Christiane Amanpour

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Christiane Amanpour
Christiane Amanpour 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Amanpour at the 2011 Time 100 gala
Born (1958-01-12) 12 January 1958 (age 61)
London, England
Education University of Rhode Island
Occupation ABC Global Affairs Anchor (2010–present)
CNN Anchor and Chief International Correspondent (1992–2010, 2011–present)
Years active 1983–present
Notable credit(s) Amanpour (CNN International) Anchor (2009–2010, 2012–present)
This Week (ABC) Anchor (2010–2011)
60 Minutes (CBS) Reporter (1996–2005)
Spouse(s) James Rubin
(m. 1998–present)
Children Darius Rubin

Christiane Amanpour, CBE (Listeni/krɪsiˈɑːn ɑːmənˈpʊər-/; Persian: کریستین امان‌پور‎‎; born 12 January 1958) is a British-Iranian journalist and television host. Amanpour is the Chief International Correspondent for CNN and host of CNN International's nightly interview program Amanpour. Amanpour is also a Global Affairs Anchor of ABC News. As of 2014, she has been recognized as one of the journalists most world leaders follow on Twitter, according to a report by the PR firm Burson-Marsteller.[1]

Early years

Born in London, England,[2] Amanpour was raised in Tehran. Her father Mahmoud Amanpour is a Muslim from Iran; her mother Patricia is a Christian from England.[3] She is fluent in English and Persian.

After completing the larger part of her elementary education in Iran, she was sent by her parents to boarding school in England when she was 11. She attended Holy Cross Convent, an all-girls school located in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire, and then, at age 16, New Hall School, in Chelmsford, Essex. Christiane and her family returned to England not long after the Islamic Revolution began. She has stressed that they were not forced to leave the country, but were actually returning to England due to the Iran-Iraq War. The family ultimately remained in England, finding it difficult to return to Iran.[4]

After leaving New Hall, Amanpour moved to the United States to study journalism at the University of Rhode Island. During her time there, she worked in the news department at WBRU-FM in Providence, Rhode Island. She also worked for NBC affiliate WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island, as an electronic graphics designer.[5] In 1983, Amanpour graduated from the university summa cum laude with a B.A. degree in journalism.[6]


In 1983, she was hired by CNN on the foreign desk in Atlanta, Georgia, as an entry-level desk assistant. During her early years as a correspondent, Amanpour was given her first major assignment covering the Iran-Iraq War, which led to her being transferred in 1986 to Eastern Europe to report on the fall of European communism.[7] In 1989, she was assigned to work in Frankfurt, Germany, where she reported on the democratic revolutions sweeping Eastern Europe at the time. Through this position, she was able to move up in the company and by 1990 served as a correspondent for CNN's New York bureau.

Following Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in 1990, Amanpour's reports of the Persian Gulf War brought her wide notice while also taking the network to a new level of news coverage. Thereafter, she reported from the Bosnian war and other conflict zones. Because of her emotional delivery from Sarajevo during the Siege of Sarajevo, viewers and critics questioned her professional objectivity, claiming that many of her reports were unjustified and favoured the Bosnian Muslims, to which she replied, "There are some situations one simply cannot be neutral about, because when you are neutral you are an accomplice. Objectivity doesn't mean treating all sides equally. It means giving each side a hearing."[8] Amanpour gained a reputation for being fearless during the Gulf and Bosnian wars and for reporting from conflict areas.[9]

From 1992 to 2010, Amanpour was CNN's chief international correspondent as well as the anchor of Amanpour, a daily CNN interview program that aired 2009–2010. Amanpour has reported on major crises from many of the world's hotspots, including Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Somalia, Rwanda, and the Balkans and from the United States during Hurricane Katrina. She has secured exclusive interviews with world leaders from the Middle East to Europe to Africa and beyond, including Iranian presidents Mohammad Khatami and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as the presidents of Afghanistan, Sudan, and Syria, among others.[citation needed] After 9/11, she was the first international correspondent to interview British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Additional interview partners are Hillary Clinton, Nicolás Maduro, Hassan Rouhani and Moammar Gadhafi.[10]

She also made interviews of Constantine II of Greece, shah son Reza Pahlavi, Ameera al-Taweel and actress Angelina Jolie.[11]

From 1996 to 2005, she was contracted by 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt to file four to five in-depth international news reports a year as a special contributor. These reports garnered her a Peabody Award in 1998[12] (she had earlier been awarded one in 1993[13]). Hewitt's successor Jeff Fager was not a fan of her work and terminated her contract.

She has had many memorable moments in her television career, one of them in a live telephone interview with Yasser Arafat during the siege on his compound in March 2002, in which Arafat gave tough responses: "Are you asking me why am I under complete siege? You're a wonderful journalist. You have to respect your profession."[14] and "You have to be accurately when you are speaking with General Yasser Arafat. Be quiet!",[14] and finished by hanging up on her.

