Marianne Williamson

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Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson.jpg
Born Marianne Deborah Williamson[1]
(1952-07-08) July 8, 1952 (age 66)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Bellaire High School
Alma mater Pomona College
Occupation Inspirational Author and Speaker
Political party Democratic Party
Parent(s) Sam Williamson
Sophie Ann Williamson

Marianne Deborah Williamson (born July 8, 1952)[2] is an American spiritual teacher, author, lecturer, and activist. She has published twelve[3] books, including four New York Times number one bestsellers.[4] She is the founder of Project Angel Food, a volunteer food delivery program that serves homebound people with AIDS and other life challenging illnesses[5] in the Los Angeles area. She is also the co-founder[6] of The Peace Alliance, a nonprofit grassroots education and advocacy organization supporting peacebuilding projects. Williamson serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, which works to end poverty in the United States and around the world. Williamson also produced the Sister Giant Conferences, highlighting the intersection of women and politics.[7]

Press and TV

She has been a guest on television programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and Real Time with Bill Maher. In December 2006, a Newsweek magazine poll named her one of the fifty most influential baby boomers. Williamson bases her teaching and writing on a set of books called A Course in Miracles, a non-religious self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy, based on universal spiritual themes.[8]


Williamson’s first book, A Return To Love, was featured on the Oprah Winfrey television show in 1992 and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 39 weeks.[9] Williamson has published 12 other books, seven of which have been on the New York times bestseller list and four of which have been #1.[10][11][12][13] She has sold more than 3 million copies of her books.[14] In 2018, she published a 20th anniversary revised edition of Healing the Soul of America.[15] Some of Williamson’s publications have been translated from English into other languages such as Spanish.[16]

Social Change Work

HIV/AIDS Advocacy

Centers for Living

In response to the HIV/AIDS crises in the 1980s, Marianne founded the Los Angeles and Manhattan Centers for Living, which served as a refuge and non-medical support for people with HIV/AIDS. There they could connect with a variety of psychological and emotional resources, as well as community of support. She has said of that time that "there was so much love, because there was nothing to hold onto but love."[17]

Project Angel Food

In 1989, Marianne launched Project Angel Food to build off the work of the Centers for Living. Originally launched to support HIV/AIDS patients, Project Angel Food expanded its outreach and currently cooks and delivers more than 12,000 meals each week, free of charge, to the homes of men, women and children affected by various life-threatening illnesses.[18] The organization's food and nutrition services, including medically tailored meals and nutritional counseling, help underserved people throughout Los Angeles County who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. In 2017, Project Angel Food served its 11 millionth meal.[19]

Women’s advocacy

Williamson has worked on behalf of women’s empowerment issues for decades. In 1993 she published her #1 NYT bestseller, A Woman’s Worth.[20] Publisher’s Weekly said of the book: “Williamson gives sound, empowering advice on relationships, work, love, sex and childrearing.”[21]

In 2010, Marianne launched a series of Sister Giant conferences, trainings and events to support individuals – particularly women – who want to increase their efficacy as activists and/or run for office. Of the initiative she has said, “I want to be a cheerleader for women who have never even considered running for office or being involved in a campaign, but who in the quietness of their hearts might think, ‘Why not me?’” The events have focused on how to better address many social issues, including: child poverty, low levels of female representation in office, campaign finance reform, high levels of mass incarceration, among other issues.[22][23]

Racial reconciliation

Williamson has been a public advocate in the arenas of racial justice and race relations. She is known for leading public apologies for slavery and has encouraged paying reparations for slavery.[24][25] Marianne has also worked in support of reforming our criminal justice system.[26]

Healing the Soul of America

In 1997 Williamson published her book Healing the Soul of America (hardcover originally titled The Healing of America) and began a more robust political engagement. In this book, Williamson laid out plans to “transform the American political consciousness and encourage powerful citizen involvement to heal our society.”[27]

She wrote in the book, “It is a task of our generation to recreate the American politeia, to awaken from our culture of distraction and re-engage the process of democracy with soulfulness and hope. Yes, we see there are problems in the world. But we believe in a universal force that, when activated by the human heart, has the power to make all things right. Such is the divine authority of love: to renew the heart, renew the nations, and ultimately, renew the world.”[28]

Patricia Holt of the San Francisco Chronicle called it “A huge and wondrous surprise....The Healing of America somehow makes us proud to be Americans, because every hope for democracy seems newly within our grasp.”[29]

A 20th anniversary edition was published in 2018.


