At a Glance
- Career History: U.S. House (1999-2004); State House of Representatives (1991-1999); Lawyer (1988-1991)
- Birthday: May 3, 1961
- Hometown: Metairie, La.
- Alma Mater: Tulane Law, J.D., 1988; Oxford University, B.A., 1985;Harvard University, A.B., 1983
- Spouse: Wendy Vitter
- Religion: Catholic
- Committees: Environment and Public Works ; Armed Services ; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee ; Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- DC Office: 516 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, (202) 224-4623
- State Offices: Alexandria (318) 448-0169;Monroe (318) 325-8120;Shreveport (318) 861-0437;Metairie (504) 589-2753;Lake Charles (337) 436-0453;Lafayette 337-262-6898; Baton Rouge 225-383-0331
- Web site
Path to Power
Born and raised in New Orleans, Vitter grew up the son of a Chevron petroleum engineer. He attended Harvard and earned an economics degree in 1983.
Two years later he graduated from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, with a bachelor's degree. Then, in 1988, Vitter earned a law degree from Tulane Law School back in his hometown of New Orleans. After law school, Vitter went into private practice. He also taught at Tulane and Loyola.
In the Senate, Vitter is a staunch conservative, but has sometimes broken from his party; he opposed, for example, the fall 2008 financial bailout. Vitter has a lifetime rating of 93 from the American Conservative Union and voted with his party 86 percent of the time in the 110th Congress.,
A devout Catholic, Vitter has established himself as a strong ally of the anti-abortion rights movement, sponsoring legislation to restrict the doctors who could prescribe RU-486, which can end an unwanted pregnancy. The legislation never made it out of committee. Vitter also authored legislation that would prohibit federal money from going to private abortion providers and supported legislation to prohibit the transport of minors across state lines in order to get an abortion.
Early in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries, Vitter endorsed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. "Rudy has the strong unwavering leadership and sound judgment that we so clearly need in this time of war and terrorist threats," Vitter said.(21)
Vitter is close to fellow Louisiana Republican, Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is considered a top presidential contender in 2012. In December 2004, the governor headlined a Washington, D.C. event to raise money for Vitter's 2008 re-election campaign. All Republican members of Louisiana's congressional delegation were co-chairs of the event.