Senator Lamar Alexander was born in Maryville, the son of a kindergarten teacher and an elementary school principal. He is a seventh generation Tennessean.
He chairs the Senate Republican Conference and serves on committees overseeing education, clean air, highways, science, appropriations and the Tennessee Valley Authority. He is the only Tennessean ever popularly elected both governor and U.S. Senator.
Sen. Alexander has been U.S. Education Secretary, University of Tennessee president, and professor at Harvard \'s School of Government. He chaired the National Governors’ Association and President Reagan\'s Commission on Americans Outdoors. In private life, he helped found the nation’s largest provider of worksite day care.
In his campaign for governor, Lamar Alexander walked 1,000 miles across Tennessee in his now famous red and black plaid shirt. Once elected, he helped Tennessee become the third largest auto producer and the first state to pay teachers more for teaching well.
He is a classical and country pianist and the author of seven books, including Six Months Off, the story of his family’s life in Australia after he was governor.