- Every state has produced powerful political figures.
- Political leaders often represent different states than those they were born in.
- Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, but started his political career in the Illinois Senate.
- President Donald Trump was born in New York City.
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Every state has produced powerful political leaders, from presidents to senators.
Political figures on this list were born in a certain state, even if they ended up representing a different part of the country. Barack Obama, for example, was born in Hawaii, but represented Illinois in the Senate, and George W. Bush was born in Connecticut but was governor of Texas before becoming president.
Here is the most famous political figure from every state.
ALABAMA: Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She was secretary of state during George W. Bush’s presidency and the first and only black woman to have served in that position. She spoke at the 2012 Republican National Convention and said, “I think my father thought I might be president of the United States. I think he would have been satisfied with secretary of state.”
ALASKA: Lisa Murkowski
Lisa Murkowski, who was born in Ketchikan, Alaska, is the the first woman from Alaska to be elected to the Senate and the second most senior Republican woman in the Senate. Known as a moderate Republican, she pushed to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration and production, but broke with Republicans when she voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
ARIZONA: Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater, who was born in Phoenix, Arizona, was a five-term senator for the state between 1953 and 1987. He was also the Republican Party nominee for president in 1964, but lost to the incumbent Democrat at the time, Lyndon B. Johnson.
ARKANSAS: Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas, and served as the 42nd president of the United States. He was the first baby-boomer generation president. During his term, the country had a period of economic prosperity and peace not seen in any other presidency, according to the White House. He recently spoke at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
CALIFORNIA: Richard Nixon
The 37th president of the United States was born in Yorba Linda, California. Nixon, who was in the White House from 1969 to 1974, is credited with successfully ending American fighting in Vietnam and improving US relations with the USSR and China. He is also the only president to have resigned from office, following the Watergate scandal.
COLORADO: John Kerry
John Kerry, who was born in Aurora, Colorado, was a senator for Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013. He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in the 2004 election, but lost to George W. Bush. During Obama’s presidency he served as secretary of state.
CONNECTICUT: George W. Bush
Although known as the governor of Texas before becoming the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush was actually born in New Haven, Connecticut. His narrow victory against Democratic nominee Al Gore in 2000 was the subject of nationwide controversy. During his term, he led the country’s response to 9/11, which in part led to the start of the Iraq War in 2003.
DELAWARE: Beau Biden
Beau Biden was born in Wilmington, Delaware. He was an Iraq War veteran, the 44th attorney general of Delaware, and Joe Biden’s son. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 46 after battling brain cancer.
Joe Biden recently told “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough, “Beau should be the one running for president, not me. Every morning I get up Joe, not a joke, and I think to myself, ‘Is he proud of me?'”
FLORIDA: Janet Reno
Janet Reno was the first woman to serve as US attorney general. She was also the second-longest-serving attorney general, holding the role from 1993 to 2001. Reno was born in Miami, Florida, and died of Parkinson’s disease in 2016.
GEORGIA: Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter was born in 1924 in Plains, Georgia. He served as the 39th president of the United States. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work solving international conflicts. He is the oldest living former president.
HAWAII: Barack Obama
Though he served as a senator for Illinois, Barack Obama was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He served as the 44th president of the United States and was the first Black man to be president. During his presidency he created the Affordable Care Act, which aimed to provide health insurance for all Americans. In 2009, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
IDAHO: Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin served as the govenor of Alaska from 2006 to 2009, though she was born in Sandpoint, Idaho. She is the first and only woman to have been govenor, and she earned the Republican Party’s first female vice-presidential nomination.She recently appeared on “The Masked Singer” where she rapped “Baby Got Back.”
ILLINOIS: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton was born in Chicago, Illinois. She served as first lady from 1993 to 2001, US senator of New York from 2001 to 2009, and secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. She was the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party in the US and the first woman to win the popular vote, though she lost the election to Donald Trump.
INDIANA: Mike Pence
Born in Columbus, Indiana, Mike Pence is the current vice president of the United States under Donald Trump. Prior to his term, he was a congressman and the governor of Indiana. He was also a conservative radio and TV talk show host in the 1990s.
IOWA: Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover was born in 1874 in West Branch, Iowa, and was the 31st president of the United States. He was called the “The Great Humanitarian” during his presidency, after sending food to war-torn Europe during and after World War I.
KANSAS: Bob Dole
Bob Dole was born in Russell, Kansas, and served in both the House and Senate in Kansas. He was Gerald Ford’s running mate for the 1976 election, which they lost to Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. He ran for president three times, in 1980, 1988, and 1996.
KENTUCKY: Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky, and became the the 16th president of the United States. In 1863, He issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in the Confederacy.
When dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg he said, “That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
LOUISIANA: John Bel Edwards
John Bel Edwards was born in Amite, Louisiana, and became the state’s 56th governor in 2016. He had previously served in the Louisiana House of Representatives for eight years and was in the US Army for eight years before that.
MAINE: Margaret Chase Smith
Margaret Chase Smith was born in Skowhegan, Maine, and was the first woman to be elected to both the House and the Senate. She denounced McCarythism, the campaign against communists, at a time when most politicians were afraid to do so.
MARYLAND: Frederick Douglass
Born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland, Frederick Douglass became a leader of the abolitionist movement and an advisor to President Lincoln. He was also a women’s rights activist and was known to be one of the great intellectuals of his time.
MASSACHUSETTS: John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, and was the 35th president of the United States. He was the youngest person to be elected president. He famously said during his inauguration, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” He was assassinated in 1963 in Dallas, Texas.
