Donna Brazile Biography

(Political Strategist)

Birthday: December 15, 1959 (Sagittarius)

Born In: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Donna Brazile is the current chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, the governing body of the Democratic Party. She has worked as a political analyst/strategist/commentator, an author, and a campaign manager. Brazile has been under media scrutiny for her remarks and acts, the most prominent of them being the controversy related to the leaked e-mails regarding the possible questions to be asked to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Brazile has served as a campaign manager for several Democratic candidates. She has also been a columnist, an author (Hacks: The Inside Story), a news channel contributor (CNN and Fox News), a lecturer, an adjunct professor, and an LGBT activist.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Donna Lease Brazile

Age: 64 Years, 64 Year Old Females


father: Lionel Brazile

mother: Jean Brazile

Born Country: United States

American Women Women Writers

U.S. State: Louisiana

City: New Orleans, Louisiana

More Facts

education: Louisiana State University, Grace King High School

Childhood & Early Life

Donna Lease Brazile was born on December 15, 1959, in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., to Jean Marie (Brown) and Lionel Joseph Brazile. She has two older and six younger siblings.

While in high school, she participated in a TRIO Upward Bound program. Brazile graduated with a degree in industrial psychology from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1981. She earned a fellowship at the Institute of Politics of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Following her graduation, she was associated with many activist groups. She played a crucial role in making Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday.

She was just 9 when she developed an interest in politics, after a local political candidate announced he would build a playground in the neighborhood. Brazile eventually served several election campaigns for Democratic candidates such as Jimmy Carter–Walter Mondale (1976 and 1980), Jesse Jackson (1984), Walter Mondale–Geraldine Ferraro (1984), and Dick Gephardt (1988).

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Donna Brazile was appointed as a deputy field director for the general election campaign of Michael Dukakis in 1988.

In her first year in politics, she triggered a controversy for stating that George H. W. Bush should have been open about his extramarital affair and that the Americans had every right to know everything about their political candidate.

In the wake of the controversy, Dukakis dismissed Brazile from his campaign.

In the 1990s, Brazile was appointed as the chief of staff and press secretary to Eleanor Holmes Norton, the Democratic delegate from the District of Columbia's at-large district. In that capacity, she made contributions in structuring the district's budget and local regulations on Capitol Hill.

In 1992, Brazile served the advisory staff of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign. She served them again in the 1996 re-election campaign.

In 1999, Brazile became the deputy campaign manager for Vice-President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign. Her promotion as the campaign manager made her the first African–American woman to manage a presidential campaign for a major political party.

From 2005 to 2009, Donna Brazile was on the board of directors of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which served the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2000, after the end of the controversial presidential election in Florida, Brazile chaired the Voting Rights Institute of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

During the 2008 election, she was an unpledged delegate for the Democratic National Convention for Bill Clinton and Al Gore but never announced her preferred candidate.

Brazile criticized the Stupak–Pitts Amendment, the proposed revision to the Affordable Health Care for America Act that was introduced by the House in November 2009 but was never passed as a law.

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In 2011, Brazile was an interim chairperson of the DNC until Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz took over the position. Brazile then returned to her position of the DNC vice-chair. She became an interim chairperson again after Schultz resigned on July 24, 2016.

Non-Political Career

Donna Brazile has contributed to Ms. Magazine and has written columns for Roll Call. In 2004, Simon & Schuster released her memoir, Cooking with Grease – Stirring the Pots in American Politics.

Brazile also had a stint as a contributor and political commentator on networks such as CNN (The Situation Room), ABC News, and the National Public Radio Political Corner. She has appeared on several CNN shows, such as American Morning, New Day, and CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. She was one of the prominent members of journalist Anderson Cooper's guest panel for CNN's coverage of the election.

She quit CNN in October 2016. The network forced her to resign, and they never worked together again due to her involvement in the unethical leaks related to Clinton's campaign.

Donna Brazile is the founder and managing director of Brazile and Associates.

In 2017, Hachette Books published Brazile's book Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.

Along with Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry, and Minyon Moore, Brazile has co-authored the joint biography For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics (2018).

On March 18, 2019, Brazile joined Fox News as a contributor.

Donna Brazile has guest-starred as herself in the CBS drama The Good Wife and the Netflix drama House of Cards.

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Brazile has been a lecturer at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a fellow at the Institute of Politics. She is an adjunct professor of “Women and Gender Studies” at Georgetown University and an advisory board member of the Washington and Lee University Mock Convention. Brazile is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).


In the wake of the controversies related to the WikiLeaks e-mails from the personal Gmail account of John Podesta, who had chaired Hillary Clinton's 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Donna Brazile triggered a parallel debate. One of the leaked e-mails dated March 5, 2016, was sent to Podesta and the former director of communications for Clinton's campaign, Jennifer Palmieri. Brazile hinted that a female with body rash might trigger a debate about Clinton’s plan of action for the people of Flint who were suffering due to poisoned water.

The controversy surfaced when an audience member (who was a victim of the poisoned family) asked the same question to Clinton while she was in Flint. Brazile was accused of framing or leaking the questions for Clinton's campaign, but she denied it. She also denied sending the e-mails and accused the media and the police of harassing her.

In October 2016, Brazile expressed her disappointment on the whole episode of the leaks, which intelligence officials stated was a result of Russian intervention and manipulation for their own political interest.

Unfortunately, the controversy resulted in the termination of her contract with CNN, and she had to resign on October 14.

In March 2017, in an interview with Time magazine, she finally admitted to informing Clinton about the potential questions or topics for her town hall meetings. She justified the act, saying it was her foremost duty as the vice-chair of the DNC and a CNN commentator to provide a good and fair image of the Democratic candidates to the public. However, she also confessed that the e-mail leak was a mistake that she would regret forever.

Sharing some more details on the controversy in her 2017 memoir, Hacks, she wrote about an "unethical agreement" between the Clinton campaign and the DNC, that gave the candidate a significant control over the party.

The Washington Post questioned Brazile's allegations, referring to a September 2015 article that had already hinted at the agreement. Reportedly, Brazile was well-informed about it.

Brazile campaigned to replace Clinton with Vice President Joe Biden as the DNC nominee, after the former fainted at a 9/11 memorial service on September 11, 2016.

Personal Life

In 1999, The New York Times Magazine reported that Donna Brazile had been an LGBT activist and had served on the board of the event Millennium March on Washington.

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