10 Things You Didn't Know About Bob McDonnell

The former state attorney general hopes to be Virginia’s next governor.

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The former state attorney general hopes to be Virginia's next governor

1. Republican Bob McDonnell was born in Philadelphia on June 15, 1954. His parents, Irish-Catholic Democrats, relocated to Northern Virginia, where they raised McDonnell and four younger siblings.

2. After attending and playing football at Bishop Ireton High School, McDonnell went to the University of Notre Dame on an ROTC scholarship. He graduated in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

3. He served as a medical supply officer in the Army, stationed in West Germany and later at Fort Eustis in Virginia. He left active duty in 1981 but served in the Army Reserve until 1997.

4. While overseas, he earned a master's degree in business administration from Boston University.

5. McDonnell was a manager in a Fortune 500 healthcare supply company before attending Regent University, where he earned a master's in public policy and a law degree.

6. Arguments against working women in his 93-page, 1989 graduate thesis, The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of the Decade, have fostered criticism from his Democratic opponent in the governor's race, Creigh Deeds.

7. His wife of more than 30 years, Maureen Patricia Gardner, insists that McDonnell uses no dyes on his notably coiffed hair.

8. He and his wife bought a brick home in Hampton Roads, Va., in 1985. They raised five children there.

9. McDonnell defeated Deeds by fewer than 400 votes in the 2005 race for attorney general.

10. While McDonnell was attorney general from 2006 through early 2009, his office won all nine cases it argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.


  • The Washington Post
  • WhoRunsGov.com
  • The Virginian-Pilot