It's All Politics

5 Things You Should Know About Carly Fiorina


Carly Fiorina, and her husband Frank Fiorina, on election day 2010, when she ran for Senate from California.
Paul Sakuma, AP
Carly Fiorina, and her husband Frank Fiorina, on election day 2010, when she ran for Senate from California.

Carly Fiorina is expected to declare her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination Monday morning in a video. Fiorina is perhaps best known as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company. She was ousted after a boardroom struggle in 2005.

She served as a surrogate in John McCain's 2008 Presidential campaign, and in 2010 ran for the U.S. Senate from California, losing to Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer.

Here are five things you may not know or remember about Fiorina:

1) She's a law school dropout

After she got her under graduate degree from Stanford (in medieval history and philosophy), Fiorina's father, a federal appeals court judge, suggested his daughter go to law school. Fiorina did, but said studying law gave her "blinding headaches every day" so she dropped out after a semester. Not to worry, she does have graduate business degrees from Maryland and MIT.

2) She started her career as a Kelly girl

Fiorina says one of her first jobs was with temporary agency Kelly Services whose workers, mostly women, were dubbed "Kelly girls." She also worked secretarial positions while in college, including a stint filing and typing for Hewlett-Packard, the tech company she would eventually lead.

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3) She is a cancer survivor

Fiorina was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, and underwent a double mastectomy. At campaign appearances, women often come up to her to say they too are cancer survivors. "It's a sisterhood", she says.

4) Her husband was a tow truck driver

Much like Fiorina, her husband Frank Fiorina started off small, driving a tow truck for a family-owned body shop. He eventually became an executive at AT&T.

5) She ran one of the most (in)famous campaign ads ever

In 2010 Fiorina, running for the U.S. Senate, ran an ad that showed a flock of sheep grazing peacefully in a pasture, when suddenly one is shown with scary red eyes. The narrator says Fiorina's opponent, Tom Campbell, was not a true conservative — "a wolf in sheep's clothing." The spot came to be known as the demon sheep ad.

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