated with a BA (later to become an MA in accordance with Cambridge's practice) in economics in 1972.[citation needed]

After graduation, she moved to London and lived with the journalist and broadcaster Bernard Levin, whom she had met while the two were panelists on the TV show Face the Music. In 1980 she left Levin and moved to the United States, after he refused to marry her. Both were, at around this time, disciples of the meditation teacher Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh).[4] After Levin's death in 2004, she called him "the big love of my life, […] a mentor as a writer, and a role model as a thinker".[5] During these years and around the time of her involvement with John-Roger's religious group, she was involved with Democratic politician and then-governor (currently Attorney General) of California, Jerry Brown. It was during this time that Huffington was first known as a liberal Democrat.[citation needed]

She met oil millionaire Michael Huffington, a family friend of the Bushes, at a 1985 party hosted by Ann Getty in San Francisco. The couple was married in 1986 at a wedding paid for by Getty, who had declared that she needed to find Arianna a husband. They moved to Washington, D.C., when he was appointed to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy. They later established residency in Santa Barbara, California, in order for him to run in 1992 as a Republican for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, which he won by a significant margin. He was a political conservative on most issues. Arianna campaigned for her husband, courting religious conservatives, arguing for smaller government and a reduction in welfare. In 1994 he narrowly lost the race for the U.S. Senate seat from California to incumbent Dianne Feinstein.[6]

The couple divorced in 1997, and in 1998 Michael Huffington revealed that he was bisexual.[7] The financial terms of their divorce agreement remain undisclosed. Arianna Huffington chose to retain her former husband's surname, although she had been known as Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington during the period of her marriage.[citation needed]


In the late 1980s, Huffington wrote several articles for National Review. In 1981, she wrote a biography of Maria Callas, Maria Callas — The Woman Behind the Legend, and in 1989 a biography of Pablo Picasso, Picasso: Creator and Destroyer.

Huffington rose to national prominence during her husband's unsuccessful Senate bid in 1994. Although a lifelong liberal, she became known as a reliable supporter of some conservative causes such as Newt Gingrich's "Republican Revolution" and Bob Dole's 1996 candidacy for president. She teamed up with liberal comedian Al Franken as the conservative half of "Strange Bedfellows"[8] during Comedy Central's coverage of the 1996 U.S. presidential election. For her work, she and the writing team of Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher were nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program. She has also made a few forays into acting with roles on shows such as Roseanne, The L Word, Help Me Help You, and the film EdTV.[9]

Huffington's politics began to shift back toward the left in the late 1990s. During the Yugoslav Wars, Huffington opposed United States intervention in the crisis.[10] In 2000, she instigated the 'Shadow Conventions', which appeared at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia and the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.[11]

Huffington heads The Detroit Project, a public interest group lobbying automakers to start producing cars running on alternative fuels. The project's 2003 TV ads, which equated driving sport utility vehicles to funding terrorism, proved to be particularly controversial, with some stations refusing to run them.

In a 2004 appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart she announced her endorsement of John Kerry by saying, "When your house is burning down, you don't worry about the remodeling."[12] In recent years, she has been closely associated with the Democratic Party. Huffington was a panel speaker during the 2005 California Democratic Party State Convention, held in Los Angeles. She also spoke at the 2004 College Democrats of America Convention in Boston, which was held in conjunction with the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

California recall election participation

Huffington was an independent candidate to recall California governor Gray Davis in the 2003 recall election. She described her candidacy against front-runner Arnold Schwarzenegger as "the hybrid versus the Hummer," making reference to her ownership of a hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius, and Schwarzenegger's Hummer. The two would proceed to have a high-profile clash during the election's debate, during which both candidates were rebuked for making personal attacks.

Despite briefly retaining former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley as a campaign advisor and advertising executive Bill Hillsman as her media director, she dropped out of the race on September 30, 2003. "I'm pulling out, and I'm going to concentrate every ounce of time and energy over the next week working to defeat the recall because I realize now that's the only way to defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger,"[citation needed] she said. Others attributed her exit to her inability to garner support for her candidacy, noting that polls showed that only about two percent of likely California voters planned to vote for her at the time of her withdrawal.[13] Though she failed to stop the recall, Huffington's name remained on the ballot and she placed 5th, capturing 0.55% of the vote.

Media presence

In the 1970s, on the strength of her prominence in the Cambridge Union, Arianna Stassinopoulos was a frequent panelist on the weekly BBC Radio 4 political discussion programme, Any Questions?, and the BBC television panel games Call My Bluff and Face the Music.

Huffington's book The Fourth Instinct is based on the idea that all humans have an inherent spiritual yearning.[14]

Huffington is co-host of the nationally syndicated public radio program Left, Right & Center. In May 2007, she and Mark J. Green began co-hosting a new radio show on Air America Radio, 7 Days in America.

