10 Things You Didn't Know About Mitch McConnell

McConnell is a senator from Kentucky and the minority leader.

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McConnell is a senator from Kentucky and the minority leader

  1. Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell Jr. was born to Addison Mitchell McConnell and Julia Shockley on Feb. 20, 1942, in Tuscumbia, Ala. He was raised in Louisville, Ky.
  2. When he was 2 years old, McConnell contracted polio. He was unable to walk until he was 5.
  3. In 1964, he graduated with honors from the University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences; in 1967, he graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
  4. McConnell got his start as an intern on Capitol Hill for Kentucky Republican Sen. John Sherman Cooper. He worked as chief legislative assistant to Kentucky Republican Sen. Marlow Cook from 1968 to 1970.
  5. McConnell served as deputy assistant attorney general under President Gerald Ford. He returned to Kentucky and served as judge-executive of Jefferson County from 1978 to 1985.
  6. In 1984, McConnell was the only Republican to unseat a Democratic incumbent in a U.S. Senate race.
  7. In 2003, McConnell had triple-bypass heart surgery after a stress test and follow-up screening that revealed arterial blockages.
  8. In 2008, despite a fundraising advantage over Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford of more than 2 to 1, McConnell won re-election by only 6 percentage points.
  9. Since 1993, McConnell has been married to Elaine Chao, who served as President George W. Bush's labor secretary. He has three daughters from a previous marriage.
  10. On Jan. 10, 2009, McConnell became the longest-serving U.S. senator in Kentucky's history.


  • Official Senate Bio
  • New York Times
  • The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
  • The Cincinnati Enquirer (Ohio)
  • Los Angeles Times