Ask Stacy – The 411 On MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow

DEAR STACY: I’ve become a fan of Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and would like to know more about her. Please give some information. – Kelsey C., Carmel, NY
DEAR KELSEY: The 36-year-old talk radio personality and host of her eponymously-named MSNBC program, hails from Castro Valley, California. Her brilliant academic career includes graduating from Stanford with a degree in public policy in 1994, attaining a John Gardner Fellowship and a Rhodes Scholarship (the first openly gay American to win one), and completing her Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science from the University of Oxford. Post-Stanford, Maddow was an activist with ACT UP and the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, then focused her efforts on prison reform for AIDS patients. She was living in western Massachusetts, finishing her dissertation on the subject, when on a whim, she tried out for a job as a morning radio sidekick and landed the job. Success followed on-air success. When Air America launched in 2004, Maddow lobbied the network to bring her aboard. It did, and from there came her increasing popularity as a TV political show guest and “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” guest host. Maddow divides her time between homes in Manhattan and Massachusetts, with her partner of more than a decade, artist Susan Mikula.