Taya Kyle

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Taya Kyle
Taya Kyle 1.jpg
Kyle in August 2013
Taya Renae Studebaker

(1974-09-04) September 4, 1974 (age 46)
(m. 2002; died 2013)

Taya Renae Kyle (née Studebaker; born September 4, 1974)[3] is an American author, political commentator, and military veteran's family activist. Known as the widow of US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, she was portrayed by Sienna Miller in the 2014 film American Sniper about her husband's life. Kyle is the co-author of American Wife: A Memoir of Love, Service, Faith, and Renewal, a book about life with her husband.

Early life[edit]

Born Taya Renae Studebaker on September 4, 1974, in Portland, Oregon,[1] she is the daughter of Kim and Kent Studebaker. Her father is currently the mayor of Lake Oswego, Oregon.[4] Her sister is Ashley (Studebaker) Brittell.[5]

Chris Kyle[edit]

Studebaker met Chris Kyle in 2001. They married in 2002 and later had two children.

As a Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle is known as the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.[6] His autobiography, American Sniper, was published on January 3, 2012. On February 2, 2013, he was shot and killed at a shooting range in Texas, making Taya a widow at age 38.[6]

Life after Chris Kyle's death[edit]

Following her husband's murder, Taya has given speeches and talks addressing his service and veterans' issues at numerous venues, as well as appeared on news networks such as CNN and Fox News. She is an advocate for women and families who have lost family members while serving in war. In August 2013, the state of Texas enacted the Chris Kyle Law (SB162), which was created to "expand the effort to help ease employment challenges for active duty military members and their spouses". At the ceremony, Kyle stated, "I hope that by incorporating these changes into current Texas law we can honor the legacy of Chris Kyle and the many like him."[7]

In 2014, Kyle founded the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation as a touchstone for veterans and their families. The foundation's mission is to "serve those who serve us by providing meaningful interactive experiences that enrich family relationships".[8]

In May 2013, former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura brought a defamation suit against Taya Kyle for $1.3 million. The lawsuit was the continuation of an original lawsuit filed in 2012 against Kyle's husband, over a statement made in the book American Sniper.[9] In the book's chapter titled "Punching Out Scruff Face", Chris Kyle stated he had punched a celebrity he called "Scruff Face" for saying the SEALs "could afford to lose a couple" in war. Ventura won the lawsuit in an 8 to 2 jury decision.[10] An appeals court threw out part of the lawsuit in June 2016, and the case was ultimately settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money.[11]

Clint Eastwood directed the feature film American Sniper in 2014, based on the lives of Chris and Taya Kyle. Taya Kyle was involved in the making of the film, working with the film's screenwriter Jason Hall, and she was portrayed by Sienna Miller. The film, released by Warner Bros. Pictures nationwide in January 2015, was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.[12][13] It won the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing at the 87th Academy Awards.[14]

Publication of Taya Kyle's autobiography[edit]

On May 5, 2015, Taya Kyle's autobiography, American Wife: A Memoir of Love, Service, Faith, and Renewal, was released by Harper Collins publishing. Co-written with military and war author Jim DeFelice, the book details her life as a military wife and how she dealt with the sudden and untimely death of her husband.[15][16]

Other activities[edit]

In September 2015, she was a judge for the Miss America pageant.[17]

In 2016, Kyle was featured in Season 1, Episode 5 of American Elements on CarbonTV.[18]

Kyle is currently a contributor for Fox News.[19]


Kyle is a Republican and endorsed Rick Perry in the 2016 presidential election. After Perry withdrew, she endorsed Ted Cruz. She also served as treasurer for the successful 2016 campaign of Bill Waybourn for Sheriff of Tarrant County, Texas.[20]

In January 2016, she opined at a CNN Town Hall Event that the opposition to the NRA and adding more laws restricting gun ownership is not a solution to the gun violence in the United States.[21]


  1. ^ a b Kyle, Taya (2015). American Wife. William Morrow. p. 3. ISBN 978-0062398086.
  2. ^ "'American Sniper' Widow Recalls Heartbreaking Moment Kids Learned Navy SEAL Dad Chris Kyle Had Been Killed". Christian Post.
  3. ^ "Person Details for Taya R Kyle". Archived from the original on October 4, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "Mayor and Council | City of Lake Oswego Oregon Official Website". Ci.oswego.or.us. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  5. ^ Paul Moseley. "Taya Kyle, daughter of Lake Oswego mayor, wrote of fears for her husband, 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  6. ^ a b Beil, Laura (20 December 2013). "Who Killed Chris Kyle?". Men's Health: 1. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  7. ^ "Home | East Texas – Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville | MyEastTex". Ketknbc.com. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  8. ^ "Chris Kyle Frog Foundation". Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  9. ^ Hopfensperger, Jean. "Former MN Gov. Ventura wants to add widow to suit against Navy SEAL Chris Kyle". www.startribune.com. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  10. ^ Ashley Fantz, CNNUpdated 12:31 PM ET, Wed February 25, 2015 (2015-02-25). "Ventura wins $1.8M after suing storied ex-SEAL sniper". CNN. Retrieved 2016-01-28.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Lamothe, Dan (13 June 2016). "Court throws out $1.8 million judgment against 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle's estate". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Widow of real-life American sniper is moved by actor's portrayal | State & National News". Mankatofreepress.com. 2015-01-14. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  13. ^ Eliana Dockterman (2015-01-16). "'American Sniper': The True Story of Chris Kyle". Time.com. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  14. ^ "2015". Oscars.org – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  15. ^ "Chris Kyle Dead: How the American Sniper's Widow Taya Is Coping". People.com. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  16. ^ World Archipelago. "American Wife". HarperCollins Canada. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  17. ^ "'Shark Tank' star, Taya Kyle will judge Miss America competition". Fox News. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  18. ^ "Taya Kyle : American Elements". CarbonTV. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  19. ^ "Taya Kyle joins Fox News as a contributor". Fox News. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  20. ^ Richter, Marice (February 29, 2016). "Wife of 'American Sniper' making waves in Texas Republican politics". Reuters. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  21. ^ "'American Sniper' widow: Gun control won't protect us". CNN.com. 2016-01-08. Retrieved 2016-01-28.

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