Rita Panahi was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1976.
Her mother was a midwife and her father was an agricultural engineer from Iran.
Panahi describes her parents as 'relaxed Muslims who were not particularly political'.
However, her family was targeted by the repressive Islamic regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
In 1984, they were accepted by Australia as refugees and lived in Melbourne.
Rita worked in banking while attending Monash University, studying but not completing a Bachelor of Business Finance.
initially, Rita wrote for the daily newspaper mX, writing a weekly sports gossip column.
Her column was picked up for a second year and by 2007 she was a regular guest on the AM sports radio station SEN.
Rita Panahi identifies herself as a conservative.
Rita has argued against the burqa but opposes banning it and is a critic of Islam but opposes a ban on Muslim immigration, and supports offshore detention camps for illegal immigrants, as well as asylum seekers who arrive to Australia by boat.
She is also a supporter of a high immigration intake (consistent with News Corp's support for a big Australia) but acknowledges this opinion is not held by most of her readers, or most Australians. In January 2015, Panahi sparred with Andrew O'Keefe on Weekend Sunrise over Islamic extremists.
Panahi argued that Australia should not be characterised as racist.
Without doubt, Rita Panahi will tell you her points of view, with the facts on various, sporting, community and political matters, with a no holds barred approach, telling it straight.
Definitely a women that has a proud heritage and her achievements in life as a successful businesswomen and single mum is a story that will engage and enthral any audience.