In 2004, Marianne co-founded The Peace Alliance, a non-profit grassroots education and advocacy organization focused on increasing U.S. governmental support of peacebuilding approaches – relating to domestic and international conflicts. An early initiative was in support of legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peace as a way to prioritize and more centrally organize peacebuilding efforts at the highest levels of government. Over the years Williamson and the Alliance advocated for a number of issues, including the Youth PROMISE Act, bi-partisan legislation focused on giving communities the support and funding they need to effectively address youth violence issues.[30][31]


For years Marianne was a member of the Board of Directors and remains a public supporter of RESULTS, an organization aiming to create the political will to end hunger and poverty around the world. It lobbies public officials, does research, and works with the media and the public to addresses the causal issues of poverty. RESULTS has 100 U.S. local chapters and works in six other countries.[32]

Love America Tour

Starting in the winter of 2018, Marianne began touring the United States as part of her Love America Tour, discussing how she believes "a revolution in consciousness paves the way to both personal and national renewal." About the tour she shared: “Our own disconnection from the political process, lack of knowledge of how our system operates, lack of understanding of our history, and confusion about many of the issues that confront us now, have led in too many cases to a dangerous emotional disconnection between our country and ourselves.”[33] [34]

Political career

2014 US House campaign

Williamson ran for the seat of California's 33rd congressional district in 2014. On her motivation for running, she has stated: “America has gone off the democratic rails. A toxic brew of shrinking civil liberties and expanded corporate influence are poisoning our democracy.“ Her core message was that “humanitarian values should replace economic values as the ordering principle of our civilization.” [35]

Prominent elected and public officials endorsed her campaign, including: Frmr. Governors Jennifer Granholm and Jesse Ventura; Frmr, Congressmembers Dennis Kucinich, and Alan Grayson; and Van Jones, among many others.[36] Alanis Morissette wrote and performed her campaign theme song, entitled Today.[37]

She campaigned on a broad array of progressive issues, including: greater access to high-quality education and free college; child poverty; economic justice; climate change & renewable energy; campaign finance reform; universal health care; criminal justice reform; ending perpetual war and increasing investments in peacebuilding; women’s reproductive rights; and LGBTQ equality among others.[38][39][40]

She finished fourth out of 16 candidates[41] with 14,335 votes for 13.2% of the vote. Williamson said of the process and its outcome: “This conversation of a politics of conscience, a politics of the heart, is much bigger than any one woman winning a congressional seat. And if that woman loses, the conversation goes on. My losing the congressional seat is small; what’s big is the larger conversation… you impact the ethers, and that energy goes somewhere.”[42]

2020 presidential campaign

On August 2, 2018, The Guardian reported that she was exploring the possibility of a presidential run in 2020 for the Democratic Party.[43]

On November 15, 2018, Williamson announced that she was forming an exploratory committee for a presidential run.[44]

Personal life

Williamson is Jewish. She was born in Houston, Texas, in 1952.[45][46][47] She is the youngest of three children of Samuel "Sam" Williamson, an immigration lawyer,[47][48] and his homemaker wife, Sophie Ann (Kaplan).[49][50] After graduating from Houston's Bellaire High School, Williamson put in two years studying theater and philosophy at Pomona College in Claremont, California[49] before dropping out in her Junior year and moving to New York City to pursue a career as a cabaret singer.[47][48][49] In 1979, Williamson returned to Houston, where she ran a metaphysical bookstore.[49] In 1990 Williamson had her only child, India Emmaline.


  • A Return to Love, First Edition 1992 ( ISBN 9780060927486)
  • A Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution ( ISBN 9780062873934) (To be released in 2019)
  • Imagine What America Could Be in the 21st Century: Visions of a Better Future from Leading American Thinkers ( ISBN 0451204697)
  • Emma & Mommy Talk to God ( ISBN 9780060799267)
  • Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens ( ISBN 9780684846224)
  • A Woman's Worth ( ISBN 9780345386571)
  • Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power of Intimate Relationships ( ISBN 9780684870250)
  • Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, And Making Miracles ( ISBN 9781573223515)
  • Illuminata: A Return to Prayer ( ISBN 9781573225205)
  • The Gift of Change ( ISBN 0060816112)
  • The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money and Miracles ( ISBN 0062205412)
  • A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever ( ISBN 1401921531)
  • Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment ( ISBN 9780062205445)


