Dick Durbin (D-IL-Senate)i

Dick Durbin Senator Illinois

Richard J. “Dick” Durbin

Senate links:  Dick Durbin (D-IL-Senate)i

Campaign links:  Dick Durbin (D-IL-Senate)i


Dick Durbin Biography from Senate.gov


Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, is the 47th U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois, the state’s senior senator, and the convener of Illinois’ bipartisan congressional delegation.


Durbin also serves as the Assistant Majority Leader, the second highest ranking position in the Senate. Also known as the Majority Whip, Senator Durbin has been elected to this leadership post by his Democratic colleagues every two years since 2006. In 2004, he was elected as Minority Whip. Durbin is only the fifth Illinois Senator in history to serve as a Senate leader.


Elected to the U.S. Senate on November 5, 1996, and re-elected in 2002 and 2008, Durbin fills the seat left vacant by the retirement of his long-time friend and mentor, U.S. Senator Paul Simon.


Durbin sits on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, Foreign Relations and Rules Committees. He is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights and the Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government subcommittee.


Senator Durbin makes approximately 50 round trips a year between Washington and Illinois. He is married to Loretta Schaefer Durbin. Their family consists of three children–Christine (deceased), Paul and Jennifer–as well as three grandchildren, Alex, Ona and Floyd. They reside in Springfield.


Biography of Dick Durbin from Dick Durbin for IL

Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, is Illinois’ 47th United States Senator. Elected in 1996 to fill the seat vacated by his political mentor, U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, Durbin has worked in his first and second terms on economic development, education, more efficient transportation, and affordable, accessible, quality healthcare.

Durbin’s personal and political beliefs are deeply rooted in his childhood experience in East St. Louis, IL. Durbin’s mother immigrated to the United States from Lithuania. His mother and father worked on the railroad.

Senator Durbin worked his way through college and law school at Georgetown University – working on the railroad during his summer vacations at home and interning on Sen. Paul Douglas’s Capitol Hill staff. After graduating from law school in 1969, Durbin went to work for then-Lt. Gov. Paul Simon and spent 13 years as the Illinois state Senate Parliamentarian.

Durbin began his public service to the state of Illinois in 1982, when he was elected to represent the 20th Congressional district. There, he became known for his understanding of parliamentary procedure and his ability to build effective political coalitions.

In 1988, he won an uphill battle to ban smoking on commercial air flights. He continues to push for FDA regulation tobacco as a health hazard. Having lost his father to lung cancer, Durbin’s fight against big tobacco means a lot to him personally.

As a U.S. Senator, Durbin has been a strong advocate for working families, striving to promote economic growth, enhance public education, improve our transportation infrastructure, increase the safety of our food, advance medical research and public health, reduce crime, protect the environment, keep the Social Security system strong, reform the campaign financing system, and fight unnecessarily high and unstable energy and health care costs. As one of 23 Senators who voted against invading Iraq, Durbin has fought for a new direction in Iraq while giving his strong, unqualified support to our troops and veterans.

Durbin holds the second highest ranking position in the Senate: Assistant Democratic Senate Majority Leader, also known as Majority Whip. His election to leadership marked only the fifth time in history that an Illinois senator has served as a Senate leader.

Durbin is also the first Illinois senator in more than a quarter of a century to serve on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, a position which allows him to advocate for federal funding for local projects. In his decade on the Appropriations committee, Durbin has helped to secure funding for everything from veterans care and schools to highways and health care clinics.

In 2006, Senator Durbin was recognized as “One of America’s 10 Best Senators” by Time Magazine.

Senator Durbin makes approximately 50 round trips a year between Washington and Illinois. He is married to Loretta Schaefer Durbin. They have three children and one grandchild. The Durbins reside in Springfield.



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