Amanpour at the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos

Bosnian War reporting

On 22 December 1992, during the Bosnian War, Amanpour was reporting from Kiseljak, not far from Sarajevo. Kiseljak was in Croat hands, undamaged, and ostensibly well supplied with necessities. Amanpour reported that, "While people in Sarajevo are dying from starvation, the Serbs are living [in Kiseljak] in plenty", a report that was subsequently criticised by some analysts as spreading "misinformation" and "beautiful lies".[15]

On 9 October 1994, Stephen Kinzer of The New York Times criticised Amanpour's coverage, in general, of the Bosnian War. Kinzer quoted a colleague's description of Amanpour as she reported on a terrorist bombing in the Markale marketplace of the Bosnian city of Sarajevo:

[Christiane Amanpour] was sitting in Belgrade when that marketplace massacre happened, and she went on the air to say that the Serbs had probably done it. There was no way she could have known that. She was assuming an omniscience which no journalist has.[16]

In January 2004, prosecutors in the trial against Stanislav Galić, a Serb general in the siege of Sarajevo, introduced into evidence a report including the testimony of ammunition expert Berko Zečević. Working with two colleagues, Zečević's investigation revealed a total of six possible locations from which the shell in the first Markale massacre could have been fired, of which five were under VRS and one under ARBiH control. The ARBiH site in question was visible to UNPROFOR observers at the time, who reported that no shell was fired from that position. Zečević further reported that certain components of the projectile could only have been produced in one of two places, both of which were under the control of the Army of Republika Srpska. The court would eventually find Galić guilty of all the five shellings prosecutors had charged him with, including Markale's.[17]

Amanpour has responded to the criticism levelled on her reporting from the war in the former Yugoslavia for "lack of neutrality", stating:

Some people accused me of being pro-Muslim in Bosnia, but I realised that our job is to give all sides an equal hearing, but in cases of genocide you can't just be neutral. You can't just say, "Well, this little boy was shot in the head and killed in besieged Sarajevo and that guy over there did it, but maybe he was upset because he had an argument with his wife." No, there is no equality there, and we had to tell the truth.[18]

ABC News

On 18 March 2010, Amanpour announced she would leave CNN for ABC News, where she would anchor This Week. She said, "I'm thrilled to be joining the incredible team at ABC News. Being asked to anchor This Week in the superb tradition started by David Brinkley is a tremendous and rare honor, and I look forward to discussing the great domestic and international issues of the day. I leave CNN with the utmost respect, love, and admiration for the company and everyone who works here. This has been my family and shared endeavor for the past 27 years, and I am forever grateful and proud of all that we have accomplished."[19] She hosted her first broadcast on 1 August 2010.

During her first two months as host, the ratings for This Week reached their lowest point since 2003.[20] On 28 February 2011, she interviewed Muammar Gaddafi and his sons Saif al-Islam and Al-Saadi Gaddafi.[21][22]

On 13 December 2011, ABC announced Amanpour would be leaving her post as anchor of ABC News' This Week on 8 January 2012, and returning to CNN International, where she had previously worked for 27 years, and maintaining a reporting role at ABC News.[23]

Return to CNN

A day later on 14 December 2011, in statements by ABC and CNN, it was announced that, in a "unique arrangement", Amanpour would begin hosting a program on CNN International in 2012, while continuing at ABC News as a global affairs anchor.[24]

It was later revealed that in the spring of 2012, CNN International would refresh its line-up, putting the interview show Amanpour back on air.[25] On-air promotions said she would return to CNN International on 16 April. Her 30-minute New York-recorded show—to be screened twice an evening—would mean that the US parent network's Piers Morgan Tonight interview show would be "bumped" out of its 9:00 p.m. (Central European Time) slot to midnight (CET).[26]

On 9 September 2013 the show and staff were moved to the CNN International London, England office and is now currently being produced and broadcast from London.

On January 7, 2015, Amanpour made headlines during a "Breaking News" segment on CNN by referring to the Islamic extremists who murdered the 12 journalists at Charlie Hebdo as "activists": "On this day, these activists found their targets, and their targets were journalists. This was a clear attack on the freedom of expression, on the press, and on satire".[27]

Stance on Syria

During the height of the Syrian crisis, in mid to late 2013, Amanpour started a push for the case of war with Syria. She traveled to the UK and appeared on several news programs, not as a journalist, but as an "expert" on the Middle East, and pushed the Obama administration line for war in Syria. Her advocacy for US military intervention in Syria was criticised by Michael S. Lofgren in The Huffington Post.[28]


Amanpour is a member of the board of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists,[29] the Center for Public Integrity,[30] the International Women's Media Foundation.,[31] and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.[32]

Personal life

Amanpour is married to American James Rubin, a former US Assistant Secretary of State and spokesman for the US State Department during the Clinton administration and currently an informal adviser to former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President of the United States Barack Obama. Their son, Darius John Rubin, was born in 2000. Having previously lived in London, but moved back to New York City in 2010, Rubin announced in May 2013 that the family would return to London to work on several projects.[33]

