Foremost host on the nightly MSNBC program The Rachel Maddow Show, she's also served as a part-time anchor for the network. She became the first openly gay news anchor to appear on air with a large news organization in the United States.
At Castro Valley High School, she played volleyball and basketball and swam. She studied public policy at Stanford University, the received a Rhodes Scholarship to continue her studies at Oxford University.
She started working as a radio host in 1999. She joined MSNBC in 2005 and began hosting the The Rachel Maddow Show in 2008.
She began dating her partner, photographer Susan Mikula, in 1999.
She served as a substitute host for Countdown with Keith Olbermann in 2008, and her success in that role ultimately led to the creation of her own show.