Emanuel is the son of a prominent physician, Dr. Benjamin M. Emanuel; the father was born in Jerusalem. Emanuel has a bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College (1981), and a master's degree in speech and communication from Northwestern University (1985). Emanuel and his wife Ann have three children.
Clinton White House
He worked in the Bill Clinton White House from 1993-1998, first serving as Assistant to the President for Political Affairs, and then Senior Adviser to the President for Policy and Strategy. He was demoted at the behest of Hillary Clinton after complaints from other staffers. Ironically, as Obama Chief of Staff, Emanuel was now in a position to overrule Hillary Clinton when she attempted to hire another former Clinton White House staffer, Sidney Blumenthal.
Leaving the White House staff, he became wealthy as an "investment banker" on the Board of the government sponsored entity Freddie Mac, 1999-2002. Emanuel had no previous banking experience.
Emanuel's role in Freddie Mac and the subprime lending crisis
Emanuel was appointed to the board of scandal-plagued quasi-governmental mortgage giant Freddie Mac by President Clinton.  While Emanuel was on the board, Freddie Mac misreported its net income in 2000 by 30.5 percent, in 2001 by 23.9 percent and 2002 by 42.9 percent, defrauding investors according to the SEC. Freddie Mac's failure is regarded as one of the precipitating events of the Financial Crisis of 2008.
On February 21, 2003, Emanuel was then serving Congress and reportedly sold up to $250,000 in Freddie Mac stock in an insider trading deal only days before the stock dropped by 10 percent — and weeks before it was publicly revealed that the entity was under criminal investigation for inflating earnings.
Congressional leadership position
Emanuel served in Congress 2002-2008 from the North Side of Chicago. Among Democrats in the House, he was squarely in the middle in his votes on social, economic and foreign policy issues. His aggressive in-your-face style alienated his opponents, but Emanuel took charge of the 2006 election for House Democrats, and secured major gains, giving the Democrats a majority for the first time since 1994, and propelling Emanuel to a top leadership role.
Obama Chief of Staff
In the White House Emanuel's aggressive demands for a stimulus package won passage of the liberals' $789 billion bill in February, but alienated Republicans (only three of whom voted for it). His seizure of control of the Census Bureau from the Commerce department led Senator Judd Gregg, a leading Republican, to reverse himself and reject the job of Secretary of Commerce. Emanuel released control of the census to head off complaints of political interference. Emanuel also ran roughshod over the Secretary of State, vetoing her choice for a senior aide.
In President Obama's first year Emanuel was considered to be the most powerful White House chief of staff in decades.
- Rahm EmanuelYouTube- you never want a serious crisis video
- Emanuel Was Director Of Freddie Mac During Scandal, ABC News, November 7, 2008.