10 Things You Didn't Know About Mark Begich

Begich is the junior senator from Alaska.

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1. Mark Begich was born in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 30, 1962.

2. His parents, Nick and Pegge, were both teachers and were originally from Minnesota. They moved to Alaska, then a territory, in 1957.

3. His father was elected to Congress in 1970 and died in a plane crash Oct. 16, 1972, along with House Majority Leader Hale Boggs and two others. Despite an extensive search of the area in Alaska, no sign of the wreckage was ever found.

4. As a result of the crash, Congress required that all small private and commercial planes be equipped with an Emergency Locator Transmitter.

5. Pegge ran for her husband's congressional seat twice in the 1980s but lost both times to her husband's successor, Republican Rep. Don Young.

6. Mark Begich got his first business license at 14. He has made and sold jewelry, opened a teen club (when he was 16), and run his family's real estate business.

7. He was elected to the Anchorage Assembly (city council) at age 26 and served almost 10 years.

8. He was elected mayor of Anchorage in 2003, the first mayor born and raised in Anchorage.

9. He is the only U.S. senator without a college degree.

10. Mark Begich is married to Deborah Bonito, a small-business owner and former chair of the state Democratic Party. They have a young son, Jacob.

Sources:

  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • United Press International
  • St. Cloud ( Minn. ) Times
  • Newsday
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Mark Begich for U.S. Senate
  • Anchorage Daily News
  • New York Times