10 Things You Didn't Know About Ken Salazar

Salazar is President Obama's secretary of the interior.


1. Ken Salazar was born on March 2, 1955, in Alamosa, Colo., to Henry and Emma Salazar. During World War II, Salazar's father was a staff sergeant in the Army and his mother worked in the War Department.

2. Salazar is one of eight children and grew up on a family farm in Colorado's San Luis Valley without a telephone or electricity.

3. Salazar attended Colorado College, where he received a political science degree in 1977. Four years later, he received a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

4. For more than a decade, Salazar practiced environmental and water law in the private sector. In addition, he has worked as a rancher and a farmer.

5. Ken and Hope Salazar have been married for more than 20 years. They have two daughters and a granddaughter.

6. From 1987-1990, Salazar served in the Colorado governor's cabinet as chief legal counsel. He left that position to become executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

7. First elected in 1998, Salazar served six years as Colorado's attorney general.

8. In November 2004, Ken and his older brother, John, were both elected to Congress as Democrats. Ken was elected to the Senate, and John was elected to the House of Representatives.

9. Salazar was on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and was involved in the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.

10. While in the Senate, Salazar chose Republican Sen. John McCain as his mentor. The two worked together on immigration reform.


  • Associated Press State & Local Wire
  • Denver Post
  • New York Times
  • Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)
  • Senate.gov
  • Washington Post