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George Robert Stephanopoulos (born February 10, 1961) is an American broadcaster and former political adviser. He is currently ABC News's Chief Washington Correspondent and the host of ABC's Sunday morning news show This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

In recent years he has co-hosted ABC News special live coverage of political events with ABC's Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer, and appears regularly on ABC's Good Morning America, World News, and launched an blog called "George's Bottom Line".

Prior to joining ABC News, he was a senior political adviser to the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and later became Clinton's communications director.

He is married to actress Alexandra Wentworth, with whom he has two daughters, and lives in Washington, D.C.marker

Early life and education

George Robert Stephanopoulos was born in Fall River, Massachusettsmarker, and grew up in Purchase, NYmarker and suburban Cleveland, Ohiomarker, the descendant of Greekmarker immigrants. His parents followed the Greek Orthodox faith, and Stephanopoulos, whose father is a Greek Orthodox priest (former Dean of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York), had long considered entering the priesthood himself. However, when he was a freshman at Orange High School, he decided that he would rather pursue a different profession.

Stephanopoulos wrestled competitively in high school. Stephanopoulos received his bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1982, where he was a broadcaster for WKCR Sportsmarker. Graduating summa cum laude with a degree in political science, Stephanopoulos was the salutatorian of his class. He also was awarded a Truman Scholarship. He returned to his alma mater in 2003, serving as Columbia College's Class Day speaker.

Stephanopoulos' father had always wanted his son to become a lawyer, if not a priest, so he promised his father that he would attend law school eventually. Initially he took a job with a congressman from Cleveland, and served as an aide in Washington, D.C.marker Nevertheless, his father persistently questioned him as to when he would attend law school, so Stephanopoulos agreed to attend law school if he were not offered a Rhodes Scholarship. Though he had been rejected for the scholarship during his senior year at Columbia, Stephanopoulos was successful in his second attempt.

While at Oxfordmarker, Stephanopoulos earned a master's degree in theology at Balliol Collegemarker on his Rhodes Scholarship. He reported spending much of his time trying to root his political leanings in deeper philosophies that he studied while at Oxford.

In May 2007, Stephanopoulos received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from St. John's Universitymarker.

Early career

After college, Stephanopoulos joined the staff of Ed Feighan as a legislative assistant and later worked as his chief of staff.

In 1988, Stephanopoulos worked on the Michael Dukakis campaign. He notes one of the attractions to this campaign was that Dukakis was a Greek-American liberal from Massachusetts. After this campaign, Stephanopoulos became House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt's floor man, a position he held until he joined the Clinton campaign.

Clinton administration

Stephanopoulos was, along with David Wilhelm and James Carville, a leading member of the 1992 Clinton campaign. His role on the campaign is portrayed in the documentary film The War Room.

At the outset of Clinton's presidency, Stephanopoulos served as the de facto press secretary, briefing the press even though Dee Dee Myers was officially the White House Press Secretary. Later, he was moved to Senior Advisor on Policy and Strategy, when Dee Dee Myers began personally conducting the briefings (following several verbal missteps by Stephanopoulos) and David Gergen was brought in as the new White House Communications Director. The move was largely viewed as a rebuke to Stephanopoulos' handling of public relations during the first six months of the Clinton Administration.

On February 25, 1994 George Stephanopoulos and Harold Ickes had a conference call with Roger Altman to discuss the Resolution Trust Corporation's (RTC) choice of Republican lawyer Jay Stephens to head the Madison Guaranty investigation, that later turned into the Whitewater investigation.

In 1995, Stephanopoulos was arrested, being charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving with an expired license and license plates in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.marker.

Stephanopoulos resigned from the Clinton administration shortly after Clinton was re-elected in 1996.

His 1999 memoir, entitled All Too Human: A Political Education, was published after he left the White House during Clinton's second term. It quickly became a #1 New York Times best seller. In his book, Stephanopoulos spoke of his depression and how his face broke out into hives due to the pressures of conveying the Clinton White House message. Bill Clinton referred to the book in his autobiography, My Life, apologizing for what he felt in retrospect to be excessive demands placed on the young staffer.

Stephanopoulos' book covers his time with Clinton from the day he met him in September 1991 to the day Stephanopoulos left the White House in December 1996, through two presidential campaigns and four years in the White House. Stephanopoulos describes Clinton in the book as a "complicated man responding to the pressures and pleasures of public life in ways I found both awesome and appalling."

George Stephanopoulos attended the Bilderberg Group conference in 1997.

ABC News and This Week

After leaving the White Housemarker at the end of President Clinton's term, Stephanopoulos became a political analyst for ABC News and served as a correspondent on the ABC Sunday talk program This Week, World News Tonight, Good Morning America, along with other various special broadcasts. In September 2002, Stephanopoulos became host of This Week, and ABC News officially named him "Chief Washington Correspondent" in December 2005.

Stephanopoulos is currently the anchor of ABC's Sunday morning political affairs program, "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" following Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson who, for a few years, briefly replaced the original host the late David Brinkley. The program's title added the new host's name to reflect this change of helm.

Stephanopoulos was a relative newcomer to the show, usurping longtime panelists and short term co-hosts Cokie Roberts, and Sam Donaldson when named to the position.

On April 16, 2008, Stephanopoulos co-moderated the 21st, and ultimately final, Democratic Presidential debate between Illinois Senator Barack Obama and New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for the 2008 election cycle with Charles Gibson. While the debate received record ratings, the pair were heavily criticized for focusing most of first hour of the debate on controversies that occurred during the campaign rather than issues such as the economy and Iraq War. Stephanopoulos acknowledged the legitimacy of the concerns over the order of the questions, but said they were issues in the campaign that hadn't been covered in previous debates.

