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George Stephanopoulos
Georgestephanopoulosbarackobama.jpg
Stephanopoulos interviewing Barack Obama in September 2008.
Born George Robert Stephanopoulos
February 10, 1961 (1961-02-10) (age 49)
Fall River, Massachusetts, United States
Education -Bachelor of Arts in political science, Columbia University
-Master of Theology, Balliol College, University of Oxford,
Occupation -Television journalist
-Former political advisor
Title -Co-Anchor, Good Morning America (since 2009)
-ABC News Chief Political Correspondent (since 2005)
Family Parents:[1]
-Nickolitsa Gloria (née Chafos) Stephanopoulos
-Robert George Stephanopoulos
Spouse(s) Alexandra Wentworth
Children -Elliott Anastasia Stephanopoulos[1]
-Harper Andrea Stephanopoulos[1]
George Stephanopoulos module at Good Morning America, Official website

George Stephanopoulos (born February 10, 1961) is an American television journalist and a former political adviser.

He is the chief political correspondent for ABC News — the news division of the broadcast television network ABC — and a co-anchor of ABC News's morning news program, Good Morning America (GMA). He was previously the host of This Week, ABC News's Sunday morning news program. He is the primary substitute anchor for ABC News's flagship news program, World News with Diane Sawyer.[2]

In recent years he has co-hosted ABC News's special live coverage of political events with Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer, and has appeared regularly on GMA, World News, and launched "George's Bottom Line", an ABCNews.com blog.

Prior to joining ABC News, he was a senior political adviser to the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and later became the White House Communications Director.

Contents

Early life and education

George Robert Stephanopoulos, the descendant of Greek immigrants, was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, and grew up in Purchase, New York, and suburban Cleveland, Ohio. His father, Robert George Stephanopoulos,[1] is a Greek Orthodox priest and Dean Emeritus of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City, New York. His mother, Nickolitsa ("Nikki") Gloria (née Chafos) Stephanopoulos,[1] was for many years the director of the national news service of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. As had his parents, young George became a follower of the Greek Orthodox faith; he had long considered entering the priesthood himself.

Stephanopoulos attended Orange High School, located in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. He wrestled competitively in high school. In 1982, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Columbia University in New York City, where he was a sports broadcaster for WKCR-FM, the university's radio station. Stephanopoulos was the salutatorian of his class and was also awarded a Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Stephanopoulos's father had always wanted his son to become a lawyer, if not a priest, so he promised his father that he would attend law school eventually. Initially he took a job with a congressman Ed Feighan from Cleveland, and served as an aide in Washington, D.C. Nevertheless, his father persistently questioned him as to when he would attend law school, so Stephanopoulos agreed to attend law school if he was not offered a Rhodes Scholarship. Although he had been rejected for the scholarship during his senior year at Columbia, Stephanopoulos was successful in his second attempt.

While at the University of Oxford in Oxford, United Kingdom, Stephanopoulos earned a Master of Theology at Balliol College on his Rhodes Scholarship. He reported spending much of his time trying to root his political leanings in deeper philosophies that he studied while at Oxford.

Early career

After college, Stephanopoulos joined the staff of Ed Feighan, U.S. Representative from Ohio's 19th congressional district, as a legislative assistant and later worked as his chief of staff.

In 1988, Stephanopoulos worked on the Michael Dukakis 1988 U.S. presidential campaign. He notes one of the attractions to this campaign was that Dukakis was a Greek-American liberal from Massachusetts.[3] After this campaign, Stephanopoulos became the "floor man" for Dick Gephardt, U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader; he held this position until he joined the Clinton campaign.

Clinton Administration

Stephanopoulos was, along with David Wilhelm and James Carville, a leading member of the Clinton's 1992 U.S. presidential campaign. His role on the campaign is portrayed in the documentary film The War Room (1993).

At the outset of Clinton's presidency, Stephanopoulos served as the de facto press secretary, briefing the press even though Dee Dee Myers was officially the White House Press Secretary. Later, he was moved to Senior Advisor on Policy and Strategy, when Myers began personally conducting the briefings (following several verbal missteps by Stephanopoulos) and David Gergen was brought in as the new White House Communications Director. The move was largely viewed as a rebuke to Stephanopoulos's handling of public relations during the first six months of the Clinton Administration.

