Mary Matalin is one of the most celebrated and popular conservative voices in America. As an author, television and radio host, and widely sought after political contributor, pundit and public speaker, she has become noted for her straightforward manner and insightful political repartee. Among her many roles and accomplishments, she has served under President Ronald Reagan, made her mark as George H.W. Bush's Campaign director and most recently a
Her paternal grandparents were Croatian immigrants and her mother was of Irish descent.
Matalin, Mary Joe was born on August 19, 1953 in Chicago. The daughter of Eileen (née Emerson), who ran beauty salons, and Steven Matalin, a steel mill worker.
Matalin attended Thornton Fractional North High School and attended Western Illinois University for college and Hofstra University School of Law, where she was enrolled for one year before dropping out. Matalin has been active in politics since college, starting at the grassroots level in local and statewide campaigns in her native Illinois.
In 1980, after graduating from Western Illinois University, Matalin joined a re-election campaign for Illinois Lt. Governor David O'Neal at the request of a former professor. She was so successful, that when the "Reagan Revolution" brought her to Washington DC, she was quickly hired by the Republican National Committee.
After a hiatus from Washington to attend Hofstra Law School, Matalin returned the RNC in 1984 to serve as national voter contact director for the Reagan-Bush Campaign. By 1988, after holding various senior positions in the George H.W. Bush
successful presidential campaign of that same year, she was appointed Chief of Staff to Republican National Committee Chairman, Lee Atwater.
In 1992, President Bush names her deputy campaign manager for Political Operations, and as such she was responsible for the overview and organization of operations in all 50 states. As the on-board planner who traveled with President Bush throughout the 1992 campaign, she emerged as the vocal, and occasionally controversial, defender of the President and his policies.
Since that time, Matalin has made frequent television appearances as a political commentator, securing a career in conservative media advocacy following decades of work in the GOP political trenches. She has made numerous appearances on NBC's Meet the Press, as well as on the popular HBO series K-Street, and before joining the Bush/Cheney White House, hosted CNN's critically acclaimed debate show, Crossfire.
As if all this were not enough, Matalin also makes regular appearances as a public speaker and sits on the boards of numerous respected institutions across the country, including: Tulane University's President's Council, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, The Water Institute of the Gulf and The Louisiana Nature Conservancy. Most recently Matalin accepted an appointment as a visiting distinguished lecturer in political science at Loyola University New Orleans.
She mentioned that she was raised Methodist, but joined the Catholic Church
"Having control over your schedule is the only way that women who want to have a career and a family can make it work."
"Follow me if I advance, kill me if I retreat, avenge me if I die."
"You'll never regret writing any letter out of love. However, it's a good idea to reread anything you've written in anger."
"Learn how to communicate, learn how to speak."
"No one else, ever, will think you're great the way your mother does."
"Rule number one: Never make anyone uncomfortable in your home-even morons."
“"She loves spiritual, mystical, ancient things. She likes the tolling of old church bells, the rumbling of the streetcar clapping its way along St. Charles Avenue."
-James Carville, husband”
Music & Bands
Favorite songs: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered - I'm Yours", "Uptight - Everything's Alright" by Stevie Wonder, "Can't Find My Way Home" by Blind Faith, "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin.
Met husband James Carville in 1991 but suspended their relationship while she was Deputy Campaign Director of George H.W. Bush's 1992 Presidential reelection bid and he ran Bill Clinton's successful effort.
Married Carville on Thanksgiving Day 1993, then collaborated with him on the best-seller All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President (1994). Matalin and Carville have two daughters, Matalin Mary "Matty" Carville and Emerson Normand "Emma" Carville.