Huffington also has an Internet presence with her website The Huffington Post, which features blogs and commentary from her and from a number of prominent liberal journalists, public officials, and celebrities. The site also highlights news stories from various sources.

Prior to The Huffington Post, Huffington hosted a website called Her first foray into the Internet was a website called, which called for the resignation of President Bill Clinton and was a rallying place for conservatives opposing Clinton.[15]

In November 2008, Fox announced that Huffington would be joining the voice cast of the upcoming Seth MacFarlane animated series The Cleveland Show, where she lends her voice to the wife of Tim the Bear, also named Arianna.[16]

On November 17, 2008, Huffington substituted for Rachel Maddow on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. The online website TV Newser has put forward the idea that she is in the running for a more permanent role as commentator or anchor at MSNBC.[17]

Huffington was spoofed by actress Michaela Watkins on the November 22, 2008, episode of Saturday Night Live.[18]

Huffington was also spoofed on the first series of Tracey Ullman's State of the Union in 2008.

In February 2010, Huffington had a dispute with Fox News television host, Glenn Beck. While Beck said, "they're taking you to a place to be slaughtered," he was making a reference regarding the American economy; not the American people literally being slaughtered. Huffington had an interview with Roger Ailes, and she then made the comment, responding to Becks remark, "no he was talking about the administration." Mr. Ailes responded by stating, "Well, he was talking about Hitler and Stalin slaughtering people."[citation needed]


  • The Female Woman (1973) ISBN 0706700988
  • After Reason (1978) ISBN 0812824652
  • The Gods of Greece (1993) ISBN 087113554X
  • Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend (1993) ISBN 0815412282
  • The Fourth Instinct (1994) ISBN 0743261631
  • Picasso: Creator and Destroyer (1996) ISBN 0671454463
  • Greetings from the Lincoln Bedroom (1998) ISBN 0517396998
  • How to Overthrow the Government (2000) ISBN 0060988312
  • Pigs at the Trough (2003) ISBN 1400047714
  • Fanatics & Fools (2004) ISBN 1401352138
  • On Becoming Fearless...In Love, Work, and Life (2007) ISBN 0316166820
  • Right is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe (2008) ISBN 9780307269669


  1. ^ Schofield, Jack (August 25, 2008). "Huffington Post: From millionaire's blog to leading liberal newspaper". Guardian News. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Arianna Huffington on AlterNet: Bernard Levin Remembered. August 17, 2004
  6. ^
  7. ^ Michael Huffington in The Huffington Post: My Road to Damascus Led to the Sundance Film Festival. January 16, 2007
  8. ^ Huff TV: Strange Bedfellows
  9. ^ Arianna Huffington's IMDb page.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Shadow Conventions 2000
  12. ^ The Daily Show April 22 2004
  13. ^ "Huffington withdraws from recall race". CNN. Los Angeles: September 30, 2003. Retrieved 6 September 2009. 
  14. ^ Gallagher, Maggie. "The Fourth Instinct: The Call of the Soul" (review). National Review, July 11, 1994. Accessed online June 11, 2006. [1].
  15. ^ Editors (December 16, 1998) "Direct Access: Arianna Huffington." Washington Post. See also Huffington's September 14, 1998 column at, where she calls for Clinton to resign, and her December 24, 1998 column at, where she states why she started
  16. ^ Adalian, Josef (November 2008). "Fox Seems Keen on Cleveland". Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  17. ^
  18. ^

External links
Audio and video


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Arianna Huffington (born 1950) is a political commentator.


  • America is a country ready to be taken—in fact, longing to be taken—by political leaders ready to restore democracy and trust to the political process.
    • "The Quest for Leaders". How to Overthrow the Government (1st edition ed.). New York: HarperCollins. 2000. pp. p. 174 of 317. ISBN 0-06-039331-9.  
  • The economic game is not supposed to be rigged like some shady ring toss on a carnival midway.
    • "unspecified chapter". Pigs at the Trough (1st edition ed.). New York: Crown Publishers. 2003. pp. unspecified page. ISBN 1-4000-4771-4.  
  • Our current obsession with creativity is the result of our continued striving for immortality in an era when most people no longer believe in an afterlife.
    • "unspecified chapter". The Female Woman. London: Davis-Poynter. 1973. pp. unspecified page. ISBN 0706700988.  
  • Isn't it really, really offensive that our president is simply not telling us the truth about what's happening in Iraq? For me, that was one of the most offensive things about the entire convention. There was no truth-telling there. It was all a complete masquerade. Both about Iraq and about the domestic economy... The problem is not that the people think the Democratic Party is not sufficiently hawkish; it's the problem that they are not sufficiently bold and sufficiently visionary. They need to go back to Bobby Kennedy and 1968. That was the last time that a Democrat truly inspired red states and blue states and everybody and the millions of people out there.

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