Arianna Huffington’s Powerful Legacy of Helping Diverse Voices (and Opinions) to Thrive

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Arianna Huffington’s Powerful Legacy of Helping Diverse Voices (and Opinions) to Thrive

If you aren’t aware of it, March is Women’s History Month! So we move on to profile Arianna Huffington—founder of The Huffington Post—who we selected specifically for her prolific achievements in the world of online news, and for the barriers she’s broken as a very successful female-in-charge. Huffington was born in 1950 in Athens, Greece as Ariadnē-Anna Stasinopoúlou, and became an American citizen in 1990.

Arianna Huffington Speaking at C2 Montreal

Arianna Huffington speaks at the C2 Montréal conference in 2012. Photo by Charles William Pelletier.

Huffington’s First Emigration

Huffington and her mother moved to the U.K. when Huffington was 16 years old. She thrived at Cambridge University, despite some pushback about her background and ethnicity. She rose to prominence as the prestigious Cambridge Union’s first foreign president, even then challenging stereotypes about immigrants and women. Huffington now reminisces that the excitement of intelligent debate at the Cambridge Union was extremely pivotal for her. This would foreshadow a long life of speaking out on the issues and values she believes in.

Just a year after graduating from Cambridge, Huffington published her first book, the “The Female Woman”. In this book, she critiqued the Women’s Liberation movement. Vanity Fair says the book was such a “huge hit in Europe” that it was translated into 11 different languages, “and it not only brought Arianna enormous publicity but also made her financially secure for the first time in her life.”

The Move to the U.S.

In 1980, Huffington moved to New York City. She was working on a biography of Maria Callas, the hailed opera singer. When published, the book topped best-seller lists in the U.S. and vaulted her into American high society.

In her early thirties, Huffington effortlessly established herself in New York’s social scene. She received criticism—but also awe—for her aptitude at social climbing. Soon, she was inviting such prominent faces as Barbara Walters, Lucky Roosevelt, Ann Getty, Henry Kissinger and Dr. Jonas Salk to her dinner parties.

Arianna Huffington for Governor

Arianna Huffington talks to the media while campaigning for governor of California in 2003.

Ann Getty introduced Arianna to Michael Huffington, and they married in 1986. They had two kids together, and later divorced. During her marriage, Huffington became involved in politics through her husband, who was then a secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense, and moved on to hold a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Huffington herself ended up voicing her opinions on many political issues. She then ran against Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor of California on the Independent ticket in 2003. After this experience, she wrote another New York Times bestseller, “Pigs at the Trough”.

The Huffington Post

In 2005, Huffington co-founded The Huffington Post with Kenneth Lerer in 2005, which went on to become the first digital publication to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism. The Huffington Post was ranked by The Observer as the most powerful blog in the world.

Due to her work on the hugely popular news site, as well as her overall presence in media and popular society, in 2009 Forbes magazine named Huffington #12 on their list of the Most Influential Women in Media. She was also recognized in Time magazine’s 2011 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

“The difference between failure and success is perseverence.” — Arianna Huffington

Huffington sold The Huffington Post to AOL in 2011 for over $300 million. AOL made Huffington the President and Editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. She stayed on in leadership until August 2016.

Current Project

The reason that Huffington stepped down from her position at The Huffington Post was to pursue her latest venture, Thrive Global. Thrive is Huffington’s new health and wellness company, which she based in part off of her latest book “The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time”.

In 2007, Huffington passed out in her office due to severe exhaustion and sleep deprivation, woke up in a pool of her own blood and had to be taken to the hospital. She realized her life was out of balance. This incident was absolutely pivotal for her, causing her to put a bigger emphasis on health and wellness in her own life.

Now, Huffington shuts off all of her devices before bed and leaves her cell phone out of her bedroom at night.

“Arianna shows us that sleep is not just vital for our health, but also critical to helping us achieve our goals. Sometimes we need to sleep in to lean in!”

— Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook

In honor of Women’s History Month, and the recent International Women’s Day, we would like to give our appreciation to Arianna Huffington for her contributions in the world of digital publications and health and wellness, as well as being such an outspoken woman, immigrant and entrepreneur!

Nisha Katti

About Nisha Katti

Nisha Katti is BlueTone's Marketing Coordinator. She specializes in content writing and social media management, among other activities. Nisha is a native of Atlanta, yet her heart will always lie with the magnificent magnolias of Athens, Georgia, where she attended the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.