Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander was born in Maryville, the son of a kindergarten teacher and an elementary school principal. He is a seventh generation Tennessean.  

He serves on committees overseeing education, clean air, highways, science, appropriations and the Tennessee Valley Authority. He was elected three times by his peers to serve as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference—the third-ranking Republican position in the United States Senate and a position he held from 2007 till Jan 2012­­. 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.

Lamar Alexander and Honey Buhler were married in 1969. They have four children and four grandchildren.  He is a Presbyterian elder.

More about Lamar Alexander:

*He is the first Tennessean elected to consecutive four-year terms as governor.

*He started Tennessee's Governor's Schools for outstanding students.

*He is the first Tennessee Republican to serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

*In 2006, the NCAA named him to the list of the "100 Most Influential Student-Athletes" in its 100-year history.

*Lamar Alexander met Honey Buhler at a staff softball game when he worked for Sen. Howard H. Baker of Tennessee and she worked for Sen. John G. Tower of Texas.

*While clerking for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans he played trombone, tuba and washboard at night at “Your Father’s Moustache” on Bourbon Street.