Who Is Rahm Emanuel And How Did He Get That Way?

The Washingtonian Magazine profiled the Emanuel brothers in May, 2008:

“The joke among the Emanuel brothers is that Zeke, the eldest, is bringing the family down. That would be Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, 50, chair of the department of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Zeke is an oncologist with a master’s from Oxford, an MD from Harvard, a PhD in political philosophy from Harvard, and a 27-page CV that includes fellowships, professorships, books, and numerous awards and honors. “Ari and I tell Zeke: ‘You haven’t done squat for the family,’ ” says Rahm, the middle brother. That’s because Zeke hasn’t had a TV character based on him, as have Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman and former Bill Clinton adviser who was said to be part inspiration for White House aide Josh Lyman on The West Wing, and Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, the model for lovably trash-talking agent Ari Gold on HBO’s Entourage.”

“The three “hard-driving superachiever” brothers are described by Rahm, who admits he is driven in part by a fear of failure: “You’d bring shame to the family,” he says, only partly joking, in his Capitol hideaway office that’s filled with family photos. “I always tell the staff failure is not an option. You never give in, and you never give up.” “Rahm says his parents also gave their children two seemingly contradictory thoughts—“one is to always challenge authority; the other is to always respect it.”

Their father dedicated his life to improving public health in Chicago. Their mother was a civil-rights activist. “Early on, she wasn’t present in our lives,” says Rahm. “She was in jail.”

And here’s a surprise: Whereas Zeke was the scholar, and Ari was the daredevil, Rahm was quiet and was a serious student of ballet!

It’s a fascinating story. Read the rest of the article here.

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