10 Things You Didn't Know About West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin

While Manchin confesses that when he was young he was "petrified of heights," he now loves to fly.


1. Joseph Manchin III was born on Aug. 24, 1947, in Farmington, W.Va. The second-oldest of five children, he is the grandson of Italian immigrants.

2. The Manchin family ran a grocery store and a furniture/carpet store. Manchin worked at the family businesses all through school.

3. In high school, he lettered in four sports: football, basketball, baseball, and track.

4. Manchin won a football scholarship to West Virginia University, where he suffered a career-ending knee injury. Focusing on his education, he received his bachelor's degree in business in 1970.

5. While Manchin was in college, a fire destroyed the family furniture store in Farmington. Manchin took a semester off to help rebuild. After returning to WVU and graduating, he entered the family business and ran a carpet store himself.

6. Manchin entered politics in 1982, when he was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates. Next, he ran for the state Senate. He served until 1996, when he ran for governor but lost the primary.

7. In 2000, he was elected secretary of state, and in 2004, Manchin ran again for governor, this time winning and taking office on Jan. 17, 2005.

8. While Manchin confesses that when he was young he was "petrified of heights," he now loves to fly. He began taking flying lessons in 1967 and is now a certified pilot.

9. Manchin met his wife, the former Gayle Conelly, at West Virginia University. They married on Aug. 5, 1967, and have three children: Heather, Joseph IV, and Brooke.

10. His hobbies include fishing and hunting. He also enjoys boating, water skiing, and riding motorcycles.

The Associated Press State & Local Wire
Charleston Daily Mail (West Virginia)
Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)
DemocraticGovernors.org: Governor Joe Manchin III
Governor Joe Manchin
National Governors Association: West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III
State Journal