At a Glance
- Career History: Indianapolis mayor (1968 to 1975); Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners (1964 to 1967)
- Birthday: April 4, 1932
- Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
- Alma Mater: Denison University, B.A., 1954; Oxford University, M.A., 1956
- Spouse: Charlene
- Religion: Methodist
- State Offices: Evansville, (812) 465-6313; Fort Wayne, (260) 422-1505; Indianapolis, (317) 226-5555; Valparaiso, (219) 548-8035
Path to Power
Lugar was born in Indianapolis on April 4, 1932. He was plagued by ear infections and allergies, and spent much of his childhood indoors reading biographies and publishing a family newspaper. In high school, his father taught him and his brothers how to farm and would pay his sons 10 cents an hour to work the family fields during the summer. In time, Lugar and his two siblings saved enough money to buy an acre of wheat, only to see their crop wiped out by a flood the next harvest season.
The Eagle Scout graduated first in his high school class and from Denison University in Ohio. At Denison, he was also co-president of the student government with his future wife Charlene Smeltzer. After graduation, Lugar attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. There he studied politics, philosophy, and economics.
Describing Lugar's voting record, fellow politicians say this: Lugar votes with his heart. While the Indiana senator tends to vote with Republicans the majority of the time (in the 111th Congress, he voted with his party about 80 percent of the time), he is not afraid to oppose his party.
For instance, Lugar supported embryonic stem-cell research, raising auto-mileage standards, and increasing the minimum wage. And though he is from one of America's industrial and agricultural strongholds, he supports free-trade bills like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and opposes most farm subsidies.
Lugar and Vice President Joseph R. Biden worked closely together when Biden was head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Lugar served as its ranking member. The two worked together on drafting Iraq legislation and figuring out how to address problems in Afghanistan.
Lugar has worked closely with former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn (Ga.). The pair collaborated on nuclear non-proliferation legislation.