Kellyanne Conway’s Revealing Family History Will Make You Rethink Everything

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway first learned how to win when she was in high school. She went from successful pageant princess to political powerhouse in a matter of decades, and now works for one of the most important people in the world.

You might not know Conway’s life didn’t start out on such a happy note. From death to dark family secrets, here’s where it all began — and how she landed the role of highest-ranking female in the White House anyway.

Her father abandoned her as a child

Kellyanne Conway sits on a chair during an interview.

She didn’t have a strong father figure growing up. | Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune

Conway did not grow up with a father figure in her life. Even though he abandoned her and her family when she was young, she still managed to grow and challenge herself through an impressive education, which got her to where she is now.

Next: She has a few key female figures to thank for her success.

Kellyanne Conway was raised by strong women

Kellyanne

She did, however, grow up with strong women. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

She grew up with the strong influences of her maternal grandmother, motherDiane Fitzpatrick, and two of her mother’s sisters. She reportedly still upholds the Catholic views and traditions the four women taught her growing up.

Next: She made education a priority — and it paid off.

Despite her rough childhood, she made it to college — and beyond

Kellyanne Conway smiles while wearing a red dress.

She was determined to graduate college. | Paul Morig/Getty Images

Conway first graduated magna cum laude with a political science degree from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She then went on to study at Oxford University, where she joined a prestigious honor society. Finally, she earned her law degree from George Washington University.

Next: Before marrying her husband, Conway dated a famous politician.

She dated a well-known former senator

Fred Thompson speaking in front of the American flag.

She’s dated other famous men. |  Scott Olson/Getty Images

At one point, Conway dated Fred Thompson, known for his various roles in politics and on television. The former U.S. senator appeared on “Law and Order” and worked as an attorney for many years. He was also a GOP presidential candidate in 2008. Thompson died of cancer in 2015, at the age of 73.

Next: She is also married to a successful law professional.

Her husband also almost worked directly for Trump

Donald Trump speaking in front of a microphone.

The couple would have worked directly with the president. | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Conway’s husband George may have briefly been considered for an important political role. Had he been offered and accepted the job, he would have led the civil division of the U.S. Department of Justice, in charge of legal matters such as Trump’s highly controversial travel ban.

Next: Her maternal grandfather may have had a dark past.

Her grandfather may have been an organized criminal

Kellyanne Conway sitting on stage while the screen projects her movements.

She comes from an interesting past. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Unnamed law enforcement officials claim that Jimmy “The Brute” DiNatale, Kellyanne Conway’s maternal grandfather, was associated with the American Mafia. He may have been responsible for many of the crimes of the infamous Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo.

Kellyanne grew up separately from him as a child, likely shielded from his questionable influence. He ran his own household away from the rest of her extended family.

Next: Conway’s family only drove her closer to success.

Her family history has never slowed her down

Kellyanne Conway on the front lawn of the White House.

She didn’t let anything get in her way. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Conway, taught the value of hard work from a young age, has spent more than 30 years advising others on how to succeed in politics.

As Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, she was the first woman to facilitate a winning U.S. presidential campaign — and the first woman to run one on behalf of the Republican party. She now serves as his counselor, the highest-ranking woman in the White House.

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