Rachel Maddow is the host of the MSNBC political and news program The Rachel Maddow Show, where she is a staunch supporter of unions, women's rights, gay rights, and other classic liberal causes. Rachel Maddow was born in California and attended Stanford University, where she got a bachelor's degree in public policy in 1994. She attended Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, earning a doctorate there in political science in 2001. She made her way into radio, co-hosting for Massachusetts stations WRNX and WRSI before going to work for the fledgling liberal network Air America Radio in 2004. She was a natural at political talk: she had been at Air America a year when she got her own show, also called The Rachel Maddow Show, and its success led to commentating gigs on CNN and other cable channels. She became a full-time political analyst for MSNBC in 2008, and her popularity moved the network to give her her own show. The Rachel Maddow Show launched in September of 2008 and was a fast success, with many fans hailing it as a left-wing antidote to the right-wing commentators of the Fox News Channel. Maddow's persona -- unapologetic, witty, sometimes exasperated -- led The Washington Post to name her a Breakout Star of 2008. Rachel Maddow has been publicly gay since her years at Stanford and remains one of the few openly gay figures in political media. She is the author of the 2012 book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power.
Rachel Maddow’s partner, Susan Mikula, is an artist who shoots photographs with a fuzzy and vaguely painterly feel. “Shooting exclusively with Polaroid films and cameras, Mikula works in available light, and does no cropping or image manipulation after the fact,” says her website. They met in 1999 and have lived together since 2000, according to a 2005 article in The Boston Globe.