Arianna Huffington (born Arianna Stasinopoulos; Greek: Αριάννα Στασινοπούλος; July 15, 1950) is a Greek American author and syndicated columnist. She is best known as co-founder of the news website The Huffington Post. A popular conservative commentator in the mid-1990s, she adopted more liberal political beliefs in the late 1990s. She is the ex-wife of former Republican congressman Michael Huffington.
In 2003, she ran as an independent candidate for Governor in the California recall election.
In 2009, Huffington was named as number 12 in Forbes' first-ever list of the Most Influential Women In Media. She has also moved up to number 42 in The Guardian's Top 100 in Media List.
On February 7, 2011, AOL announced it would acquire The Huffington Post for US$315 million and make Huffington president and editor in chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which will include The Huffington Post and existing AOL properties such as Engadget, AOL Music, Patch Media, and StyleList.
Huffington was born Arianna Stasinopoúlou in Athens, Greece, the daughter of Konstantinos (a journalist and management consultant) and Elli (née Georgiadi) Stasinopoulos, and is the sister of Agapi (an author, speaker and performer). She moved to England at the age of 16, and studied economics at Girton College, Cambridge where she was President of the Cambridge Union.
In 1971, she appeared in an edition of Face the Music along with Bernard Levin. He was 42; she was 21. A relationship developed, of which she wrote, after his death: "He wasn't just the big love of my life, he was a mentor as a writer and a role model as a thinker." Huffington helped Levin with his spiritual quest. Huffington began writing books in the 1970s, with editorial help from Levin. For the BBC, the two traveled to music festivals around the world. They spent summers touring three-star restaurants in France. At the age of 30, she remained deeply in love with him but longed to have children; Levin never wanted to marry or have children. Huffington concluded that she must break away, and moved to New York in 1980.
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. She became known as a reliable supporter of 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" 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, How I Met Your Mother, Help Me Help You, and the film EdTV.
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. In 2000, she instigated the 'Shadow Conventions', which appeared at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia and the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles at Patriotic Hall.
Campaigning for Governor of California, 2003
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." 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. Huffington is also associated with talk radio with CNN political commentator Mary Matalin called "Both Sides radio."
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. 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. Though she failed to stop the recall, Huffington's name remained on the ballot and she placed 5th, capturing 0.55% of the vote.
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. She was the first female host of the BBC's late night chat show Saturday Night at The Mill, broadcast live from the foyer of the BBC's Pebble Mill Studios in Birmingham. She was dropped from the show after just a few weeks in the role, and was replaced by Jenny Hanley.
Huffington's book The Fourth Instinct is based on the idea that all humans have an inherent spiritual yearning.
Huffington is the co-host of the weekly, nationally syndicated, public radio program Both Sides Now, along with Mary Matalin, former top aide to the Bush/Cheney White House. Every week on Both Sides Now, Huffington and Matalin discuss the nation's relevant political issues, offering both sides of every issue to the listeners. Both Sides Now is hosted by former Air Radio America President and HuffPost blogger Mark J. Green.
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.
Prior to The Huffington Post, Huffington hosted a website called Ariannaonline.com. Her first foray into the Internet was a website called Resignation.com, which called for the resignation of President Bill Clinton and was a rallying place for conservatives opposing Clinton.
In November 2008, Huffington joined the cast of Seth MacFarlane's animated series, The Cleveland Show, where she lends her voice to the wife of Tim the Bear, also named Arianna.
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.
Huffington was spoofed by actress Michaela Watkins on the November 22, 2008, episode of Saturday Night Live.
Huffington was also spoofed on the first season of Tracey Ullman's State of the Union in 2008.
Huffington appeared as herself in the May 10, 2010, episode of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
Huffington participated in the 24th annual "Distinguished Speaker Series" at the University at Buffalo, NY., on September 16, 2010. She headlined a debate against radio co-host Mary Matalin on current world events, political issues, and the local Buffalo economy. The University at Buffalo "Distinguished Speaker Series" has featured a multitude of world-renowned politicians and celebrities such as; Tony Blair, Bill Nye, Jon Stewart, and the Dalai Lama.
Huffington offered to provide as many buses as necessary to transport those who want to go to Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on October 30, 2010 from the Huffington Post Headquarters in New York City. Ultimately, she paid for 150 buses to ferry almost 10,000 people from Citi Field in Queens to RFK Stadium in DC. The only self-promotion on her part was 'Huffington Post' written on the bracelets needed to get on the bus.
Huffington appeared as herself in the Family Guy episode "Brian Writes a Bestseller" on November 21, 2010, taking part in a discussion on a mock version of Real Time with Bill Maher about the quality of a book Brian Griffin authored in this episode.
Huffington was accused of plagiarism for copying material for her book Maria Callas (1981); the claims were settled out of court in 1981, with Callas' biographer Gerald Fitzgerald being paid "in the low five figures."
Lydia Gasman, an art history professor at the University of Virginia, claimed that Huffington’s 1988 biography of Pablo Picasso, Picasso: Creator and Destroyer, included themes similar to those in her unpublished four-volume Ph.D. thesis. "What she did was steal twenty years of my work," Gasman told Maureen Orth in 1994. Gasman did not file suit.
