Iowa Republican has helped lead Senate efforts at bipartisan healthcare reform
1. Charles Ernest Grassley was born on Sept. 17, 1933, in New Hartford, Iowa, to Louis Arthur Grassley and Ruth Corwin. He grew up on a farm.
2. Grassley received a B.A. in political science from the University of Northern Iowa in 1955; he earned his M.A. from the school a year later.
3. In 1958, 25-year-old Grassley was elected as an Iowa state legislator. Throughout his 16 years in state office, he also farmed and worked in factories, as a sheet-metal shearer and as an assembly-line worker.
4. In 1974, Grassley was elected to the House of Representatives; he easily won re-election in 1976 and 1978. In 1980, he was elected to the Senate. He has won re-election four times, with more than 66 percent of the votes each time.
5. Grassley was one of two Republican senators who voted against the 1991 Gulf War resolution. In 2002, he voted to give George W. Bush the power to go to war with Iraq.
6. In March 2009, Grassley made headlines when he suggested on an Iowa radio program that AIG executives should either resign or commit suicide.
7. He is a member of the Family, a Christian political organization that develops prayer groups for politicians and organizes the National Prayer Breakfast each year.
8. He has twice chaired the Senate Finance Committee and is currently its ranking minority member.
9. He travels to Iowa most weekends and has held meetings in each of the state's 99 counties every year he has served in the Senate.
10. Grassley married Barbara Speicher in 1954. The couple have five children: Lee, Wendy, Robin, Michele, and Jay.
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