Pat Cipollone is the White House counsel leading the defense of President Donald Trump in the impeachment trial in the Senate. Cipollone, who has been a licensed attorney for nearly 30 years, went to work for the Trump administration in December of 2018.
But Cipollone was within the president’s orbit before then. He served as an informal advisor for the White House during the Russia investigation. Cipollone also assisted the Trump campaign with debate prep during the 2016 election.
Cipollone has been described as a man who prefers to stay out of the spotlight. But the impeachment trial has attracted attention and curiosity about his personal life. Cipollone is married with 10 children. His parents were immigrants from Italy and his full name is Pasquale Anthony Cipollone.
Here’s what you need to know about Cipollone’s family.
1. Pat Cipollone Is Married to Rebecca Thelen Cipollone; She Accompanied Him to a White House State Dinner in September 2019
Pat Cipollone is a married man. His wife is Rebecca Thelen Cipollone, or Becky for short.
The couple may have met while they were growing up in Kentucky. Her father was the president of a civil engineering firm near Crestview Hills, Kentucky. Cipollone, meanwhile, attended high school at Covington Catholic, which is located just a few miles from Crestview Hills.
Pat and Rebecca own a home in a Washington, D.C. suburb. Property records show they have owned their house in Montgomery County, Maryland, since 2002.
Rebecca Cipollone keeps a low public profile, just like her husband. But on September 20, 2019, she attended a White House State Dinner with him. The event was held for Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
2. Cipollone’s Oldest Daughter, Elisa, Is a Producer at Fox News
Pat Cipollone’s oldest daughter is Mary Elisa Cipollone, who goes by her middle name on social media. She attended the University of Dallas, earning a bachelor’s degree in history. Although she spent time working as an office assistant at her father’s law firm while she was still in college, Elisa Cipollone ultimately decided to pursue a career in broadcast journalism.
Her first job after graduating from college was at LifeZette, a conservative website co-founded by Fox News host Laura Ingraham. Cipollone spent 2.5 years there before accepting a job at Fox News in December 2017. She started as a booker for The Ingraham Angle. She was made an Associate Producer in August of 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile.
In the photo embedded above, Elisa is the woman standing directly next to Laura Ingraham. The Cipollones and the Ingrahams have been long-time friends, as the Fox host described in her 2007 book. Ingraham has described Pat Cipollone as her “spiritual mentor” who was instrumental in her conversion to Catholicism. She is also godmother to one of Cipollone’s daughters, Sofia.
Elisa Cipollone has been married since at least early 2018, according to her Facebook page. Her husband, Jimmy O’Toole, graduated from Georgetown Law in 2019.
3. Pat Cipollone & Wife Rebecca Have 10 Children
Pat Cipollone is the father of 10 children. The youngest child was 10 years old as of October 2019. As referenced above, oldest daughter Mary Elisa works for Fox News.
Son Frank Cipollone graduated high school in 2012 and attended the University of Notre Dame. He went on to study computer science at Stanford University. He now works for Apple, according to his LinkedIn page.
The other adult children include Joseph Cipollone, who studied at Georgetown from 2014 to 2018, according to his Facebook page. Daughter Anna is also a Georgetown Hoya.
4. Pat Cipollone Spent His Early Childhood In the Bronx & His Parents Were Italian Immigrants
A search of online records suggests that Cipollone named two of his children after his parents. His father’s name appears to be Frank, and his mother is Elisa.
It’s unclear exactly when they immigrated from Italy. Ellis Island passenger records require extra details to hone in on specific people, such as place of origin or an estimated year of arrival. (For example, a search for Francesco Cipollone yields 32 results ranging from 1890 to 1947).
Pat Cipollone spent his early childhood in the Bronx. The family moved to Kentucky while he was still a student and Cipollone attended Covington Catholic High School. According to NPR, he also worked at a McDonald’s as a teenager.
Cipollone eventually returned to the east coast for his undergraduate education. He attended Fordham University before graduating law school from the University of Chicago in 1991.
5. Cipollone’s In-Laws Retired to Florida
Pat Cipollone’s in-laws spent decades in Kentucky but relocated to Florida in recent years. His wife’s parents, George and Mary Thelen, retired to Longboat Key, a town located south of Tampa along the Gulf of Mexico.
George Thelen served as the President of Thelen Associates beginning in 1971. It is a civil engineering firm headquartered in Erlanger, Kentucky, a few miles from where Cipollone attended high school. According to its profile on Bloomberg, Thelen Associates offered “environmental and water resource management, construction materials testing, drilling, geotechnical consulting, and monitoring services.”
The Thelen’s operate a charitable organization called the George J and Mary Susan Thelen Family Foundation. It was registered in 1994 and their children, including Rebecca Cipollone, serve as officers.