Who Is Rachel Maddow's Partner, Susan Mikula?

MSNBC pundit Rachel Maddow recently announced that her partner Susan Mikula tested positive for COVID-19 during a Thursday broadcast. Maddow has been with the artist and photographer for over 20 years.

In a video shared on Thursday, Maddow spoke about how important her relationship with Mikula is to her and that she has been battling COVID.

"My relationship with Susan is the only thing at the end of the day that I would kill or die for without hesitation, and Susan has been sick with COVID these past couple of weeks," she said during the video. "At one point, we really thought that there was a possibility that it might kill her, and that's why I've been away."

Maddow said that Mikula was on the mend and slowly making a recovery, but implored viewers to take the virus seriously and make sure they're taking every precaution to ensure that they don't get or spread the virus. Maddow said she'd have given anything to swap places with Mikula, who is 15 years her senior, and face COVID in her place.

According to the biography on her website, Mikula's work has been part of a number of exhibits in cities across the country, like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and more. The biography describes some of her techniques and process like "hold[ing] the camera open, to take in the available light over the period of time she chooses." It also lists "carnivals, landscapes, borders, people, houses, demolition derbies, music, and the light itself" as subjects.

In a 2011 interview with the Advocate, she described her process as very measured. She may take months thinking about images before really beginning to photograph. "I am very slow to take a shot," she said. "When I finally start taking the pictures, I want to know what I am looking for, which camera to use at what time of day and at what exact moment."

Maddow and Mikula have been together since 1999. The couple split their time between New York and Western Massachusetts. Mikula was raised in New Jersey. The pair met when Mikula hired Maddow to do yard work, and their first date was to "Ladies Day on the Range" event sponsored by the National Rifle Association. "When I met her, she had her initials in metal leaf on the door of her jeep," Maddow told New York in 2008. "So hot. So hot."

The MSNBC host has struggled with depression for much of her life. Maddow told CBS News in 2016 that Mikula often helps her when she's struggling with her mental health. "The time when it's hardest is when I have forgotten that this happens to me and so I don't know what it is and she will say, 'You are depressed,' and just being able to identify it and then knowing that it's not going to be forever and that it will pass and that it will ease at some point, helps," she told CBS.

Mikula has had a bit of a say in some of Maddow's on-air fashion choices. She revealed to New York that she encouraged Maddow to wear make-up and had an influence in her attire. "At some point, we figured out that you could wear suits and they could be gray, or gray, or brown or black or gray," she said. Maddow said that her decision to wear gray suits was because no one talked about what she wore, when she donned a gray suit.

Susan Mikula Rachel Maddow
Susan Mikula, Annie Philbin, Barbara Kruger and Rachel Maddow attend 2012 Hammer Gala at Hammer Museum on October 6, 2012 in Westwood, California. Getty/Stefanie Keenan/WireImage