Barbara Olson Biography
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Barbara Olson Biography  

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Barbara Olson (December 27, 1955 – September 11, 2001) was a Conservatism United States television commentator who worked for FOX News, CNN and several other outlets. Olson was born Barbara Kay Bracher in Houston, Texas. (Her older sister, Toni Bracher-Lawrence, has been a member of the Houston City Council since 2004.) She graduated from Waltrip High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saint Thomas (Texas) in Houston and a Juris Doctor degree from Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In the early 1990s, she worked as an associate at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering before marrying United States Solicitor General, Theodore Olson in 1997. In the mid-1990s she was a chief investigator for the House Government Reform Committee - and later a staff lawyer for Senate Minority Whip Don Nickles - before branching out as a TV commentator and private lawyer. She was a frequent critic of the Clinton administration and wrote a book about First Lady Hillary Clinton, Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was working on her second book, The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House (published December 2001) at the time of her death. She was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 on her way to a taping of Politically Incorrect in Los Angeles (host Bill Maher left a panel seat vacant during the first week the show aired after the attacks), when it was flown into the Pentagon in the September 11, 2001 attacks. She had been scheduled to take a different flight, but cancelled and booked herself on that particular flight on that Tuesday in order to celebrate her husband's birthday on Monday, September 10. (Her husband's birthday is actually September 11.) She had reported the hijacking to her husband twice with her cell phone about 20 minutes before the plane hit the Pentagon, reportedly asking him "What should I do?" Olson was a resident of Great Falls, Virginia prior to her death. She was the subject of a eulogy by her husband, Theodore Olson, at the Federalist Society on November 16, 2001. The occasion was the launching of the annual Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lectures. These lectures have a theme of "Limited Government and the Spirit of Freedom" (quote from the Society's website).

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