Maureen Orth also reported that Huffington "borrowed heavily for her 1993 book, The Gods of Greece."
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, because of Levin's refusal to get married, she broke the relationship and moved to the United States. 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".
Huffington met her future husband Michael Huffington in 1985. They were married a year later. 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. 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 to California to incumbent Dianne Feinstein. The couple divorced in 1997. They have two daughters – Christina Sophia Huffington (b. 1 May 1989) and Isabella Diana Huffington (b. 15 May 1991).
The Female Woman (1973) ISBN 0-7067-0098-8
After Reason (1978) ISBN 0-8128-2465-2
Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend (1981; 1993) ISBN 0-8154-1228-2
The Gods of Greece (1993) ISBN 0-87113-554-X
The Fourth Instinct (1994) ISBN 0-7432-6163-1
Picasso: Creator and Destroyer (1996) ISBN 0-671-45446-3
Greetings from the Lincoln Bedroom (1998) ISBN 0-517-39699-8
How to Overthrow the Government (2000) ISBN 0-06-098831-2
Pigs at the Trough (2003) ISBN 1-4000-4771-4
Fanatics & Fools (2004) ISBN 1-4013-5213-8
On Becoming Fearless...In Love, Work, and Life (2007) ISBN 0-316-16682-0
Right is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe (2008) ISBN 978-0-307-26966-9
Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream (2010) ISBN 0-307-71982-0
^ "10 Questions for Arianna Huffington". Time. July 3, 2008.
^ Schofield, Jack (August 25, 2008). "Huffington Post: From millionaire's blog to leading liberal newspaper". Guardian News (London). Retrieved September 18, 2008.
^ Kiri Blakeley (July 14, 2009). "In Pictures: The Most Influential Women In Media – No. 12: Arianna Huffington". Forbes.com. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
^ "42. Arianna Huffington". The Guardian (London). July 13, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
^ "AOL Agrees To Acquire The Huffington Post". AOL. February 7, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
^ "Arianna Huffington's Education Background". Retrieved April 4, 2011-gk.
^ a b c Stassinopoulos-Huffington, Arianna. "The Odd Couple", The Sunday Times, August 15, 2004, accessed June 24, 2011
^ Huffington, Arianna. "Picasso: Creator and Destroyer" The Atlantic June 1988.
^ "Huff TV: Strange Bedfellows". Huffingtonpost.com. February 14, 2007. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
^ Arianna Huffington's IMDb page.
^ Williams, Lance (December 17, 1999). "Arianna Huffington is dead wrong – Bill Clinton". Salon.com. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
^ "Shadow Conventions 2000". Commondreams.org. June 19, 2000. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
^ Seelye, Katharine. "TV Ads Say S.U.V. Owners Support Terrorists" The New York Times. June 8, 2003.
^ "The Daily Show April 22, 2004". Thedailyshow.com. April 22, 2004. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
^ a b "Both Sides Now". Bothsidesradio.com. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
^ "Huffington withdraws from recall race". CNN. Los Angeles: CNN.com. September 30, 2003. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
^ Gallagher, Maggie. "The Fourth Instinct: The Call of the Soul" (review). National Review, July 11, 1994. Accessed online June 11, 2006. .
^ (December 16, 1998) "Direct Access: Arianna Huffington." Washington Post. See also Huffington's September 14, 1998 column at Resignation.com, where she calls for Clinton to resign, and her December 24, 1998 column at Resignation.com, where she states why she started Resignation.com.
^ Adalian, Josef (2008-11). "Fox Seems Keen on Cleveland". Retrieved September 6, 2009.
^ SteveK (November 17, 2008). "Exploring Huffington's MSNBC Guest Hosting Gig". mediabistro.com. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
^ "Saturday Night Live – Update: Arianna Huffington – Video". NBC.com. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
^ "How I Met Your Mother (TV series 2005– ) Robots Vs. Wrestlers". Retrieved October 4, 2010.
^ "The Daily Show And Colbert Report React To Arianna's 'HuffPost Sanity Bus' Announcement (VIDEO)". Huffingtonpost.com. October 2, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
^ "Fox Flash Press Release". Retrieved November 22, 2010.
^ a b Orth, Maureen (2005) The Importance of Being Famous. MacMillon. Page 117.
^ Oney, Steve (October 2004) "The Many Faces of Arianna." Los Angeles Magazine. Page 81.
^ Nussbaum, Emily (October 9, 2006) "The Human Blog." New York Magazine.
^ Collins, Lauren (October 13, 2008) "The Many Lives of Arianna Huffington." New Yorker. Page 10.
^ Arianna Huffington on AlterNet: Bernard Levin Remembered. August 17, 2004
^ "Statement Of Vote, General Election". November 8, 1994. Archived from the original on July 30, 2008.
^ Michael Huffington in The Huffington Post: My Road to Damascus Led to the Sundance Film Festival. January 16, 2007
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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