10 Things You Didn't Know About Sam Nunn

Nunn is a potential vice presidential candidate for Barack Obama.


1. Samuel Augustus Nunn Jr. was born in Macon, Ga., on Sept. 8, 1938, to lawyer-farmer Samuel A. Nunn and his wife Elizabeth. He was raised in nearby Perry, Ga.

2. Nunn grew up surrounded by politics—his great uncle, Carl Vinson, was a long-serving Democratic congressman from Georgia.

3. Nunn is an Eagle Scout and was given the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, an honor bestowed on Eagle Scouts "who have distinguished themselves in business, professions, and service to their country."

4. Nunn attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and Emory Law School, receiving his law degree in 1962.

5. He served on active duty with the U.S. Coast Guard, and spent an additional six years in the Coast Guard Reserve.

6. During his first Senate campaign, Nunn flew to Alabama to receive the endorsement of Gov. George Wallace. Of his early support of Wallace, Nunn said, "I frankly admired Wallace, not because of his racial views, but because of his willingness to stand up and shake a fist at Washington occasionally." Nunn served 24 years in the U.S. Senate.

7. He and his wife, the former Colleen O'Brien, have two children—Mary Michelle and Samuel Brian.

8. Nunn and Sen. Richard Lugar have reportedly received multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize recognizing their work toward providing incentives for former Soviet republics to dismantle their nuclear arsenals.

9. Nunn and Ted Turner are cochairs of the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative, a private foundation that monitors nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons proliferation. He also serves on several corporate boards, and is a distinguished professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech.

10. While Nunn spends the majority of his time working, in his spare time he enjoys golf and reading.


  • The New Georgia Encyclopedia
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • The New York Times
  • The New Republic
  • Georgia Trend
  • The Washington Post
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Who's Who in the World