Barbara Olson

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Barbara Olson
Olson.barbara.jpg
Born Barbara Kay Bracher
(1955-12-27)December 27, 1955
Houston, Texas, United States
Died September 11, 2001(2001-09-11) (aged 45)
Arlington, Virginia, United States
Cause of death
Hijacking and crash of American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, 9/11
Nationality American
Education Waltrip High School
Alma mater University of Saint Thomas,
Yeshiva University
Occupation Political Commentator,
Lawyer
Years active 1990—2001
Known for Fox News and CNN commentator
Political party
Republican
Spouse(s) Theodore Olson

Barbara Kay Olson (born Barbara Kay Bracher; December 27, 1955  – September 11, 2001) was a lawyer and conservative American television commentator who worked for CNN, Fox News Channel, and several other outlets.[1] She was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 en route to a taping of Bill Maher's television show Politically Incorrect when it was flown into the Pentagon in the September 11 attacks.

Early life[edit]

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[2] and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saint Thomas in Houston. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yeshiva University's Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Career[edit]

As a newcomer, she achieved a surprising measure of success, working for HBO and Stacy Keach Productions.[when?] In the early 1990s, she worked as an associate at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering where she did civil litigation for several years before becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Olson's support in 1991 of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas led to the formation of the Independent Women's Forum. At that time, Olson and friend Rosalie (Ricky) Gaull Silberman started an informal network of women who supported the Thomas nomination to the Supreme Court despite allegations of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, a former subordinate of Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Olson, who had also worked under Thomas at the EEOC and was a close friend of Thomas, spoke out on his behalf during his contentious Senate confirmation hearings. Olson later helped edit The Real Anita Hill, a book by David Brock that savaged Hill and portrayed the harassment claim as a political dirty trick (Brock later recanted his claims and apologized to Hill). The Independent Women's Forum continued on with a goal of remaining a high profile group of women to advocate for economic and political freedom and personal responsibility.

In 1994, Olson became chief investigative counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In that position, she led the Travelgate and Filegate investigations into the Clinton administration. She was later a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the Birmingham, Alabama law firm Balch & Bingham.

Personal life[edit]

She married Theodore Olson in 1996. Theodore went on to successfully represent presidential candidate George W. Bush in the Supreme Court case of Bush v. Gore, and subsequently served as U.S. Solicitor General in the Bush administration.

Olson was a frequent critic of the Bill Clinton administration and wrote a book about then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton (1999). Olson's second book, The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House was published posthumously.[3]

She was a resident of Great Falls, Virginia.[citation needed]

Death and legacy[edit]

Olson’s name is located on Panel S-70 of the National September 11 Memorial’s South Pool, along with those of other passengers of Flight 77.

Olson was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 on her way to a taping of Politically Incorrect in Los Angeles, when it was flown into the Pentagon in the September 11 attacks. At the National September 11 Memorial, Olson's name is located on Panel S-70 of the South Pool, along with those of other passengers of Flight 77.[4]

Books[edit]

  • Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton (November 1999; ISBN 0-89526-274-6)
  • The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House (October 2001; ISBN 0-89526-167-7)

References[edit]

External links[edit]