Stephanopoulos was quoted in a January 27, 2009 Politico article "Power, Politics, Gossip on a Daily Call" by John F. Harris. The article was about a daily call Stephanopoulos participates in with his friends James Carville, Rahm Emanuel, and Paul Begala. Harris describes the call as " a street-corner bull session between four old friends who suddenly find themselves standing once more at the busiest intersection of politics and media in Washington."

In the article, Stephanopoulos says he does not surrender his reputation as an independent journalist during the daily information-sharing calls. "We are all good friends," Stephanopoulos is quoted as saying. "We just like talking to each other, and I learn a lot from it ... and that's why we have been doing it for so long."

After the article ran, conservative media critic Brent Bozell and some right-wing bloggers launched a campaign against Stephanopoulos: "Will Stephanopoulos be critical of the White House’s plans when he spends every morning helping to craft them? Not likely. He must from this point forward recuse himself from any reporting involving the Obama Administration," Bozell said in a press release. Conservatives deluged ABC with emails and calls on the topic.

Politico's Ben Smith reported: "I don't think they have the story quite right, nor does its author, John Harris, who emails: 'The calls are certainly a fascinating Washington ritual, but by no means do I think George Stephanopoulos is participating in strategy sessions. To my mind, he established his journalistic bona fides more than a decade ago, even as the Clinton administration was still underway, when he showed his willingness to report aggressively on Democrats as well as Republicans.'"

Ratings as This Week host

ABC network executives reportedly offered former Nightline Anchor Ted Koppel the "This Week" host job in 2005 after the program's ratings had become a regular 3rd, 4th, and sometimes 5th place finish after competitors NBC, CBS, Fox, and syndicated programs. However, in the past couple of years, "This Week" has consistently placed 2nd, sometimes even 1st, ahead of NBC's "Meet The Press."

In February, 2009 the gap between "Meet the Press" and its competitors — CBS' "Face The Nation" and ABC's "This Week" — began closing. "Meet the Press" posted its lowest ratings since NBC's David Gregory became moderator in early February, with the show airing Sunday, Feb. 1 averaging just 3.9 million viewers. "Face The Nation" averaged 3.33 million total viewers, while "This Week" came in just behind with 3.32 million total viewers. "This Week" beat "Meet the Press" on January 11, when George Stephanopoulos interviewed President-Elect Barack Obama.

Opinion columnist and part time ABC News commentator George Will is the only remaining member of the original "This Week" panel from the Brinkley days to participate consistently in the weekly show; Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson still appear on the program on a very limited basis. Fareed Zakaria was a weekly panelist during the first two years of Stephanopoulos's tenure, broadening the show with his perspective on world and Middle Eastern issues.

In popular culture

Stephanopoulos is the inspiration for the character of Henry Burton in Joe Klein's 1996 novel Primary Colors. Henry Burton was subsequently portrayed by Adrian Lester in 1998 film adaptation.

Aaron Sorkin modeled both Michael J. Fox's character Lewis Rothschild in The American President and Rob Lowe's character Sam Seaborn on The West Wing after Stephanopoulos. Fox based his portrayal on Stephanopoulos as well. According to Stephanopoulos, his role in the Clinton administration was more like Bradley Whitford's character Josh Lyman than Seaborn or Rothschild.

Stephanopolous' name was mentioned in the first season of Will and Grace. Characters Will and Jack enter a bar and the bartender asks, "What's your pleasure?" The men look at each other and say in unison: "Mmmm… George Stephanopoulos!"

Stephanopoulos was also referenced in the first season of Friends in the episode "The One with George Stephanopoulos", where Monica, Rachel and Phoebe spy on him from Monica's balcony window after accidentally receiving his pizza delivery. Rachel refers to him as "George Snuffleupagus"

Stephanopoulos is referred in an "American Dad" episode "Iced, Iced Babies," Francine threatens to use George Stephanopoulos' sperm to get "A house full of liberal, Greek, midget babies" when Stan does not allow his sperm.


During the 2008 presidential election campaign, Stephanopoulos launched an blog called "George's Bottom Line." Stephanopoulos blogs about political news and analysis from Washington.

In October 2008, Stephanopoulos began posting updates to Twitter, and launched a public profile page on Facebook, the social networking Web site.

Personal Life

Stephanopoulos and his wife, Alexandra Wentworth, live in Washington, D.C., with their two daughters. He was briefly engaged to Jennifer Grey, star of Dirty Dancing.

Along with a number of other notable Greek Americans, he is a founding member of The Next Generation Initiative, a leadership program aimed at getting students involved in public affairs.


  1. Stephanopoulos, George, All Too Human, 21
  2. AllPolitics - Whitewater - Timeline
  3. [1]
  4. George Stephanopoulos Biography -
  5. Bilderberg Conference 1997 - 12-15 June - Atlanta, USA
  6. ABC News (2008). George Stephanopoulos. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  7. John F. Harris. [ "Power, politics, gossip on daily call,"], January 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  8. Ben Smith. "George's calls" (on response to the Harris article), January 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  9. Jacques Steinberg. Koppel leaving ABC News and 'Nightline' in December," The New York Times, April 1, 2005.
  10. Danny Shea. "'Meet The Press' ratings lowest since David Gregory became moderator, Huffington Post, February 5, 2009.
  11. So What Do You Do, George Stephanopoulos, Anchor, This Week - Content
  12. IMDb listing for Friends episode
  14. ABC News (2008). George's Bottom Line.
  15. Facebook (2008). George Stephanopoulos. Retrieved December 30, 2008.


  • Clinton, Bill (2005). My Life. Vintage. ISBN 1-4000-3003-X.

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