Published January 13, 2015
John Kerry is currently serving his fourth term as United States senator from Massachusetts, first elected to the Senate in 1984.
Kerry has worked to reform public education, address childrens' issues, strengthen the economy and encourage the growth of the high tech new economy, protect the environment, and advance America's foreign policy interests around the globe.
A member of the Senate Finance Committee and senior member of the Commerce Committee, Kerry is also chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee and has served for 16 years on the Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry is also chairman of the East Asian Affairs Subcommittee on the Foreign Relations Committee, while also leading the Oceans, Fisheries and the Enviroment Subcommittee on the Commerce Committee. Kerry also serves in the Senate Democratic Leadership as Chairman of the Steering and Coordination Committee.
Kerry was first elected to public office as Lieutenant Governor in 1982. Prior to that he worked as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County.
Kerry received his law degree from Boston College law School in 1976. The education came after he had returned hom from the Vietnam War and had become an active leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and a co-founder of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Kerry graduated from Yale University in 1966 and then enlisted in the Navy, becoming an officer on a gunboat in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. Among the decorations he received for his service are a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. He also received two Presidential Unit Citations and a National Defense Service medal.
Kerry was born in December 1943. He is married to Teresa Heinz and they live in Boston. Kerry has two daughters from a previous marriage. Heinz has three sons from her prior marriage.