On February 25, 1994, Stephanopoulos and Harold Ickes had a conference call with Roger Altman to discuss the Resolution Trust Corporation's choice of Republican lawyer Jay Stephens to head the Madison Guaranty investigation, that later turned into the Whitewater controversy.[4]

Stephanopoulos resigned from the Clinton administration shortly after Clinton was re-elected in 1996.[5]

His memoir, All Too Human: A Political Education (1999), was published after he left the White House during Clinton's second term. It quickly became a number-one bestseller on New York Times Best Seller list.[citation needed] In the book, Stephanopoulos spoke of his depression and how his face broke out into hives due to the pressures of conveying the Clinton White House message. Clinton referred to the book in his autobiography, My Life, apologizing for what he felt in retrospect to be excessive demands placed on the young staffer.

Stephanopoulos's book covers his time with Clinton from the day he met him in September 1991 to the day Stephanopoulos left the White House in December 1996, through two presidential campaigns and four years in the White House. Stephanopoulos describes Clinton in the book as a "complicated man responding to the pressures and pleasures of public life in ways I found both awesome and appalling."

In 1997, Stephanopoulos attended the Bilderberg Group conference[6], an unofficial, annual, invitation-only conference of around 130 guests, most of whom are persons of great influence in the fields of politics, business, banking, and media; each conference is under intense secrecy and security.

ABC News

After leaving the White House at the end of Clinton's first term, Stephanopoulos became a political analyst for ABC News and served as a correspondent on This Week, the Sunday morning public affairs program; World News Tonight, the evening news broadcast; GMA, the morning news program; along with other various special broadcasts.

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This Week host

In September 2002, Stephanopoulos became host of This Week, and ABC News officially named him "Chief Washington Correspondent" in December 2005.[7] The program's title added the new host's name.

When named to the position, Stephanopoulos was a relative newcomer to the show, usurping longtime panelists and short-term co-hosts Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts who, for a few years, briefly replaced the long-term original host, David Brinkley.

Opinion columnist and part-time ABC News commentator George Will is the only remaining member of the original This Week panel from the Brinkley days to participate consistently in the weekly show; Donaldson and Roberts still appear on the program on a very limited basis. Fareed Zakaria was a weekly panelist during the first two years of Stephanopoulos's tenure, broadening the show with his perspective on world and Middle Eastern issues.

This Week ratings

ABC News executives reportedly offered Ted Koppel, former Nightline anchor, the This Week host job in 2005 after the program's ratings had become a regular third-, fourth-, and sometimes fifth-place finish after competitors NBC, CBS, Fox and syndicated programs.[8] However, This Week beat Meet the Press on January 11, 2009, when Stephanopoulos interviewed President-Elect Barack Obama.[9]

In February 2009, the gap between Meet the Press and its competitors — CBS's Face the Nation and ABC's This Week — began closing. Meet the Press posted its lowest ratings since NBC's David Gregory became moderator in early February, with the show airing Sunday, February 1, averaging just 3.9 million viewers. Face the Nation averaged 3.33 million total viewers, while This Week came in just behind with 3.32 million total viewers.

2008 U.S. Presidential debate

On April 16, 2008, Stephanopoulos co-moderated, with Charles Gibson, the twenty-first, and ultimately final, Democratic Party presidential debate between Illinois Senator Obama and New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for the 2008 election cycle. While the debate received record ratings, the co-moderators were heavily criticized for focusing most of first hour of the debate on controversies that occurred during the campaign rather than issues such as the economy and the Iraq War. Stephanopoulos acknowledged the legitimacy of the concerns over the order of the questions,[10] but said they were issues in the campaign that hadn't been covered in previous debates.[11]

Good Morning America co-host

In December 2009, ABC News president offered Stephanopoulos Diane Sawyer's job on GMA after Sawyer was named anchor of World News. Stephanopoulos accepted the new position and started on December 14, 2009. Stephanopoulos announced on January 10, 2010 that that would be his last broadcast as the permanent host of This Week. He is now the co-host of Good Morning America.

