Born in Athens in 1950, Arianna Huffington built the Huffington Post into a $300m business before selling it to AOL in 2011. The author of 15 books, she is now aiming to lead a “sleep revolution”.
Huffington’s latest book “The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time” follows on from her previous bestseller “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder”.
Her own success has been hard-won. Having left Athens at the age of 16 with her mother to live in London, she gained a place at Girton College, Cambridge to read Economics. At 21, she became president of its famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. Shortly after graduating, her first book “The Female Woman” was published in 1974.
She moved to the US the year her second book, “After Reason”, was published in 1980, where she met and married Michael Huffington, a secretary within the U.S. Department of Defense. The couple had two children, Christina and Isabella, but divorced in 1997.
Having supported her husband’s Republican political career, in 2003 Huffington stood for office herself as an independent candidate in the Californian gubernatorial election against front-runner Arnold Schwarzenegger, but withdrew before Election Day.
The Huffington Post
Two years later she would co-found the Huffington Post.
Having established Huffington Post in 2005 largely in response to John Kerry’s presidential election defeat and the desire to create a liberal-leaning alternative to right-wing news aggregation sites such as The Drudge Report, she helped to build it into a 2012-Pulitzer-Prize-winning online megalith – and the most referenced news site on the web.
The “Sleep Revolution”
However, the strains of juggling her own writing career with managing the rapidly growing online media outlet caused her to collapse at her desk from exhaustion in 2007. This is something which she talks passionately about having inspired her to rethink the way she was working and living.
It is a theme she explores in her 2010 TED talk “How to Succeed? Get More Sleep”.
In her 2014 book “Thrive” she posited meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving back as the antidotes to the all-too-prevalent stress and burnout we experience in modern life.
Thriving, according to Huffington, is all about building a rewarding, stimulating and healthy life with more meaning, purpose, joy, peace, and well-being.
Both her latest books and most recent career move reflect this new priority: in 2016 she left the Huffington Post to launch Thrive Global, a start-up company and digital platform dedicated to health and wellness.