At a Glance
- Career History: House Minority Leader (January 2007-December 2010); House Majority Leader (2006 to 2007); House Education and Workforce Committee chair (2001 to 2006); House Republican Conference Chairman (1995 to 1999)
- Birthday: Nov. 17, 1949
- Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
- Alma Mater: Xavier University, BS, 1977
- Spouse: Debbie
- Religion: Roman Catholic
- DC Office: 1011 Longworth H.O.B., Washington, DC 20515, 202-225-6205
- District Office: West Chester, 513-779-5400; Troy, 937-339-1524
Path to Power
Boehner grew up with 11 siblings in a two-bedroom house in Cincinnati. In high school, he played football for the legendary Gerry Faust, who would later coach at Notre Dame.
Boehner was the first in his family to attend college, and he worked as a janitor to pay tuition. He graduated from Xavier University in 1977 and then moved back to Ohio to work at a small plastics and packaging business. He said he became a Republican when he paid more taxes then he earned in his first year at work.
Boehner hails from the deeply-Republican 8th district, where industry rules and constituents are very skeptical of free trade. He is a conservative voter, supporting his party 95.8 percent of the time in the 111th Congress.
Boehner has opposed efforts to curtail earmark spending and to outright ban privately-funded travel for lawmakers. In fact, he has flaunted his relationships with lobbyists, flying to events on corporate jets and staying at golf resorts with groups that have a direct stake in congressional issues.
Boehner had an enduring relationship with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.); the two sponsored an annual dinner to raise money for DC's struggling Catholic schools. He also worked with now-Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) on enacting No Child Left Behind.
But generally, Boehner works in lockstep with the Republican leadership, including Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) (though their relationship has been fraught with speculation about tension, since the two harbor similar leadership ambitions), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).