10 Things You Didn't Know About Tim Pawlenty

Pawlenty is a potential running mate for John McCain.

By + More

1. Timothy Pawlenty was born on Nov. 27, 1960, in St. Paul, Minn. He grew up in South St. Paul, the youngest of five children.

2. His father, Eugene, was a truck driver and his mother, Ginny, was a homemaker. Ginny died of cancer when Tim was just 16 years old.

3. When Tim started college, he wanted to become a dentist. After a tough chemistry class, he re-evaluated his career path and began taking political science classes. He applied for, and got, an internship with Republican U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger.

4. Pawlenty worked his way through college and law school at the University of Minnesota. He received his B.A. in political science in 1983 and his law degree in 1986. He was the only child in his family to graduate from college.

5. After graduation, Pawlenty practiced law in the private sector for 15 years, working his way up to partner at the firm of Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel. He also served as lead counsel for the Minneapolis School District for 10 years during this time.

6. In 1992, he was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. In 1999, he became the House majority leader. He served in the Minnesota House until 2002.

7. Pawlenty planned to run for governor of Minnesota in the 2002 election but changed his mind when party officials backed Brian Sullivan. Pawlenty instead chose to run for the U.S. Senate, until Vice President Dick Cheney asked that he step aside to allow Norm Coleman to run. At this point, Pawlenty returned to his initial plan and challenged Sullivan. After a tough race, Pawlenty won the election. He was re-elected in 2006.

8. Pawlenty is a fan of rock music, including artists such as Bruce Springsteen. In the fall of 2001 when he kicked off his gubernatorial campaign in South St. Paul, the song playing was Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son."

9. Pawlenty enjoys hockey, fishing, and reading. He also likes running, having completed the Twin Cities Marathon twice.

10. He and his wife, Mary, have two daughters, Anna and Mara. The family lives in Eagan, Minn., and attends the Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie.

Biography Resource Center
Carroll's Federal Directory
Governor Pawlenty: About Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Minnesota Public Radio
Office of the Governor, Tim Pawlenty: About Governor Tim Pawlenty
Saint Paul Pioneer Press
Star Tribune
Weekly Standard

Updated 8/27/08