Arianna Huffington

founder Huffington Post

describes herself as a "former right-winger who has evolved into a compassionate and Progressive Populist".

Excellent 1-paragraph biography (through 2004): Huffington, née Stassinopoulos, child of a Greek newspaper owner of inconsistent success, escapes a relatively friendless adolescence in Athens for England, where in short order she joins and becomes a featured member of the Cambridge debating Union and thereby a) discovers the power of words b) meets lots of people and, as a result, c) starts to appear on television d) writes a best-selling book on feminism and e) meets and falls in love with the cultural critic Bernard Levin who, she jokes in what becomes a familiar refrain is twice her age and half her size. She is 5’10”. She breaks off with Levin after seven years; she wants children, he does not. She writes two more books (the second a biography of MariaCallas that results in a plagiarism suit that ends in a settlement with an author that she would later consider a friend) and relocates to New York, where, with the help of such social luminaries as Ann Getty and BarbaraWalters becomes so ubiquitous a fixture on the Upper East Side party circuit that in 1983 she is anointed with a profile in New York magazine: “The Rise and Rise of Arianna Stassinopoulos.” Three years later, she marries, seemingly well, the Texas gas and oil heir Michael Huffington, a Republican whose political career she helps guide through his election to Congress in 1992. Then comes Huffington’s unsuccessful 1994 run for the Senate, during which the glowing picture of Arianna as the eager young woman about town devolves into a portrait so calculating that she calls to mind Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate. The marriage ends in 1997—Michael Huffington later reveals that he is bisexual—leaving Arianna with a house in Brentwood she shares with her sister and two daughters, and with a lingering reputation as a woman of somewhat curious opinions on alternative lifestyles and healthy living (she is a fiend about sleep), fueled by her association with one John Roger, the leader of the cultlike Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness. Arianna, contributor to the National Review, evolves into a “progressive.” She runs for governor. She gets less than 1 percent of the vote. She returns to writing books—there will be 13 in all—as well as a blog, Ariannaonline.

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