10 Things You Didn't Know About Jon Kyl

Ten things you didn't know about Jon Kyl compiled by the U.S. News library staff

By + More

Compiled by the U.S. News library staff

1. Jon Llewellyn Kyl was born in Oakland, Neb., on April 25, 1942. His father, John Henry Kyl, was a Republican congressman from Iowa (serving in the House of Representatives from 1959 to 1965 and again from 1967 to 1973).

2. Kyl received a bachelor's in political science from the University of Arizona in 1964. He also attended law school there, graduating in 1966. Kyl was an honors student and the editor-in-chief of the Arizona Law Review.

3. Kyl was in private practice with the firm of Jennings, Strouss, and Salmon in Phoenix from 1966 to 1986. In 1985, he served on the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

4. Beginning in 1987, he served four terms in the House of Representatives.

5. Kyl considers Vice President Cheney a role model. Cheney was a party leader when Kyl first went to Congress in 1987, and the new congressman sought out Cheney as a model. Both share the belief that "you don't need to be out front to get things done."

6. Kyl was elected to the Senate in 1994, and again in 2000 and 2006.

7. Kyl reportedly has a reputation as a workhorse in Congress. In 2006, Time magazine named him one of "America's 10 Best Senators." Dubbing him "The Operator," the magazine said: "He had succeeded by mastering a tactic that is crucial in a body in which any one member can bring the place to a halt as a ply or out of pique: subterfuge."

8. Kyl has been a NASCAR fan since he was a boy. In the 1960s, he served as an official track observer at Phoenix International Raceway. He also provides race commentary on Mondays on Phoenix's KMLE-FM 108.

9. Kyl loves to hike, having climbed Camelback Mountain many times. In late 2005, he remarked about a recent trek up the mountain: "I used to be able to take an hour out of my day, but age slows you down and now it takes an hour and 45 minutes."

10. Kyl has been married to his college sweetheart, Caryll, since 1964. The couple has two children (Kristine and John) and four grandchildren. Kyl is a Presbyterian.

About Jon Kyl
Arizona Capitol Times
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Biography Resource Center Online
Congressional Quarterly Weekly
Project Vote Smart
U.S.News & World Report