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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 solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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