Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington

Infobox Writer
name = Arianna Huffington

imagesize = 200px
caption = Huffington campaigning for Governor of California at University of California, Berkeley on September 11 2003
pseudonym =
birthname =
birthdate = Birth date and age|1950|7|15|mf=y
birthplace =
deathdate =
deathplace =
spouse =Michael Huffington (divorced 1997)
occupation = columnist
nationality = Greek-American (naturalized United States citizen)
period =
genre = non-fiction
subject = politics, spirituality, environment
movement =
notableworks =
influences =
influenced =
website =

Arianna Huffington (born Arianna Stassinopoulos, on July 15, 1950) is an author, media gadfly, and nationally syndicated columnist in the United States. She is the founder of "The Huffington Post", a liberal [cite news|url=|title=Huffington Post: From millionaire's blog to leading liberal newspaper|accessdate=2008-09-18|date=August 25, 2008|work=Guardian News|author=Schofield, Jack] online news and commentary website and aggregated blog.

Early life

Huffington was born 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 she was President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1971 and graduated with a BA (later to become an MA in accordance with Cambridge's practice) in economics in 1972. Fact|date=September 2008

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". She left Levin in 1980, and moved to the United States. 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 (then Stassinopoulos) was first known as a liberal/left-wing/Democrat, the position she returned to once again in the post-90s following the right-wing years of the 1980s to late 1990s. Fact|date=September 2008

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 were married in 1986 at a wedding paid for by Ann 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. Fact|date=September 2008

The couple divorced in 1997, and in 1998 Michael Huffington disclosed his bisexuality. A 1999 magazine article claimed that Arianna Huffington "entered the marriage... with full knowledge of Michael Huffington's sexual interests in men". [GQ magazine, 1999 profile of Michael Huffington] The financial terms of their divorce agreement remain undisclosed, but Huffington gained most of her wealth from her husband. 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. Fact|date=September 2008


In 1981, she wrote a biography of Maria Callas ("Maria Callas-The woman Behind the Legend").In the late 1980s Huffington wrote several articles for 'National Review'. In 1996 Huffington and liberal comedian Al Franken participated as Strange Bedfellows [ [ Huff TV: Strange Bedfellows ] ] in 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". [ [ Arianna Huffington's IMDb page.] ]

Huffington's politics began changing in the late 1990s, moving noticeably to the left. During the former Yugoslavia Balkans wars of the 1990s 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. [ [ Shadow Conventions 2000 ] ]

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 that "When your house is burning down, you don't worry about the remodeling." 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 replace 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.

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," 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. [ [ - Huffington withdraws from recall race - Sep. 30, 2003 ] ] Though she failed to stop the recall, Huffington's name still appeared on the ballot and she placed 5th in a field of 135 candidates, capturing 0.6 percent of the votes. Her former husband endorsed Schwarzenegger.


Huffington's book "The Fourth Instinct" is based on the idea that all humans have an inherent spiritual yearning. [Gallagher, Maggie. "The Fourth Instinct: The Call of the Soul" (review). National Review, July 11, 1994. Accessed online June 11, 2006. [] .]

After her attempts to woo the religious right, in 1994, Doonesbury Cartoonist Garry Trudeau created a spoof of Arianna Huffington's spiritual experiences with a Los Angeles-based spiritual organization founded by John-Roger, the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness. The purpose of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA) is to teach Soul Transcendence, which is becoming aware of yourself as a Soul and as one with God, not as a theory but as a living reality. Huffington has said that "I've been involved with John-Roger and the church for many years now" Fact|date=July 2008 Tax returns show Huffington as an MSIA donor.Fact|date=July 2008

Huffington has also courted conservative Christian RepublicansFact|date=October 2008, commonly referred to as the Religious Right, by advocating a removal of the welfare state, to be replaced by voluntary charitable donation, stating that "big government cheats people out of the spiritual rewards of giving to the needy". "It's time to bring God into the public square," Arianna Huffington declared, while giving a talk on The Fourth Instinct before a Republican women's conference.Fact|date=October 2008

More recently, Huffington has criticized the Christians of the Republican party as those "who don't believe in evolution but believe in torture". Her weblog, The Huffington Post, has three of the world's most prominent atheist writers as contributors: Sam Harris (The End of Faith); Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion); Christopher Hitchens (God is not Great).

Radio and Internet 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 programme, "Any Questions?".

Huffington is co-host of the nationally syndicated public radio program "Left, Right & Center". She was originally introduced by the moderator as occupying the chair “from the right,” but is now described as “coming from the fourth dimension of political time and space,” or from the “independent-progressive blogosphere.” 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 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.

Huffington was accused of plagiarism for copying material for her book "Maria Callas"; the claims were settled out of court. [Nussbaum, Emily (October 9, 2006) [ "The Human Blog."] "New York Magazine".]


External links

* McLellan, Diana. " [ Arianna Huffington] ", "Washingtonian", May 1 1994.
* [ "The Huffington Post" website]
* [ "Arianna Huffington video interview on The Alcove with Mark Molaro, 2008"]
* [ "7 Days in America" podcast]
* [ "The Detroit Project" website]
* [ Arianna Huffington] at AlterNet
* [ Arianna Huffington] on the Tavis Smiley show. Watch her interview online. October 2006
* [ Campaign contributions made by Arianna Huffington]
* [ "Left, Right and Center" website]
* [ "Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness" website]
* [ Arianna Huffington on The Hour]

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