10 Things You Didn't Know About Kent Conrad

The North Dakota senator is chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

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1. Gaylord Kent Conrad was born on March 12, 1948, in Bismarck, N.D., to Gaylord and Abigail Conrad. When Conrad was five years old, he survived a car accident that killed both of his parents. He was then raised by his grandparents.

2. Conrad graduated from Wheelus High School on an American Air Force base in Tripoli, Libya, where he lived for two years with family friends. He graduated from Stanford University in 1971 with a degree in politics and government.

3. Conrad worked for Democrat Byron Dorgan's unsuccessful House campaign in 1974.

4. He received his MBA from George Washington University in 1975.

5. Conrad was elected tax commissioner of North Dakota in 1980.

6. In 1986, Conrad defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Andrews 50 percent to 49 percent. The following year, he married his campaign manager, Lucy Calautti.

7. In 1992, Conrad announced his retirement from the Senate. Dorgan won Conrad's seat. But after Democratic Sen. Quentin Burdick died in office that same year, Conrad decided to run again. He defeated then Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple in the special election. Conrad was sworn in before Dorgan on December 14, so he technically held both seats for a few hours.

8. In 2006, Time magazine nicknamed him "The Statistician" for his fiscal savvy.

9. Conrad served on President Obama's deficit commission and supported a proposal that included deep spending cuts, tax increases, and raising the retirement age.

10. In January, Conrad announced he won't run for re-election in 2012.

Corrected on 4/19/11: An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled Bismarck, N.D.