Mitch McConnell was born on February 20, 1942. He is an American politician and retired attorney who has been serving as the Senate Minority Leader since 2021 and the senior United States senator from Kentucky since 1985. He is a member of the Republican Party and the longest-serving Senate party leader in US history. He has been influential in shaping the legislative agenda and judicial appointments of the Republican Party, as well as opposing the policies of Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Mitch McConnell Biography
|Date of Birth
February 20, 1942
|Place of Birth
Sherrill Redmon(m. 1968; div. 1980)
|Social Media Handles
Early Life and Education
Mitch McConnell was born on February 20, 1942, in Sheffield, Alabama, to Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. and Julia Odene “Dean” McConnell. His father was a World War II veteran who worked as an engineer, and his mother was a homemaker. McConnell contracted polio at the age of two and was treated at the Warm Springs Institute in Georgia, where he learned to walk again with the help of braces. He later credited his mother for his recovery and his resilience.
McConnell grew up in Athens, Alabama, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, with his family when he was 14. He attended duPont Manual High School, where he was president of the student council and a debate team member. He graduated in 1960 and enrolled at the University of Louisville, where he majored in political science and history. Mitch McConnell was active in the College Republicans and served as an intern for Senator John Sherman Cooper. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964 and studied law at the University of Kentucky. He graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1967 and joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a judge advocate. He was honorably discharged in 1968 after a brief service due to an eye condition.
McConnell began his legal career as an assistant to Senator Marlow Cook in 1968. He then worked as a deputy assistant attorney general under President Gerald Ford from 1974 to 1975, where he helped draft legislation and liaise with Congress. He returned to Kentucky in 1977 and was elected as the county judge/executive of Jefferson County, the most populous county in the state. Mitch McConnell served in that position until 1984, overseeing the merger of the county and city governments and implementing fiscal reforms.
In 1984, McConnell ran for the U.S. Senate against the incumbent Democrat Walter “Dee” Huddleston, who was considered a popular and moderate senator. McConnell ran a negative campaign that highlighted Huddleston’s absenteeism and portrayed him as out of touch with Kentucky voters. He also used a catchy slogan, “Switch to Mitch”, and a series of humorous ads featuring bloodhounds searching for Huddleston. He won the election by a narrow margin of less than one percent, becoming the first Republican to win a statewide race in Kentucky since 1968.
McConnell quickly established himself as a conservative and loyal ally of President Ronald Reagan. He supported Reagan’s economic policies, defense spending, and anti-communist agenda. He also opposed abortion, gun control, and campaign finance reform. Mitch McConnell was re-elected in 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008, 2014, and 2020, defeating various Democratic challengers. He became the longest-serving senator in Kentucky history in 2009 and the longest-serving Republican leader in Senate history in 2023.
McConnell rose through the ranks of the Senate Republican leadership, serving as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee from 1998 to 2000, majority whip from 2003 to 2007, minority leader from 2007 to 2015 and 2021 to present, and majority leader from 2015 to 2021. As a leader, he has been known for his strategic and tactical skills, his ability to unify his caucus, and his use of the filibuster and other procedural tools to block or delay Democratic legislation and nominations. He has also been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump and his agenda, confirming three conservative Supreme Court justices and more than 200 federal judges nominated by Trump. He has also clashed with President Joe Biden and his administration over issues such as the COVID-19 relief package, the infrastructure plan, and the voting rights bill.
McConnell has been married twice. His first wife was Sherrill Redmon, a feminist scholar and activist, whom he married in 1968 and divorced in 1980. They have three children: Elly McConnell, Claire McConnell, and Porter McConnell. His second wife is Elaine Chao, a former secretary of labor and transportation, whom he married in 1993. They have no children together. McConnell is a Baptist and attends the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville. He is also an avid baseball fan and a collector of political memorabilia.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McConnell’s net worth was estimated to be between $9.9 million and $44.2 million in 2018, making him one of the wealthiest senators. His main sources of income are his Senate salary, his book royalties, and his investments. His wife, Elaine Chao, also has a substantial fortune from her family’s shipping business and her government service.
Social Media Handles
McConnell has official accounts on various social media platforms, where he posts updates on his legislative activities, his opinions on current issues, and his personal life. His social media handles are:
- Twitter: @LeaderMcConnell
- Facebook: @mitchmcconnell
- Instagram: @mcconnellpress
- YouTube: McConnellPress