Arianna Huffington: Making of a Powerful Writer, Corporate Figure and Political Influencer

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Ariana huffington

“I do not try to dance better than anyone else, I only try to dance better than myself”.

This is a famous quote by Arianna Huffington that seems to describe the way she has risen in the media world to become an icon and president of “Huffington Post”, later renamed “Huff Post”.

Arianna’s success has always been due to the fact that she has tried to learn from her own mistakes.

One of her other famous quotes goes like this: “Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It’s the mastery of fear. It’s about getting up one more time than we fall down”.

Arianna has never been afraid of failing, she has always risen after failing, and then gone ahead to do it right.

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Arianna Huffington Net Worth

Arianna Huffington is estimated to have a net worth of $100 million. She is considered to be one of the most powerful women in the world.

She is a Greek-American author, politician, and syndicated columnist.

The co-founded the Huffington Post, which was acquired by AOL in 2011 for $350 million; she owned 30% equity in Huffington Post at the time.

She is also the CEO of Thrive Media, which was evaluated as being worth $120 million in 2017.

Arianna Huffington’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Who is Arianna Huffington?

Arianna wears many hats but can ultimately be described as a philanthropist, author, television personality, and independent owner of the online news magazine, “The Huffington Post”.

She was born on July 15th, 1950 in Greece.

At the age of 16, she moved to England and attended Cambridge University, and graduated with an MA in Economics.

At the age of 21, she became the first foreign student to be the president of the famous debating society “The Cambridge Union”.

When Arianna graduated from college, she started her career as a columnist for a syndicated conservative newspaper.

After that, she started “The Huffington Post” which primarily dealt with critical issues in the political world.

She even began a voice portal, which offered insightful analysis of the political scenario at that time.

She soon became a celebrity and was able to get high-profile contributors to her blog on issues concerning culture, news, and politics.

So ingrained was her world with politics that she even ran against Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2003 California recall election to replace the then Governor, Gray Davis.

Although Arnold won, she continued to be in the public eye, led a Detroit project aimed at promoting fuel-efficient vehicles.

Her high profile led her to be ranked 12th in the Forbes “Most Influential Women in Media” list in 2009. That same year, The Guardian added her to their top 100 media list.

The Huffington Post was doing very well, and in 2011, AOL Inc acquired it and made Arianna the President of that media group. This included existing AOL businesses such as AOL Music, Style List Engadget and Patch Media.

Arianna Huffington’s childhood and early life

Arianna’s parents are Konstantinos and Elli Stasinopoulos. Although her father was a journalist and management consultant, her close relationship with her mother is the one that shaped her life.

When she was young, she was known to show leadership qualities, as most of her friends would say.

At only 16 she braved to move to England and joined the Girton College, Cambridge, where she joined the Cambridge Union and became the third female president of the debating society and the first foreign one for that matter.

She attained a master’s degree in Economics and proceeded to work as a television host, critic, and columnist.

She even appeared on “Face the Music” together with Bernard Levin, who later helped her wrote books as her editor.

Arianna Huffington’s meteoric career

In 1973., Arianna wrote her first and most famous book, “The Female Woman” It became her best-selling book and brought her a lot of fame and success.

The book questioned the first signs or strains of the feminist movement.

Later, in 1978, Arianna wrote her second book, “After reason”. The book explored the rise of materialism and how Western Society had failed to meet the basic spiritual needs of man due to this materialism.

The book did not get much traction and faded away from the public eye.

She started working for the British editions of “Cosmopolitan”, “Vogue” and newspapers like “The Spectator” and “Daily Mail”.

Due to personal issues, she moved to New York in 1980, and in 1981, she released her sensational biography book, “Maria Callas – The Woman Behind the Legend”.

The book was a sensation and sold very well in New York; this is when she became one of New York’s social elite personas.

Arianna’s writing career was not without controversy.

