1. Eric Ivan Cantor was born June 6, 1963, in Richmond, Va., to Eddie and Mary Lee Cantor. His mother was a community volunteer; his father was an attorney and Virginia treasurer for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign.
2. He received a B.A. from George Washington University in 1985 and a law degree from the College of William and Mary in 1988. He earned a master's in real estate from Columbia University in 1989.
3. As an undergraduate, Cantor interned for Virginia Republican Rep. Tom Bliley.
4. He met his wife, Diana, currently a partner at Alternative Investment Management, on a blind date. They married in 1989 and have three children.
5. Cantor practiced law for his family's real estate firm in Richmond when he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1991. He served five terms before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
6. Cantor easily won Bliley's old House seat in 2000 after a narrow victory in the GOP primary.
7. After one term in Congress, Cantor was named chief deputy majority whip in 2002. In 2008, he was elected minority whip, the second-highest Republican in the House.
8. Cantor and GOP Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin wrote Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders, published in September, which describes some of the mistakes their party made.
9. Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in the House.
10. He was elected majority leader in November, after Republicans took control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections.