But before Maddow, who begrudgingly wears makeup on the air, became a renowned TV personality known for her brains and goofy grin, she was a radio host for Air America. And before that she was a Rhodes Scholar who was actually just making her way through life doing odd jobs (including yard work) before trying out for a radio gig in Holyoke, Mass.— and winning.
The rest, they say, is history in the making.
Age: Turns 40 on April 1
Relationship status: In a relationship with artist Susan Mikula since 1999
Job: Host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” in the 9 p.m. weeknight slot on MSNBC; author
Hobbies: Fancy cocktails, collecting and wearing chunky glasses and colorful sneakers, being wicked smart
Education: PhD in political science from Oxford. Yes, that Oxford.
Early career: Radio host for the show “Unfiltered” on Air America, a liberal answer to conservative talk radio that went belly up in 2010
Coming out story: In 1990 as a freshman at Stanford, she came out to the school paper as gay but made the newspaper promise not to print the story until after the weekend so she could tell her parents. But the paper (damned journalists!) didn’t wait and an anonymous person mailed the story to her mom and dad. Hard-core Catholics, her parents were at first pretty disturbed and upset with having a gay daughter. Now they’re cool — their kid is one of the most famous lesbians in the world, after all.
• She dedicates her book “Drift” to former Vice President Dick Cheney. “Oh, please let me interview you,” she writes in the dedication.
• She was described as a “radical lesbian activist” in a Stanford news release announcing she had won the Rhodes scholarship when she graduated from Stanford in 1994.
• She wrote a song with folk singer Erin McKeown titled “Baghdad to the Bayou” via text message.
• She conducted an”Ask Me Anything!” on Reddit on March 8. Many users got pissy because they said she only answered light-hearted ones. And some of them called her the left-wing’s answer to Sean Hannity. Maddow is not a douche like Hannity.
• Her March 10 South by Southwest reading was dubbed “Maddowpalooza” by the Austin Chronicle, which also cooed about how large her hands are. Ahem.
• As a renowned mixologist, she’s often asked about booze and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things alcohol. Here’s the recipe for one of her favorite drinks:
An old fashioned Old Fashion
Put a smallish sugar cube in a glass with:
Add 3 dashes of Angostura bitters to soak the sugar cube
Add a LITTLE BIT of club soda (about 1 teaspoon) and much together
Mush this together with a fancy pounder implement
Then pour into the glass 2 ounces of bonded rye (bonded means 100 proof!)
Add a little bit of ice
And then a lemon peel, sliced really thin and small
Squeeze the juice from the peel into the drink and then take the peel and rub it around the rim of the glass and drop the peel into the drink. Cheers!
Top photo: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (by Bill Phelps)