In 1994, Lydia Gasman accused Arianna of stealing themes from her unpublished 4-volume Ph.D. thesis and using these to write the biography of Pablo Picasso in 1988. There was no legal suit filed though.

Another Columnist, Maureen Orth, also claimed the Arianna borrowed heavily from her book “The God’s of Greece” which she (Maureen) wrote in 1993.

In 1994, Arianna’s second husband, Michael Huffington, ran for the Senate seat and lost. This is when Arianna became prominent as a supporter of the conservative and rose to be an influential speaker in the Republican Party.

In 1996, Comedy Central covered the U.S. Presidential race and she appeared beside liberal comedian Al Franken as the conservative half in the show, “Strange Bedfellows”.

Come 1998, and Huffington started appearing on “Left, Right, and Center” a weekly radio show in Los Angeles. She appeared as the “Right-Winger” against Matt Miller, a self-proclaimed Centrist, and Robert Scheer, a Leftist journalist.

In the year 2000, she adamantly opposed the intervention of NATO in the Yugoslav wars; She initiated the “Shadow Conventions” which were featured in the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles at Patriot Hall and the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

Her continued interest in politics led her to run as an independent candidate against Arnold Schwarzenegger after California’s Governor, Gray Davis, was recalled.

She had a terrible campaign and pulled out of the race after her position in the polls doped to 0.55% of the votes; she ranked fifth in the race.

During the 2004 Democratic National Convention, she addressed the College Democrats of America Convention.

The following year, she became a panel speaker at the California Democratic Party State Convention, in Los Angeles.

In the year 2008, she ventured into the television world and rendered her voice in an animated series called “The Cleveland Show”. She was the wife of “Tim, the bear’ and was called Arianna.

She has also appeared on shows such as “How I Met Your Mother”, “The L Word”, “Roseanne”, “Help Me Help You” and the film “Ed TV”.

Huffington is now a regular panelist in Mark Green’s weekend radio show, “Both Sides Now, with Huffington and Matalin”.

Important milestones in Arianna’s career

The Detroit Project (2003) – this is a project that she started with three others, where they lobbied American motor vehicle manufacturers to make cars and SUVs that had a better fuel efficiency and used alternative fuels.

The Huffington Post (2005) – She launched this site as a liberal outlet and an alternative for certain news aggregators. Six years later, AOL bought the company and made her editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post media group.

Distinguished Speaker Series (2010) – the 24th series was held at the University of Buffalo, in New York, where she held a debate against radio co-host Mary Matalin. They discussed the local economy, political issues, and Global events.

Jon Stewarts “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (2010) – Arianna provided buses to ferry people from Citi Field in Queens to RFK Stadium in Washington DC to attend the event.

Awards and Achievements of Arianna Huffington

Primetime Emmy 1997 – She was nominated for the Primetime Emmy for “Politically Incorrect” a comedy talk show, under the “Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program” category.

Pulitzer Prize 2012 – “The Huffington Post” became the first American Digital Media Company to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Important Personal Events of Arianna Huffington

In 1971, during an edition of “Face the Music”, Arianna met Bernard Levin, and they soon started dating. She was deeply in love with him, but they went their own ways in 1980 when Levin revealed that he did not want to marry nor have any children.

In 1986, after a whirlwind 6-month courtship with Michael Huffington, she got married on April 12th. They moved to Santa Barbara, California, and were blessed with two daughters, Christina Sophia Huffington and Isabella Diana Huffington.

In 1997, Michael Huffington came out of the closet and announced that he was bisexual, and this led to their divorce.

In the year 2007, Arianna had to undergo facial surgery to rectify an injury that she suffered when she fainted in her office.

She had reached a point of severe exhaustion due to overworking herself.

This is when she decided to set up Thrive, which is a platform that shows people how to balance work, good health, and enjoying the rewards of your toil.

She says that this balance is crucial towards maintaining a healthy work-home-personal life.

