Fitness champ, model, soccer mom, super achiever

INT

Paula Broadwell, whose affair with the United States' CIA director led to his resignation on Friday, was the valedictorian of her high school class and homecoming queen, a fitness champion at West Point with a graduate degree from Harvard, and a model for a machine gun manufacturer.

It may have been those qualities — and a string of achievements that began in her native North Dakota, where she was state student council president, an all-state basketball player and orchestra concertmistress — that drew the attention of David H Petraeus, the nation's top spy and a four-star general, as the two spent hours together for a biography of Petraeus that Broadwell co-wrote.

Broadwell's name burst into public view on Friday evening after Petraeus resigned abruptly amid an FBI investigation that uncovered evidence of their relationship.

But Broadwell was hardly shy about her interactions with Petraeus as she promoted her book, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, in media appearances earlier this year. She had unusual access, she noted in promotional appearances, taping many of her interviews for her book while running six-minute miles with Petraeus in the thin mountain air of the Afghan capital.

Broadwell said in an interview in February that Petraeus was enjoying his new civilian life at the CIA, where he became director in September 2011. "It was a huge growth period for him, because he realized he didn't have to hide behind the shield of all those medals and stripes on his arm," she said. Broadwell was 39 at the time.

Her biography on the Penguin Speakers Bureau website says she is a research associate at Harvard's Center for Public Leadership and a PhD candidate in Department of War Studies at King's College London. She received master's in public administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

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