  1. ^ "Person Details for Marianne Deborah Williamson, "Texas, Birth Index, 1903-1997" —".
  2. ^ Knapp, Gwenn (2006). "StarBios Report for Marianne Williamson". MOTTASIA Inc. Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2006-07-12.
  3. ^ "Books by Marianne Williamson". Good Reads. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  4. ^ "Religion, Spirituality and Faith". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  5. ^ "Our History". Project Angel Food. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  6. ^ "History". The Peace Alliance. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  7. ^ "Gabrielle Bernstein Interviews Marianne Williamson: Sister Giant". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  8. ^ "Marianne Williamson on What's Wrong—and Right—with the World". Oprah. 2012-12-29. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  9. ^ "Faith: Marianne Williamson is Full of It" (November/December 1997). Mother Jones.
  10. ^ "BEST SELLERS". New York Times. 1992-09-06.
  11. ^ "Best Sellers". New York Times. 1993-07-11.
  12. ^ "Best Sellers". New York Times. 1995-01-01.
  13. ^ "Best Sellers". New York Times. 2002-12-15.
  14. ^ "Marianne Williamson, Hollywood self-help guru, wants to heal Washington". Washington Post. 2014-03-11.
  15. ^ "Healing the Soul Of America".
  16. ^ "Volver al amor ( Return to Love)". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  17. ^ "Marianne Williamson Aims to Defeat Henry Waxman, and Save Washington's Soul". 1 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Project Angel Food's Angel Awards benefit, featuring Charo and Cheyenne Jackson, raises $650,000". LA Times. 2018-08-20.
  19. ^ "Project Angel Food serves 11 millionth meal". Los Angeles Blade. 2018-11-28.
  20. ^ "BEST SELLERS: July 11, 1993". New York Times. 1993-07-11.
  21. ^ "A Woman's Worth". Publishers Weekly.
  22. ^ "Gabrielle Bernstein Interviews Marianne Williamson: Sister Giant". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  23. ^ "The History of Sister Giant".
  24. ^ "Marianne Williamson asked white people to apologize. She got it right". Houston Chronicle. 2019-01-19.
  25. ^ "Why we need both a national apology and reparations to heal the wounds of racism". Washington Post. 2018-04-04.
  26. ^ "Race and Repentance in America". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  27. ^ "Healing the Soul of America - 20th Anniversary Edition". Simon and Schuster.
  28. ^ "How To Heal Yourself And The World Around You".
  29. ^ "BOOKS -- The Spiritual Side Of U.S. Politics / Williamson urges rethinking of roles". San Francisco Chronicle. 1997-10-14.
  30. ^ "H.R.2197 - Youth PROMISE Act".
  31. ^ "House Passes Bill with elements of Youth PROMISE Act and reauthorizing Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act!". Peace Alliance. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  32. ^ "Turning Compassion into a Political Force".
  33. ^ "Marianne Williamson bringing her 'Love America' tour to Detroit". Detroit Free Press. 2018-05-15.
  34. ^ "Tour Dates".
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Marianne Williamson".
  37. ^ "Alanis Morissette cuts campaign song for Calif. candidate". The Hill. 2014-05-06.
  38. ^ "Marianne Williamson, New-Age Guru, Seeks Congressional Seat". New York Times. 2013-11-13.
  39. ^ "Issues". Wayback Machine.
  40. ^ "Marianne Williamson Aims to Defeat Henry Waxman, and Save Washington's Soul". LA Weekly. 2014-01-16.
  41. ^ "Marianne Williamson, Hollywood's Favorite New Age Guru, Backs Bernie Sanders for President". Hollywood Reporter. 2015-05-01.
  42. ^ "Oprah to Marianne Williamson: "How Important Was the Win for You?"". Retrieved 2014-11-02.
  43. ^
  44. ^ "Marianne Williamson on Twitter". Twitter. Announcing the formation of an exploratory committee for a presidential run in 2020. From my heart to yours...
  45. ^ Munson, Zack. "God Help Us", The Weekly Standard, Vol. 19, No. 22. 2014 February 17
  46. ^ Merl, Jean. "Marianne Williamson's spiritual path into political realm", Los Angeles Times, 2014 January 13
  47. ^ a b c Appelo, Tim. "Love Prophet", Entertainment Weekly, 1992 March 06
  48. ^ a b Pristin, Terry. "COVER STORY : The Power, the Glory, the Glitz : Marianne Williamson, an ex-nightclub singer, has attracted many in Hollywood with her blend of new-time religion and self-help--and alienated more than a few.", "Los Angeles Times," 1992 February 16
  49. ^ a b c d Schindehette, Susan. "The Divine Miss W" Archived 2015-10-22 at the Wayback Machine., People, 1992 March. 09
  50. ^ "Jewish Herald-Voice".

External links

  • Official Web Site
  • Marianne Williamson, article and shows at
  • Marianne Williamson on "Politicking with Larry King"
  • Williamson interview
  • Sister Giant
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