Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich was first elected to represent his district in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States House of Representatives in 1996 following a political career that had seen its share of ups and downs. In 1977, at age 31, he was elected mayor of Cleveland, becoming the youngest person ever elected to lead a major American city.
He spent the next fifteen years in the political wilderness until he won election to the Ohio State Senate in 1994. Two years later, he was elected to the House. In Washington, he became chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and is known for his advocacy of human rights, environmental issues and health care.
One of the few vegans in Congress, Kucinich was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and is the eldest of seven children.