1. Thomas Andrew Daschle was born Dec. 9, 1947, in Aberdeen, S.D. He was the oldest of four sons born to Sebastian (nicknamed "Dash") and Betty Daschle.
2. In high school, Daschle was the president of the student council and of his senior class (class of 1965) at Aberdeen's Central High School.
3. Former Sen. George McGovern impressed Daschle when he spoke at his high school's graduation ceremony. Daschle would later work on McGovern's campaign.
4. Daschle attended South Dakota State University on an ROTC scholarship, graduating in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in political science. While he was at school, Daschle became more involved with Democratic politics when he helped organize a mock political convention in 1968. (He was a Eugene McCarthy supporter.)
5. After college, Daschle served three years as an intelligence officer for the Air Force Strategic Air Command. Following his discharge, Daschle spent five years as an aide to South Dakota Sen. James Abourezk.
6. Daschle first sought political office in 1978, when he ran for the House of Representatives. That election was extremely close—the early press reports had him winning by only 14 votes, but a recount increased that number to 139. The tight result earned him the ironic nickname of "Landslide Daschle."
7. Daschle ran for the Senate in 1986 and won. He served until 2005, when he was defeated by Republican John Thune. In 1994, he was elected Senate minority leader by one vote.
8. While in office, he sought to keep in close touch with his home state constituents by taking a driving tour of South Dakota each August. Every year, Daschle would travel to each of the state's 66 counties and drop in on locals unannounced.
9. Daschle is married to Linda Hall Daschle, a onetime Miss Kansas who has worked as a lobbyist and as a senior Federal Aviation Administration official.
10. An avid runner, Daschle used to run 4 miles each day before coming to work in the Senate. Other hobbies include reading about history and painting with watercolors. When in South Dakota, he enjoys hunting and fishing.
Aberdeen (S.D.) American News
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Los Angeles Times
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Sioux Falls (S.D) Argus Leader