1) She started as Cara Carleton Sneed.
She was born in Texas but bounced around the country for her dad's legal career, which eventually landed him at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California. Her mother was a painter.
2) She was an honorary member of a Stanford University frat.
As an undergraduate at Stanford University, where she studied medieval history and philosophy, Fiorina says she had a special fondness for the Theta Xi fraternity, which in the 1970s was home to a lot of "band guys." In a 2001 commencement speech at Stanford, Fiorina recounted: "I was made an honorary member because I had a man's name and could survive an initiation ceremony that involved a stein of vodka and an iron stomach."
3) Her husband retired early to support her career.
Fiorina met her husband, Frank Fiorina, when they both worked at AT&T. As her career took off, he retired in his 40s and often traveled with her. But Fiorina hates when people describe her husband as a "stay-at-home spouse," writing in her memoir that such a label was inaccurate and "dismissed Frank's own career and contributions to our family and the community." (Fiorina's first marriage ended in divorce decades ago, although her ex-husband still takes shots at her, telling a biographer in 2003: "I wish I could wish her the best, but I don't. I want to see her fail.")
4) Her "golden parachute" is worth $21 million.
When Fiorina left her post as CEO of Hewlett-Packard in 2005 — following a nasty and quite public fight with the company's board — she walked away with a severance package of about $21 million. As Fiorina became a highly visible surrogate for John McCain when he ran for president in 2008 and when she ran for U.S. Senate in California in 2010, this so-called "golden parachute" became an easy target for critics.
5) Speaking of 2008 ... that didn't end well ...
Leading into the election, Fiorina did an interview with a St. Louis radio station and was asked whether she thought Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, could run a corporation like Hewlett-Packard. "No, I don't," Fiorina replied, according to CNN. "But that's not what she's running for." In a MSNBC interview soon after, Fiorina clarified her comments by saying that she didn't think McCain could run a major corporation either. She soon disappeared from the talking circuit.
6) Fiorina is a breast cancer survivor.
In 2009, Fiorina was diagnosed with and survived breast cancer after undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Later that year, as she announced that she would run for U.S. Senate in California, she skipped her usual wig and sported a "graying buzz cut."
7) Remember the "demon sheep" political ad?
Yeah, that was Fiorina's Senate campaign during the Republican primary.
8) "Hard Choices" vs. "Tough Choices."
When Clinton released a book titled "Hard Choices" last year, many remarked that the title and cover looked rather similar to Fiorina's 2006 memoir, "Tough Choices." Fiorina remarked: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
9) She's now a local.
After losing the Senate race, Fiorina and her husband moved to Mason Neck, Va., just outside Washington. The National Journal describes it this way: "She lives in a gated community down a driveway so long that it's lined with its own streetlamps. Her $6.1 million house sits on five acres, with unobstructed views of the Potomac River." In 2012, then-Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) appointed Fiorina to the James Madison University Board of Visitors.