In 2009, She ranked 12th in the first-ever, Forbes list of the Most Influential Women in Media.

Arianna still serves at the Center for Public Integrity as a board member.

She also sits on numerous other boards including Uber, Onex, and Global Citizen.

Notable YouTube Appearances of Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington On The Power Of Unplugging – Steve Forbes | What’s Ahead | Forbes

Arianna has an interview with Steve Forbes on the “Power of Unplugging” the mind. This is worth the watch for people who want to excel beyond the barriers that they mentally place on themselves.

How to succeed? Get more sleep

This is a talk she held on TEDWomen on how you can succeed, avoid stress and sleep better.  She says that having a good night’s sleep will make you more productive and help you succeed, unlike those who spend a lot of time working and sleeping less.

Talks at Google

Arianna makes a stop at Google to talk about the new website “Thrive” with Rachel Whetstone.

Notable Publications by Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington has written more than 50 books, the most notable being:

Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend – this is the book that propelled her career as a writer.

On Becoming Fearless: … in Love, Work, and Life – a book about how fear affects the lives of women and the steps they should take to overcome them.

Picasso: Creator and Destroyer – a tell-all book about the controversial life of Picasso. She describes him as an indefatigable painter, sexual sadist, bohemian, betrayer, communist, and a man who is ultimately sacrificed at the altar of his own contradictions.

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time – a book about the culture of dismissing sleep hours and how it affects health, decision-making, and work and personal life.

Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America – A controversial book about how corporate pigs help themselves to fat pay packages, bonuses and stock options as the average worker in the office or factory floor continues to suffer.

She digs into the unholy alliance of the corporate elite, lobbyists, political players, and Wall Street bankers who have affected the lives of the small worker.

Global advice that Arianna Huffington shares:

“Treat people like family, and they will be loyal and give their all.”

This advice goes a long way in proving that you have to treat people well if you want them to help you in achieving success.

This is an entrepreneur’s golden key. When you treat your customers or audience like your family, understanding what they need you to help them with, then they will give you their loyalty and help you succeed.

“Give me a place to stand and I will move the world.”

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”

In these two notable quotes, a marketer can infer that small failures do not spell doom for a business, but instead become part of your success; you cannot achieve success without experiencing some failure.

And once you achieve that success, get a firm foothold to stand on, then you can move the world.

Arianna is known to live by her advice.

She is one of those people who lead by example.

This is one of the main reasons why her books have become so popular.

Whatever she writes about in her books comes from her personal experience.

She talks about the things she has seen as a political figure, media personality, and now author and CEO of GoodReads, one of the best places to find books, besides Amazon.

“We take better care of our smartphones than we do of ourselves – the phones are always recharged!”

Arianna once collapsed at work due to severe exhaustion.

Yes, she believes that smart, hardworking ethics are the key to success, but after that shocking event, she took a look back and saw a huge flaw.

People who work hard at building their businesses sometimes ignore taking care of themselves.

The body and mind are the engines that serve the business and one has to be careful with them

Arianna now says that she enjoys her sleep without worrying about the things she had not done in her itinerary, knowing that she will wake up healthy and face another day with zeal.

She has now become a famous advocate for using sleep to recharge the body in order to achieve success.

Listen to what she has to say about sleep during a TEDWomen talk in 2010. She talks to the women and tells them that she knows she is standing in a room full of Type A, sleep-deprived women, then she shares how she fainted, hit her head on her desk, broke her jaw bone, and had several stitches on her head.

This is the turning point of her life, where she decided to make sleep an important part of her daily routine.

In conclusion

Arianna Huffington has led a very active life in the media. What started out as a penchant for debate, soon turned into a long-lasting career in media.

The Huffington Post is her flagship website, although she now is the CEO of Thrive after AOL bought the Huffington Post and later sold it to Verizon.

As a blogger, you need to have a vision and passion in whatever niche you are in so you can succeed and reach the levels that Arianna has reached.

 

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