At a Glance
- Career History: Senior Policy Adviser for King & Spalding (2005 to 2009); U.S. Ambassador to Germany (2001 to 2003); U.S. Senator in Ind. (1989 to 1999); U.S. Representative in Ind. (1981 to 1988)
- Birthday: May 16, 1943
- Hometown: Jackson, Mich.
- Alma Mater: Wheaton College, B.A., 1965; Indiana University, J.D., 1971
- Spouse: Marsha
- Religion: Presbyterian
- Committees: Appropriations ; Energy and Natural Resources ; Senate Select Intelligence Committee
- DC Office: B-40E Dirksen Senate Office BuildingWashington DC, 20510Phone: 202-224-5623Fax: 202-228-1820
- State Office: 1650 Market Tower10 West Market StreetIndianapolis, IN 46204Phone: 317-554-0750
- Web site
Path to Power
Born in Jackson, Mich. in 1943, Coats moved to Illinois for school, attending Wheaton College. After graduating in 1965, he joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, serving for three years.
Coats rejoined civilian life in 1968 and decided to enter law school. He attended the University of Indiana, earning his law degree in 1971. After finishing school, Coats chose to stay in the Hoosier State and started at a Fort Wayne, Ind. insurance company.
Coats started exploring the Senate contest in February 2010 as Sen. Bayh (D) struggled with the blowback from Democrats' efforts to pass health-care reform. Shortly after Coats' announcement that he was thinking about a run, Bayh said he would retire.
During his first tenure as a senator, Coats was known as a conservative leader who focused heavily on his opposition to abortion rights and 'protecting the family' issues. He worked to allow parents to block dial-a-porn numbers and even cosponsored a bill that would have banned "indecent or lewd" material from the Internet.
Many Republican senators in the 111th Congress served in the Senate during Coats's final year on Capitol Hill. The Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Richard G. Lugar (Ind.) and John McCain (Ariz.) are a few of the GOP Senators still in office.
From 2001 to 2005, Coats worked as President George W. Bush's Ambassador to Germany.