At a Glance
- Career History Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chair (2007-2010); Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman (2006-2008); U.S. Senate (since 1998); U.S. House (1980 to 1998)
- Birthday: Nov. 23, 1950
- Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Alma Mater: Harvard, B.A., 1971; Harvard Law School, J.D., 1974
- Spouse: Iris Weinshall
- Religion: Jewish
- Committees: Chairman, Rules and Administration ; Judiciary ; Finance ; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs ; Vice-chairman, Joint Economic
- DC Office: 313 Hart Senate Building, 202-224-6542
- State Offices: New York, 212-486-4430; Albany, 518-431-4070; Buffalo, 716-846-4111; Binghamton, 607-772-6792; Peekskill, 914-734-1532; Melville, 631-753-0978; Rochester, 585-263-5866; Syracuse, 315-423-5471
- Web site
Path to Power
Schumer grew up in Brooklyn with his parents and two siblings. The son of a pest exterminator, he excelled in school, graduating first in his high-school class and scoring a 1600 on his SATs.
When he didn't make the basketball team at Harvard, he agreed to travel with the Young Democrats to campaign for Eugene McCarthy. He fell in love with politics in New Hampshire, switching his major from organic chemistry to political science.
Schumer often talks of his two imaginary friends - the middle class Baileys -for whom he crafts legislation.
He aims for left-of-center pragmatic policies that appeal to moderate voters. His proposals include increasing reading and math scores by boosting federal education spending, reducing property taxes, encouraging legal immigration, reducing foreign oil dependency and lowering cancer mortality.
The senator with a knack for buzz also has a gift for hiring press secretaries that go on to big things in politics. Former communications directors include Risa Heller, now chief communications director for New York Gov. David Paterson (D); Howard Wolfson, a spokesman for Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign who moved on to work for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; and Josh Isay, a Democratic consultant for Knickerbocker SKD, the public relations firm Schumer uses.
Schumer's wife, Irish Weinshall, was New York City Mayor Bloomberg's commissioner of transportation. Several of Schumer's former staffers have gone on to work in the Bloomberg administration.