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Fast Facts: Porter Goss

BIOGRAPHY

— Porter J. Goss was born November 26, 1938 in Waterbury, Connecticut.

— He is 65 years old.

— Goss is a multimillionaire.

— He speaks Spanish and French.

— Goss is the second CIA director to have served in Congress. The first was former President George Herbert Walker Bush.

EDUCATION

— Goss received a bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1960.

CIA CAREER

— Worked for Army intelligence for two years after college.

— Worked for the CIA 1962-1971.

— Eventually rose to work in the CIA's most well-known division, the Directorate of Operations (search).

— When he got into politics, Goss had to get special permission to reveal that he was associated with "the agency" for roughly a decade, reportedly in Europe and Latin America.

— Goss still doesn't discuss classified details of his work, although he has said he was deployed in Miami during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis (search).

POLITICAL CAREER

— Elected to the first Sanibel, Florida City Council in 1974.

— Served as mayor of Sanibel, Florida 1975-1977.

— In 1983, Goss was appointed to the Lee County, Florida Board of Commissioners by then-Governor Bob Graham.

— He won election to Congress as a Republican in 1988.

— When nominated for the CIA post, Goss announced he would resign from elected office pending his confirmation.

TIME IN CONGRESS

— Goss served in Congress for 16 years, including eight years as House Intelligence chairman.

— He planned on making his 2000 election bid his last, but decided to stay on after the Sept. 11 attacks — with encouragement from Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

— The opportunity was sweetened when Republicans allowed him to stay on as committee chairman, waiving a rule limiting his chairmanship to six years.

— Along with fellow Floridian Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, Goss led a joint congressional inquiry into the September Eleventh attacks, which identified numerous miscalculations that prevented authorities from derailing the attacks.

— Goss introduced legislation this summer that would expand the CIA director's authority over operations and an estimated $40 billion budget

ISSUES IN CONGRESS

— Goss focused on preventing off-shore oil drilling and setting aside funding to restore the Everglades ecosystem in Florida.

— Served on bipartisan commissions and task forces to craft proposals to make health care more affordable and accessible.

— Worked for the construction of a new Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Lee County, Florida.

— Works for fair distribution of VA dollars.

HEALTH

— In the early 1970s, an almost deadly staph infection forced Goss to retire from the CIA.

— The mysterious infection affected his heart and kidneys and was never medically explained.

— Goss is convinced he was poisoned.

— In order to recover, Goss moved to Sanibel, Florida, where some retired CIA officers had made a coastal community. Each day, he tried to walk to the ocean as part of his rehabilitation.

FAMILY

— Goss is married to Mariel Robinson.

— He has four children and eleven grandchildren.

IN HIS OWN WORDS

— "I think every American knows the importance of getting the best possible intelligence we can get to our decision-makers. The essence of our intelligence capability is people."

BUSH'S COMMENTS

— President Bush says Goss "knows the CIA inside and out" and can bolster its spy network.

— "He's the right man to lead and support the agency at this critical moment in our nation's history."

— The president said Goss will advise him on how to implement the Nine-Eleven commission's recommendations.

CIA DIRECTOR OPENING

— CIA Director George Tenet's last day on the job was July 11.

— The agency since then has been under the leadership of acting Director John McLaughlin (search).

— The Bush administration was believed to have debated internally whether to choose a permanent successor to Tenet before the fall elections, thus putting itself in the position of having to defend its choice in confirmation hearings held in a politically charged atmosphere.

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