Mitch McConnell Biography

Mitch McConnell is a US Republican senator who has had a significant impact on US politics and decision making. With a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a law degree from the University Of Kentucky College Of Law, McConnell has a strong educational background. Despite being discharged from the US Army Reserve due to medical reasons, McConnell’s political career took off when he interned under Senator John Sherman Cooper and later became the Jefferson County Judge/Executive. He made history by becoming the first Republican to win in Kentucky after a long period of Democratic dominance. McConnell is known for his moderate stance and willingness to support causes for political gain rather than strict ideology. However, he has faced criticism and is often portrayed as a villain rather than a popular leader. With three children from his previous marriage and currently married to Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation under Donald Trump, McConnell’s personal life is also noteworthy. As an influential leader, he constantly faces opposition from both within his own party and from the opposition.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Addison Mitchell McConnell III
  • Age: 81 Years, 81 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Elaine Chao (m. 1993), Sherrill Redmon (m. 1968; div. 1980)
    • Father: Addison Mitchell McConnell
    • Mother: Julia McConnell
    • Children: Claire McConnell, Elly McConnell, Porter McConnell
  • Born Country: United States
  • Lawyers
  • Political Leaders
  • Ancestry: British American
  • U.S. State: Alabama
  • Notable Alumni: University Of Kentucky, University Of Louisville
  • Education: University Of Kentucky, University Of Louisville

Childhood & Early Life

Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr was born on February 20, 1942 in Sheffield, Alabama, US. His parents were Addison Mitchell McConnell and Julia Shockley. He grew up in Athens and suffered from polio at the age of two. He was treated at the Warm Spring Institute and recovered by the age of five. McConnell was a talented baseball player.

When he was eight years old, his family moved to Georgia and later to Louisville. He attended DuPont Manual High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Louisville in 1964. McConnell was actively involved in student organizations and was the president of the Student Council.

He went on to study law at the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was elected as president of the Student Bar Association. McConnell has maintained a close association with his alma mater and supports their sports teams.

Career

McConnell started his political career by interning with Senator John Sherman Cooper in 1964. He gained experience working as an assistant to Senator Marlow Cook and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General under President Gerald R. Ford. In 1977, he was elected as the Jefferson County Judge/Executive and was re-elected in 1981.

In 1984, McConnell was elected to the US Senate, becoming the first Republican to win in Kentucky since 1968. He was re-elected in 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014. McConnell served as the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 1998 and 2000 elections. He became the Senate Majority Whip in 2003 and the Senate Minority Leader in 2006. In 2014, he became the Senate Majority Leader.

McConnell is known for his moderate views and his focus on political gains rather than ideology. He has been referred to as a ‘Centrist’ who has shifted to the right. He has opposed collective bargaining and minimum wage increases, which has affected his popularity in his home state.

Foreign Policy and Advocacy

McConnell initially supported anti-apartheid legislation and better treatment of Muslim refugees. However, he later introduced the Protect America Act of 2007 and opposed the time-bound withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. He also opposed US military strikes in Syria in 2013.

He believes in maintaining good relations with Saudi Arabia, despite accusations of war crimes in Yemen. McConnell voted to pass the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act into law but later criticized it for unintended ramifications. He is an advocate of free speech and has opposed campaign finance regulations.

Views and Controversies

McConnell introduced the Common Sense Medical Malpractice Reforms Act and opposed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He supported the Small Business Liability Reforms Act and was against Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from immigrating to the US. He also urged Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Despite criticizing Trump’s policies, McConnell endorsed his candidacy after Senator Rand Paul withdrew from the Republican race for presidency. McConnell is one of the most influential Republican leaders but remains controversial and has faced opposition from both the opposition and his own party.

Personal Life and Achievements

McConnell was married to Sherrill Redmon in 1968 and they had three children before divorcing in 1980. He married Elaine Chao, former Secretary of Labor and Transportation, in 1993. McConnell underwent a triple bypass heart surgery in 2003 and is a devoted Baptist.

He is one of America’s wealthiest senators, thanks to a large sum gifted to him by his father-in-law. McConnell is on the Board of Selectors of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service and is the founder of the James Madison Centre for Free Speech. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and has appeared as a character in the political satire ‘Alpha House’.

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