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Barbara Olson
Born Barbara Kay Bracher
December 27, 1955 (1955-12-27)
Houston, Texas
Died September 11, 2001 (aged 45)
Arlington, Virginia
Cause of death Plane crash into the Pentagon, 9/11
Home town Houston
Known for FOX News and CNN commentator
Spouse(s) Theodore Olson

Barbara Olson (December 27, 1955–September 11, 2001) was a conservative American television commentator and lawyer who worked for Fox News Channel, CNN and several other outlets. She was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 en route to a taping of the television show Politically Incorrect when it was flown into the Pentagon in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Contents

Early life

Olson was born Barbara Kay Bracher in Houston, Texas. (Her older sister, Toni Bracher-Lawrence, has been a member of the Houston City Council since 2004.) She graduated from Waltrip High School[1] and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saint Thomas in Houston.

Olson became a professional dancer, performing with the San Francisco Ballet and the Harkness Ballet in New York City. She switched careers and went to Hollywood to work as an assistant producer for television and movies.

Career

As a newcomer, she achieved a surprising measure of success, working for HBO and Stacey Keach Productions. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yeshiva University's Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In the early 1990s, she worked as an associate at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering where she did civil litigation for several years before becoming an assistant U.S. attorney. In 1994, she left to work for the United States House of Representatives, becoming chief investigative counsel for the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. In that position, she led the Travelgate and Filegate investigations into the Clinton administration. She co-founded the Independent Women's Forum with Rosalie Silberman.[2] She was later a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the Birmingham, Alabama law firm Balch & Bingham.

Her support of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas led to the formation of the Independent Women's Forum, which had its origins in 1991-92, when Mrs. Olson and friend "Ricky" Rosalie Gaull Silberman started an informal network of women who supported the Thomas nomination despite allegations of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, a former colleague at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Mrs. Olson also had worked with Thomas at the commission and was a close friend. During his contentious confirmation, she spoke out on his behalf and helped edit "The Real Anita Hill," a book by David Brock that savaged Hill and portrayed her charges as a political dirty trick (Brock later recanted his claims and apologized to Hill). The idea for the Independent Women's Forum was to create a high profile group of women who advocated economic liberty, personal responsibility, and political freedom.

She married Theodore Olson in 1996. He went on to successfully represent presidential candidate George W. Bush in the Supreme Court case of Bush v. Gore, which effectively determined the final result of the contested 2000 Presidential election. He subsequently served as U.S. Solicitor General in the Bush administration.

She was a frequent critic of the Bill Clinton administration and wrote a book about then First Lady Hillary Clinton, Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton (1999). Olson was working on her second book, The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House (published October 2001) at the time of her death. She was a resident of Great Falls, Virginia.

Death

Olson was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 on her way to a taping of Politically Incorrect in Los Angeles, when it was flown into the Pentagon in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Politically Incorrect host Bill Maher left a panel seat vacant for a week following her death. During the duration of the flight, she called husband Theodore Olson who informed her of the crashes in New York.

Memorial lectures

The Federalist Society has established the Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lectures, "an annual lecture on limited government and the spirit of freedom",[3] held every November. The first lecture was a eulogy for her by her husband.[4] Subsequent speakers have included Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Vice President Dick Cheney,[5] and Chief Justice John G. Roberts.

Books

  • Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton (November 1999; ISBN 0895262746)
  • The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House (October 2001; ISBN 0895261677)

Notes

  1. ^ "Waltrip Trivia Page," Waltrip High School
  2. ^ "Remembering IWF Founder Barbara Olson", Rosalie Silberman, Independent Women's Forum, December 1, 2001
  3. ^ Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture, Federalist Society website
  4. ^ First Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture, Theodore Olson, November 16, 2001
  5. ^ Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture — Past Lecturers, Federalist Society website

Debunking 9/11 Debunkers - David Ray Griffin

External links

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