10 Things You Didn't Know About Byron Dorgan

The Democratic senator's retirement is making waves in Congress.

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1 Byron Dorgan was born on May 14, 1942, and raised in Regent, N.D., a rural town of 250 people. He graduated from high school in a class of nine.

2 At the age of 26, he was appointed deputy state tax commissioner, becoming North Dakota's youngest constitutional officer ever.

3 He served as the state tax commissioner from 1969 to 1980, when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served from 1981 until 1992.

4 First elected to the Senate in 1992, he is finishing his third full term.

5 In 1999, he was one of only nine senators to vote against Bill Clinton's bank deregulation act.

6 Throughout his Senate career, he has been focused on farm issues, including reducing agricultural subsidies and bulking up crop insurance and disaster relief.

7 He is the chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs and also serves on the Appropriations; Commerce, Science and Technology; and Energy and Natural Resources committees.

8 In 2002, he initiated the creation of the Red River Valley Research Corridor to help bring high-tech companies and research resources to his state.

9 He and his wife, Kim, have three living children. Their daughter Shelly died.

10 Dorgan is the author of two books, the New York Times bestseller Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America and Reckless: How Debt, Deregulation, and Dark Money Nearly Bankrupted America (And How We Can Fix It!).