Criticism

Stephanopoulos was quoted in a January 27, 2009, article "Power, Politics, Gossip on a Daily Call" by John F. Harris in The Politico. The article was about a daily call Stephanopoulos participates in with his friends Carville, Rahm Emanuel, and Paul Begala. Harris describes the call as " a street-corner bull session between four old friends who suddenly find themselves standing once more at the busiest intersection of politics and media in Washington." [12]

In the article, Stephanopoulos says he does not surrender his reputation as an independent journalist during the daily information-sharing calls. "We are all good friends," Stephanopoulos is quoted as saying. "We just like talking to each other, and I learn a lot from it ... and that's why we have been doing it for so long." [12]

After the article ran, conservative media critic Brent Bozell and some right-wing bloggers launched a campaign against Stephanopoulos: "Will Stephanopoulos be critical of the White House’s plans when he spends every morning helping to craft them? Not likely. He must from this point forward recuse himself from any reporting involving the Obama Administration," Bozell said in a press release. Conservatives deluged ABC with emails and calls on the topic.[13]

The Politico's Ben Smith reported: "I don't think they have the story quite right, nor does its author, John Harris, who emails: 'The calls are certainly a fascinating Washington ritual, but by no means do I think George Stephanopoulos is participating in strategy sessions. To my mind, he established his journalistic bona fides more than a decade ago, even as the Clinton administration was still underway, when he showed his willingness to report aggressively on Democrats as well as Republicans.'"[13]

Online

During the 2008 presidential election campaign, Stephanopoulos launched a blog George's Bottom Line on the website of ABC News.[14] Stephanopoulos blogs about political news and analysis from Washington.[15]

In October 2008, Stephanopoulos began posting updates to Twitter, a social-networking website. He also launched a public profile page on Facebook, another social-networking website.[16]

In popular culture

Stephanopoulos is the inspiration for the character of Henry Burton in Joe Klein's novel Primary Colors (1996). Burton was subsequently portrayed by Adrian Lester in 1998 film adaptation.

Michael J. Fox's character, Lewis Rothschild, in the film The American President (1995), written by Aaron Sorkin was modeled after Stephanopoulos. He was also used by Sorkin as the model for Rob Lowe's character, Sam Seaborn, on the television drama series The West Wing. Fox based his portrayal on Stephanopoulos as well.[citation needed] According to Stephanopoulos, his role in the Clinton Administration was more like Bradley Whitford's character Josh Lyman than Seaborn or Rothschild.[17]

Stephanopolous's name was mentioned in the first season of the television situation comedy Will and Grace. Characters Will and Jack enter a bar and the bartender asks, "What's your pleasure?" The men look at each other and say in unison: "Mmmm… George Stephanopoulos!"

He was also referenced in the first season of the television situation comedy Friends in the episode "The One with George Stephanopoulos", where the characters Monica, Phoebe and Rachel spy on him from Monica's balcony window after accidentally receiving his pizza delivery. Rachel refers to him as "George Snuffleupagus" [18]

Stephanopoulos is referenced in an American Dad episode, "Iced, Iced Babies," in which the character Francine threatens to use Stephanopoulos's sperm to get "a house full of liberal, Greek, midget babies" when the character Stan does not allow his sperm.

He is mentioned in "The Most Unwanted Song" (1996–1997) by Komar and Melamid, a song with themes guided by an online poll for listeners' most undesirable elements in a song.[19]

Awards

Stephanopoulos returned to his alma mater in 2003, serving as Columbia College's Class Day speaker.[citation needed]

In May 2007, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from St. John's University in New York City.

Personal life

He is married to Alexandra Wentworth[1], an actress, comedienne and writer. The couple has two daughters — Elliott Anastasia Stephanopoulos[1] and Harper Andrea Stephanopoulos[1]; the family lives in Washington, D.C. Before his marriage, he briefly dated actress Jennifer Grey.

In 1995, after a collision with a parked vehicle as he was pulling out of a parking space in front of a restaurant, Stephanopoulos was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving with an expired license and license plates in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C..[20] Only the charge of leaving the scene of an accident was subsequently dropped, contrary to Stephanopoulos's assertion in his memoir, All Too Human: A Political Education (1999), that the Washington D.C. police apologized to him for his arrest when he was later released from custody.[citation needed]

Along with a number of other notable Greek Americans, he is a founding member of The Next Generation Initiative, a leadership program aimed at getting students involved in public affairs.

