Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Rachel Maddow, Surging MSNBC Host, Has Surprising Jewish Roots

Rachel Maddow, the liberal MSNBC host, comes from a family of practicing Catholics. But that’s not the whole story – she has one paternal Jewish grandparent from modern-day Lithuana.

Maddow, who now anchors one of the highest rated programs in cable news, has a hodgepodge of European heritage. Her mother is from Canada and mostly descends from English and Irish stock.

On her father’s side, her grandmother is of Dutch extraction – with her husband as the Jewish link in the chain, and also the source of the Maddow family name.

Maddow is of course an Anglicization, though – the original surname is said to have been “Medwedof.”

Maddow is coming off a great week – one of the first in which she beat Fox News in the 9 p.m. time slot when her show airs. The Stanford University alum and Rhodes scholar started on the network in 2008. She lives in New York with her partner Susan Mikula.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at [email protected] or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.