Amanpour shared a house on the East Side of Providence with John F. Kennedy, Jr. and some of his friends while he was attending Brown University and she was attending the University of Rhode Island.[34]

Amanpour is the niece-in-law of General Nader Jahanbani, who commanded the Imperial Iranian Air Force for nearly 20 years until he was executed by Islamic Revolutionaries in 1979, and of his younger brother Khosrow, who was married to Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi. Amanpour's uncle, Captain Nasrollah Amanpour, was married to the younger sister of Khosrow and Nader.[35]

Screen and media appearances

Amanpour appeared in the Gilmore Girls as herself in the television series finale. Throughout the series, Amanpour was an inspiration to aspiring journalist Rory Gilmore. In July 2009 she appeared in a Harper's Bazaar magazine article entitled "Christiane Amanpour Gets a High-Fashion Makeover".[36]

Amanpour played herself in newscasts in the films Iron Man 2 and Pink Panther 2. In Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, she voiced Enheduanna in the episode "The Immortals".

In 2014, Amanpour narrated "Women in War", an episode of season 2 of Makers: Women Who Make America.[37]

Awards and recognition

See also


  2. "Christiane Amanpour's Biography". ABC News. Retrieved 23 August 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. ABC News video: "Back to the Beginning: Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity" on YouTube retrieved 10 August 2013 | Minute 6:06 | "My mother is a Christian from England and my father a Muslim from Iran. I married a Jewish American."
  4. The Lesley Stahl Interview: Christiane Amanpour, at the Height of the Iranian Election Crisis
  5. "CPJ Board of Directors". Committee to Protect Journalists.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Deborah White. "Profile of Christiane Amanpour, CNN Chief International Correspondent". Retrieved 24 August 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Christiane Amanpour, CNN International Chief Correspondent". White.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Five Years Later, the Gulf War Story Is Still Being Told". New York Times. 12 May 1996.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "The Wooing of Amanpour". Newsweek. 20 May 1996. Retrieved 31 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "U S Exclusive Moammar Gadhafi Tells Christiane Amanpour that Libya's People Love Him ABC News". YouTube. Retrieved 29 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Angelina Jolie on CNN with Christiane Amanpour Pt2*full interview*". YouTube. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 58th Annual Peabody Awards, May 1999.
  13. 13.0 13.1 53rd Annual Peabody Awards, May 1994.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Israeli Troops Surround Arafat Compound". CNN. 29 March 2002. Retrieved 28 November 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Guskova: Who is spreading disinformation, who is telling all the lies
  16. (2007-10-04). "Amanpour's Troubling Journalism" by Steven Stotsky, CAMERA, 4 October 2004
  17. Prosecutor v. Stanislav Galić, International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Former Yugoslavia since 1991, United Nations.
  18. "What we do is really tough" by Julie Ferry, The Guardian (London), 15 August 2007
  19. "Christiane Amanpour to join ABC News". CNN. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Krakauer, Steve (27 September 2010). "This Weak: Christiane Amanpour Leads ABC To Worst Ratings Since 2003". Mediaite. Retrieved 27 September 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "'This Week' Transcript: Saif al-Islam and Saadi Gadhafi". This Week. 27 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Amanpour, Christiane (28 February 2011). "'My People Love Me': Moammar Gadhafi Denies Demonstrations Against Him Anywhere in Libya". ABC News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Stephanopoulos back to replace Amanpour at ABC’s ‘This Week,’ will remain host of ‘GMA’
  24. "Amanpour to return to CNN" CNN, 14 December 2011
  25. Fung, Katherine (1 February 2012). "'Amanpour': Christiane Amanpour's CNN International Show Launching in Spring". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Christiane Amanpour Bumps Piers Morgan on CNN International", The Hollywood Reporter, 2 February 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  28. "Christiane Amanpour Shills for U.S. Intervention in Syria" Huffington Post, July 8, 2013
  29. "Board of Directors". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 10 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Board of Directors". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 10 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. IWMF website
  32. "About Us". Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Retrieved 18 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "AMANPOUR'S HUSBAND RESIGNS AS PORT AUTHORITY HEAD". Associated Press. Retrieved 2 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Transcript from the July 15, 2001 program of Larry King Weekend". CNN. 15 July 2001.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "عبدالله شهبازي ،مورخ برجسته ايراني: خانواده "كريستين امانپور" از بهائيان سرشناس استان فارس بودند". Retrieved 29 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. Davis, Diane (16 July 2009). "Christiane Amanpour Gets a High-Fashion Makeover". StyleList.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. IWMF website
  39. "Christiane Amanpour to Receive Goldsmith Career Award Ceremony to Highlight 10th Anniversary Celebration". 8 March 2002. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. "Paul White Award". Radio Television Digital News Association. Retrieved 27 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58358. p. 7. 15 June 2007. Retrieved 28 November 2007.
  42. "The History of the Celebrating Women Breakfast". Retrieved 29 January 2015. External link in |website= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  43. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 17 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links