#RespectYourElders: Arianna Huffington, 69, is the co-founder of The Huffington Post, founder of Thrive Global and author of 15 books with topics ranging from feminism to corporate America to politics.
Huffington was born Arianna Stassinopoulus in Athens, Greece in 1950. Her father was a journalist but she says her mother helped her develop ambitious goals in life.
Stassinopoulus moved to Great Britain in her teens and went on to study economics at the University of Cambridge. There, she became the first foreign, and third female president of the Cambridge Union, an esteemed debate society. After graduating, she moved to London to pursue a career in writing.
In 1974, Stassinopoulus published her first book, “The Female Women,” which examined trends in women’s liberation movements. She went on to publish other books including “After Reason,” “Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend,” and “The Gods of Greece.” In 1980, she moved to New York.
Six years later, Stassinopoulis married Michael Huffington, a secretary within the U.S. Department of Defense, and the couple had two children. Michael Huffington also served as a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives and ran a Senate campaign. Arianna Huffington, who had campaigned on behalf of her husband, renounced the Republican party in 1996, one year before their divorce.
In 2005, Huffington launched The Huffington Post with Kenneth Lerer. The website became well known for its blogging and news aggregation, with much of its content coming from citizen journalists. The Huffington Post went on to become one of the most visited websites in the U.S. Six years after it was founded, AOL acquired the company for $315 million, cementing Huffington as one of the wealthiest media moguls in the world.
Like most of Huffington’s career ventures, it eventually became time to try something new. In 2016, she announced she was leaving the company to start Thrive Global, a health and wellness media outlet. Thrive Global helps companies ensure employees avoid burnout, publishes content on well-being and performance, and creates tools to help its readers follow through on their aspirations.
“After my collapse from sleep deprivation and exhaustion in 2007 I became more and more passionate about the connection between well-being and performance,” Huffington said. “And as I went around the world speaking about my experience, I saw two things: First, that we’re facing a stress and burnout epidemic. And second, that people deeply want to change the way they work and live.”
Thrive Global, Harvard Public Health and the CAA Foundation recently launched #FirstRespondersFirst, a platform that tell the stories of healthcare workers, gives tips for managing burnout and stress, and encourages readers to donate to support the heroes on the front line.