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Staff writer (undated). "Fr. Robert George Stephanopoulos". Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Accessed December 20, 2009
  2. ^ Allen, Mike (October 18, 2009). "George Stephanopoulos Role Grows at ABC". The Politico. Accessed December 21, 2009.
  3. ^ Stephanopoulos, George, All Too Human — A Political Education, p. 21.
  4. ^ Staff writer (undated). "Timeline". AllPolitics (via CNN). Accessed December 19, 2009.
  5. ^ Staff writer (undated). "George Stephanopoulos Biography — (1961–)". A&E Television Networks (via The Biography Channel). Accessed December 19, 2009.
  6. ^ Staff writer (undated). "1997 Bilderberg Conference - June 12-15, Pine Isle Resort, Lake Lanier, Nr. Atlanta, Georgia, USA" (includes roster of conference attendees). bilderberg.org (unclear if officially attached to Bilderberg Group. Accessed December 19, 2009.
  7. ^ Staff writer (December 10, 2009). "George Stephanopoulos' Biography — Anchor, Good Morning America; Chief Political Correspondent; Anchor, This Week". Accessed December 19, 2009.
  8. ^ Steinberg, Jacques (April 1, 2005). Koppel Leaving ABC News and 'Nightline' in December". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Danny Shea (February 5, 2009). "'Meet the Press' Ratings Lowest since David Gregory Became Moderator" The Huffington Post. Accessed December 19, 2009.
  10. ^ Abcarian, Robin (April 17, 2008). "Stephanopoulos Defends His Questions to Obama". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2008/04/stephanopoulos.html. Retrieved December 19, 2009. 
  11. ^ Staff writer (April 17, 2008). "Ratings, Criticism Big for ABC Debate — Gibson, Stephanopoulos Draw Fire for 'Shoddy' Work". The Associated Press (via MSNBC). http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24189180/. Retrieved December 19, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Harris, John F. (January 27, 2009). "Power, Politics, Gossip on Daily Call". The Politico. Accessed December 19, 2009.
  13. ^ a b Smith, Ben (January 30, 2009). "George's Calls" The Politico. Accessed December 19, 2009.
  14. ^ Sweet, Lynn (October 20, 2008). "ABC's George Stephanopoulos Launches New Political Blog — Welcome to the Neighborhood". Chicago Sun-Times. Accessed December 19, 2009.
  15. ^ Stephanopoulos, George (ongoing). "George's Bottom Line — Reporting and Analysis from Anchor of Good Morning America and ABC News Senior Political Correspondent". ABC News. Accessed December 19, 2009.
  16. ^ Stephanopoulos, George (ongoing). "George Stephanopoulos". Stephanopoulos's page on Facebook. Accessed December 19, 2009.
  17. ^ Krakauer, Steve (April 2, 2008). "So What Do You Do, George Stephanopoulos, Anchor, This Week — The Political Advisor-turned-Anchor Talks the Bush Legacy, Moving to Newseum, and the County's Political Climate". Mediabistro.com. Accessed December 19, 2009.
  18. ^ Staff writer (undated). "Friends — 'The One with George Stephanopoulos' (1994)" (episode listing). Internet Movie Database. Accessed December 19, 2009.
  19. ^ Van Buskirk, Eliot (April 18, 2008). "MP3: Scientific Attempt to Create Most Annoying Song Ever". Wired. Accessed December 19, 2009.
  20. ^ Staff writer (September 9, 1995). "Clinton Aide Is Charged after Car Accident". The New York Times. Accessed December 19, 2009.

References

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts
This Week Anchor
September 15, 2002-January 10, 2010
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts
Good Morning America co-anchor
with Robin Roberts

Since December 14, 2009
Succeeded by
Incumbent

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

George Stephanopoulos (born February 10, 1961) was a senior political adviser to the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and later became Clinton's press secretary and communications director. After leaving the White House, he became a political analyst, correspondent and later host for ABC News.

Unsourced

  • The President has kept all the promises he intended to keep.
    • Larry King Live, CNN (1996).

External links

Wikipedia
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