LAMAR ALEXANDER Biography - Polititians


Biography » polititians » lamar alexander


Name: Andrew Lamar Alexander                                                               
Born: 3 July 1940 Maryville, Tennessee                                                     
Andrew Lamar Alexander (born July 3, 1940) is the senior United States Senator             
from Tennessee and a member of the Republican Party. He was previously the 45th             
Governor of Tennessee from 1979 to 1987, U.S. Secretary of Education from 1991             
to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush and candidate for the Republican                   
Presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000.                                                   
Alexander was born in Maryville, Tennessee (outside of Knoxville), where he was             
raised, to Genevra Floreine Rankin and Andrew Lamar Alexander. In high school               
he was elected Governor of Tennessee Boys State. Alexander graduated with a B.A.           
from Vanderbilt University where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity in 1962           
and from the New York University School of Law in 1965. After graduating from               
law school, Alexander clerked for United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth             
Circuit judge John Minor Wisdom in New Orleans from 1965 to 1966.                           
Alexander married Leslee "Honey" Buhler in 1969. They had met during a softball             
game for Senate staff members; he was then a staffer for Senator Howard Baker of           
Tennessee while she worked for Senator John Tower of Texas. Together they have             
four children: Drew, Leslee, Kathryn, and Will.                                             
He is also a classical and country pianist. Alexander got to put these talents             
on display in April 2007 when he played piano on singer Patti Page's re-recording           
of her 1950 hit "Tennessee Waltz." He appeared on the record, due out for                   
release in the summer of 2007, at the invitation of record executive Mike Curb.             
Alexander and Page then performed the song live at an April 4 fundraiser for his           
Senatorial re-election campaign in Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center.               
In 1967, Alexander worked as a legislative assistant for Senator Howard Baker.             
While a staffer, he was briefly roommates with future U.S. Senator Trent Lott.             
In 1969, he worked for Bryce Harlow, President Nixon's executive assistant.                 
In 1970 he moved back to Tennessee, serving as campaign manager for Memphis                 
dentist Winfield Dunn's successful gubernatorial bid.                                       
Thanks to his successful tenure as Dunn's campaign manager, Alexander received             
the Republican nomination for governor of Tennessee in 1974. He faced Democrat             
Ray Blanton, a former congressman and unsuccessful 1972 Senate candidate.                   
Blanton attacked Alexander for his service under Nixon, who had resigned in                 
disgrace several months earlier. He also portrayed Alexander as being too                   
distant from average Tennesseeans, even though Alexander was the son of teachers.           
Blanton would win the election 56%-44%.                                                     
In 1977, Alexander once again worked in Senator Baker's Washington office                   
following Baker's election as Senate Minority Leader.                                       
Even though the Tennessee State Constitution had been amended in early 1978 to             
allow a governor to succeed himself, Blanton chose not to seek re-election, due             
to a number of scandals. Alexander once again ran for governor, and made a name             
for himself by walking 1,000 miles (1,600 km) across the state wearing a red and           
black plaid shirt. He defeated Knoxville banker Jake Butcher in the November               
In early 1979, a furor ensued over pardons made by Blanton that appeared to be             
made out of pure politics; some of them smacked of bribery. Since the state                 
constitution is somewhat vague on when a governor must be sworn in, several                 
political leaders from both parties, including Lieutenant Governor John S.                 
Wilder and State House Speaker Ned McWherter, arranged for Alexander to be sworn           
in three days earlier than the traditional inauguration day. Wilder later                   
called the move "impeachment Tennessee-style." Soon after being sworn in,                   
Alexander ordered the state Highway Patrol to seize control of the state capitol           
to prevent any maneuvers by Blanton to regain office.                                       
Alexander made history by becoming the first Tennessee governor reelected to a             
second 4-year term by defeating Knoxville mayor Randy Tyree in the 1982 election,           
carrying almost 70% of Knox County. During his second term, he served as                   
chairman of the National Governors Association from 1985 to 1986. After opting             
out of the 1984 U.S. Senate contest for the open seat of retiring Majority                 
Leader Howard Baker, Alexander was constitutionally ineligible for a third term             
and stepped down from the governorship in January 1987.                                     
Moving with his family to Australia for a time, he would soon return to                     
Tennessee and became the president of the University of Tennessee (1988–1991),           
and United States Secretary of Education (1991–1993).                                     
In 1987, he helped found Corporate Child Care Management, Inc. (now known as               
Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc.), a company that -- via a merger -- is now           
the nation's largest provider of worksite day care. In his 2005 U.S. Senate                 
financial disclosure report, he listed personal ownership of BFAM (Bright                   
Horizons Family Solutions) stock valued (at that time) between $1 million and $5           
million dollars.                                                                           
He taught about the American character as a faculty member at Harvard University's         
Kennedy School of Government.                                                               
He also made two unsuccessful runs for President of the United States, in the               
1996 and 2000 election cycles. In 1996, he finished third in both the Iowa                 
caucus and New Hampshire Primary and dropped out before the Super Tuesday                   
primaries. After dropping out of the race, Alexander took an advisory role in               
the Dole/Kemp campaign. His second candidacy, in which he traveled around the               
U.S. in a Ford Explorer, eschewing a campaign bus or plane, lasted less than six           
months, being announced March 9, 1999, and withdrawn August 16, 1999 (after a               
poor showing in the Ames Straw Poll), both times in Nashville. An article in               
The New York Times during this period comments that Alexander's "bitter belief             
that party's nominating process is being short-circuited by big money and big               
media has become [his] consuming preoccupation," referring to the Republican