MICHIGAN: Dr. Ben Carson
Dr. Ben Carson was born in Detroit, Michigan, and is the US secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Originally a neurosurgeon, he retired from medicine in 2013 and ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.
MINNESOTA: Amy Klobuchar
Amy Klobuchar was born in Plymouth, Minnesota, and is a senator for the state. She ran for the Democrat nomination for the 2020 presidential election, but dropped out of the race on March 2 and endorsed Joe Biden.
MISSISSIPPI: Roger Wicker
Roger Wicker was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, and has been a senator for the state since 2007. He is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. He introduced legislation to repeal Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalised abortion.
MISSOURI: Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri, and became the 33rd president of the United States after the death of Franklin Roosevelt, for whom he served as vice president. Prior to assuming the role, he received no briefing on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia. He told reporters at the time, “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.”
MONTANA: Jeannette Rankin
Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress and the only member to vote against participating in both world wars. She was born near Missoula, Montana.
“I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last,” she said when she was elected in 1916.
NEBRASKA: Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford became the 38th president of the United States in 1974 after Richard Nixon resigned. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, where the site of his childhood home is now a memorial garden open to the public.
NEVADA: Harry Reid
Harry Reid was born in Searchlight, Nevada. He served as a member of the House of Representatives, and then in the Senate as the Democratic party whip, minority leader, and majority leader before retiring in 2017. He was instrumental in drafting healthcare reform legislation that led to the passage of the Affordable Care Act under President Obama.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Daniel Webster
Daniel Webster served as secretary of state under Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, and Millard Fillmore. He also served in the House of Representatives and the Senate representing Massachusetts. His birthplace in Franklin, New Hampshire, is now a historic site open to the public.
NEW JERSEY: Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland is the only US president to have served two non-consecutive terms: the first from 1885 to 1889, and the second from 1893 to 1897. His birthplace in Caldwell, New Jersey, is a historic site.
NEW MEXICO: Dennis Chávez
Dennis Chávez served in the House of Representatives (1931 to 1935) and the Senate (1935 to 1962). He was the first Hispanic person to serve in the Senate. Chávez was born in Los Chavez, New Mexico.
NEW YORK: Donald Trump
Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States. He was famous before his presidency as a real estate developer, businessman, and host of “The Apprentice” on NBC. He was born in New York City.
NORTH CAROLINA: James K. Polk
NORTH DAKOTA: Milton R. Young
Milton R. Young was born in Berlin, North Dakota. He served as president pro tempore and was the most senior Republican member of the Senate when he retired in 1981.
OHIO: Kathleen Sebelius
Kathleen Sebelius was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the first woman to win a second term as governor of Kansas. She then served as the secretary of Health and Human Services under President Obama and helped pass the Affordable Care Act.
OKLAHOMA: Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was the first woman to represent Massachusetts in the US Senate and became a prominent liberal figure as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008. Despite early momentum in her 2020 presidential campaign, she bowed out of the race in March and endorsed Joe Biden.
OREGON: Mark Hatfield
PENNSYLVANIA: Joe Biden
Joe Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He represented Delaware in the Senate before becoming President Obama’s vice president in 2008. He is currently the Democratic presidential nominee in the upcoming 2020 election.
RHODE ISLAND: Martha McSally
Martha McSally was the first female fighter pilot in the US Air Force to fly in combat and the first woman to command a combat aviation squadron. She is currently serving as a US Senator for Arizona, having been appointed to John McCain’s Senate seat. She was born in Warwick, Rhode Island.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley was born in Bamberg, South Carolina. She was the first female governor of South Carolina and served as US ambassador to the United Nations under President Trump.
SOUTH DAKOTA: George McGovern
George McGovern was a Democratic senator who ran for president in 1972 but lost to Nixon. He was best known as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. McGovern was born in Avon, South Dakota.
TENNESSEE: Julian Bond
Julian Bond was born in Nashville, Tennessee. A civil rights leader, he helped create the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and fought for the right to serve in Georgia’s state legislature in a 1967 Supreme Court case. He went on to become president of the Southern Poverty Law Centre and chairman of the NAACP.
TEXAS: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th US president, was born in Denison, Texas. His home, renamed Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site, is now a museum featuring exhibits about his working class upbringing and presidency.
UTAH: Florence Ellinwood Allen
Florence Ellinwood Allen, a suffragist, was the first woman elected to a judicial office in the US, to sit on a state supreme court, and to serve as chief judge on a federal court. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.
VERMONT: Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge served as the 30th president of the US after President Warren G. Harding died in 1923. He was born in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.
VIRGINIA: George Washington
George Washington served as a general in the American Revolution and was elected the first president of the United States in 1789. His birthplace, a tobacco plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia, is now a national park.
WASHINGTON: Patty Murray
Patty Murray was born in Bothell, Washington. She is the first female senator to represent the state and is the sixth most senior member of the Senate.
WEST VIRGINIA: Cyrus Vance
Cyrus Vance was secretary of state under President Jimmy Carter. He was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
WISCONSIN: Tammy Baldwin
Tammy Baldwin was born in Madison, Wisconsin. She was elected to the US Senate in 2012, becoming the first woman to represent Wisconsin in the Senate and the first-ever openly gay senator in US history.
WYOMING: Lynne Cheney
Lynne Cheney served as the second lady of the United States under President George W. Bush. She was born in Casper, Wyoming.
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