10 Things You Didn't Know About Anh 'Joseph' Cao

Cao is in a tough race to hold onto his seat in the House.


1 Anh Cao was born in Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam, on March 13, 1967.

2 His surname, Cao, is pronounced "gow" and rhymes with "cow."

3 At age 8, he and two siblings fled to the United States three days before Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces. His parents and five other siblings were unable to flee, and Anh lived with an uncle in Indiana.

4 His father was a South Vietnamese Army officer and was imprisoned in a Communist re-education camp for six years.

5After graduating with a B.S. in physics from Baylor University in 1990, Cao studied at a Jesuit seminary for six years. He earned a master's degree in philosophy at Fordham University in 1995 and a law degree in 2000 from Loyola University in New Orleans, where he also worked as a philosophy and ethics professor.

6 He met his wife, Hieu "Kate" Hoang, in 1998. They have two daughters.

7 Both his New Orleans home and his law office were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He has said that his experience in the storm's aftermath spurred him to enter politics.

8 Cao joined the Republican Party when he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008.

9 He represents Louisiana's heavily Democratic Second District, which includes a large part of New Orleans. Though he had never held public office previously, he won the seat after his opponent, Rep. William Jefferson, was indicted on bribery charges.

10 Cao is the first Vietnamese-American to serve in Congress.




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