1. Mark Emery Udall was born in Tucson, Ariz., in 1950 and is the eldest of six. His father, Morris "Mo" Udall, played for the Denver Nuggets in the late 1940s and went on to inherit his brother Stewart's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Mark worked as a director of field operations in New Hampshire during his father's 1976 presidential campaign that ended in a primary defeat at the hands of Jimmy Carter.
2. His mother, Patricia, an avid outdoorswoman and pilot, taught him to drive when he was 13. He drove flatbed trucks around the summer camp he attended in New Mexico. He became a camp counselor there at the age of 15.
3. He was student body president at Canyon del Oro High School near Tucson.
4. Udall won the state golf championship during high school and is now one of the best golfers in Congress.
5. Udall graduated from Williams College in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in American civilization.
6. His favorite album is the Beatles's Magical Mystery Tour, while his favorite song is "Bittersweet," by Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
7. Mark Udall is an accomplished mountaineer who has scaled Colorado's 54 highest peaks, along with Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas, the world's third-highest peak. In his attempt at Mount Everest, he made it to within 3,000 feet of the summit but had to turn back because of high winds.
8. Udall met his wife, Maggie Fox, through his work at Outward Bound. Mark served as course director for 10 years and Colorado's executive director for 10 more. Maggie went on to work for the Sierra Club for over 20 years and is a prominent environmental attorney. During one of their climbing adventures together, Maggie broke her leg and one of the team members died on the mountainside from pulmonary edema.
9. Mark Udall's cousin, Tom Udall, won a Senate seat in New Mexico, making the Udalls only the 11th known pair of cousins to serve in the U.S. Senate. Mark and Tom's campaign slogan is "Vote for the Udall nearest you!" A third cousin, Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, is still locked in a tight re-election battle in Oregon. If he wins, it would be the first time three cousins have served at the same time.
10. The Udalls have never relished being called "the Kennedys of the West." They are proud to be affiliated with the Kennedys and their commitment to public service, but family members have remarked that the Kennedy's were rich industrialists and the Udalls were dirt farmers.
Click here to read more about the Udall cousins.
- Rocky Mountain News