commentator, political activist
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Mary Joe Matalin dropped out of Western Illinois University to work in a steel mill in the early 1970s. She later received a BA in political science in 1978. While studying for a beautician's license, she got involved in politics. In 1981 she moved to Washington, D.C. to work at the Republican National Committee. Two years later Matalin enrolled in Hofstra University Law School but dropped out after a year. She then held a number of political jobs, including serving as political director for President George Bush's reelection campaign in 1992. During the campaign Matalin's relationship with James Carville, who held a similar post in Bill Clinton's organization, received much publicity. After the election, they married and wrote a book about politics and their relationship, All's Fair: Love, War and Running for President, published in 1994. Matalin also became a political commentator, hosting her own radio show on CBS and co-hosting CNBC's Equal Time. In 1999 she became co-host of CNN's Crossfire. In 2001 she was named senior adviser to Vice President Richard Cheney. In 2003, Matalin, Carville, and Reagan aide Michael Deaver became cast members of HBO's K Street, a weekly series that combined fictional characters with real-life politicians and topical political news.