Path to Power
Born in 1951, Berkley moved 11 years later from Manhattan's Lower East Side to Las Vegas where her father rose to become a maitre d' at the Sands casino. Berkley would later become a cocktail waitress and keno runner on the Las Vegas strip, jobs she said helped pay for and pave her way through college, law school and eventually to Congress.
Berkley's political interests stemmed from her days as a student at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where she served as student body president. After graduating from University of San Diego Law School, Berkley served as an attorney for Southwest Gas company from 1977 to 1982. In 1982, she was elected to the Nevada House of Representatives, where she served one two-year term.
Berkley voted with her party 96.8 percent of the time during the 110th Congress.
Berkley has been active on veterans' issues and took credit for helping approve a $295 million Veterans Affairs medical center in North Las Vegas, set for completion in 2011.
Berkley is close to other Democratic members of the Silver State's delegation, including Titus and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid and Berkley have worked in tandem on the Yucca Mountain issue.