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Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza RiceBorn: 14-Nov-1954
Birthplace: Birmingham, AL

Gender: Female
Religion: Presbyterian
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Matter of Dispute [1]
Occupation: Government
Party Affiliation: Republican [2]

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: US Secretary of State, 2005-09

Condoleezza Rice describes herself as a moderate Republican, and has never been identified with so-called "black issues", which has led some African-Americans to view her with suspicion. She says she became a Republican when she watched the 1984 Democratic Convention on TV, and decided that the Democrats' appeals to "women, minorities, and the poor" really meant "helpless people and the poor". Rice said, "I decided I'd rather be ignored than patronized."

Her parents were both college professors. Her unusual first name is derived from the Italian for an opera stage instruction, con dolcezza, meaning "with sweetness". Rice was raised in segregated Birmingham during the civil rights movement. A childhood friend, 11-year-old Denise McNair, was one of the four young girls killed in the bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963. Rice never became involved in the civil rights movement, but she says, "My parents had me absolutely convinced that, well, you may not be able to have a hamburger at Woolworth's but you can be President of the United States."

She mastered the piano at three, and was told that she could have had a career as a concert pianist. She skipped first and seventh grades, entered college at 15, holds three degrees including a doctorate in political science, and earned her Master's in just one year's study. She was a professor of Political Science at Stanford from 1981-99, and from 1993-99 she was also Stanford's provost, responsible for overseeing the school's budget and academic programs.

She served as a mid- to upper-level member of the National Security staff during the first Bush presidency, and as National Security Advisor during the second Bush presidency, before succeeding Colin Powell as Secretary of State in 2005. She was the second woman to be US Secretary of State, after Madeleine Albright during the Clinton administration. She was the first black woman to be Secretary of State, and she held the highest position in a presidential cabinet that any black woman has held.

Little is known of Rice's personal life, except that she has never been married. She is reportedly a good ice skater and a knowledgeable football fan, and she dated the Denver Broncos' Rick Upchurch while she was attending the University of Denver. She once owned a house and shared a line of credit with another woman, Stanford co-worker and documentary filmmaker Randy Bean, although the nature of their partnership remains unknown. More recently, she occasionally had football executive Gene Washington on her arm when she attended State Department events, but their relationship was described only as "cordial". At a dinner party while Rice was National Security Advisor, she referred to President George W. Bush as "my husband" before abruptly correcting herself.

She was on the Board of Directors at the Chevron Corporation, where an oil tanker was named in her honor. When this became a point of embarrassment for Rice, spotlighting her links to the oil industry, the Condoleezza Rice was rechristened the Altair Voyager.


[1] "Gay Rumours Eclipse Condi's Glory Moment", The Sunday Times (London), 2 December 2007. Quoting Anne Roifes, "It is widely believed in gay circles that Condi is a lesbian... that could be one reason she will not run [for Presidential nomination]." Also, "First Clinton, Now Condi... Murdoch Papers Go Lesbian Mad", The First Post, 3 December 2007, mentioning reports that Rice as Provost at Stanford "was completely out as a lesbian and it was not a scandal, just a reality" and her purchase, with Randy Bean (an unmarried woman), of a house together. Ms. Bean stated that the property was an investment, not a cohabitation.

[2] Switched from Democratic to Republican in 1982.

Father: John W. Rice (Presbyterian minister)
Mother: Angelina Ray Rice (d.)
Mother: Clara Rice (stepmother, school principal)
Boyfriend:
Rick Upchurch (Denver Broncos receiver, dated in 1970s)
Boyfriend: Gene Washington (pro football executive, dated 1980s, and intermittently 2003-)

    High School: St. Mary's Academy, Englewood, CO (1970)
    University: BA Political Science, University of Denver (1974)
    University: MA Political Science, University of Notre Dame (1975)
    University: PhD Political Science, Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver (1981)
    Teacher: Political Science, Stanford University (1981-93)
    Professor: Political Science, Stanford University (1993-)
    Administrator: Provost, Stanford University (1993-99)

    US Secretary of State (2005-09)
    White House National Security Advisor (2001-05)
    US National Security Council Senior Director, Soviet & East European Affairs (1989-91)
    Member of the Board of Chevron
    Member of the Board of Charles Schwab
    Member of the Board of Dropbox (2014-)
    Member of the Board of Grassroots.com
    Member of the Board of Transamerica
    Member of the Board of Hewlett-Packard
    Alfalfa Club 2001
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    Bush-Quayle '92
    Council on Foreign Relations
    Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies Honorary Patron
    Hoover Institution
    Kennedy Center ex-officio member
    Lincoln Club of Northern California
    Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors
    Pacific Council on International Policy
    RAND Corporation Trustee (1991-97)
    Institute for International Studies (Stanford)
    US Institute of Peace Officer Ex Officio
    Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Board of Directors
    Alpha Chi Omega Sorority
    Phi Beta Kappa Society
    Dubya Nickname Guru
    Dubya Ranch Hand Jan-2003
    Funeral: Tom Lantos (2008)
    Funeral: Gerald Ford (2007)
    Funeral: Tim Russert (2008)
    Funeral: Steve Jobs (2011)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Miss Representation (20-Jan-2011) · Herself
    Bhutto (21-Jan-2010) · Herself
    When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (16-Aug-2006) · Herself

Rotten Library Page:
Condoleezza Rice

Author of books:
The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army, 1948-1983: Uncertain Allegiance (1984)
The Gorbachev Era (1986, with Alexander Dallin)
Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995, with Philip Zelikow)
Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010, memoir)


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