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Hakeem Jeffries Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Hakeem Jeffries, the US House minority leader. He is the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress.


Birth date: August 4, 1970

Birth place: Brooklyn, New York

Birth name: Hakeem Sekou Jeffries

Father: Marland Jeffries, counselor

Mother: Laneda (Gomes) Jeffries, social worker

Marriage: Kennisandra (Archinegas) Jeffries (1997-present)

Children: Jeremiah and Joshua

Education: Binghamton University, B.A., 1992; Georgetown University, M.P.P., 1994; New York University, J.D., 1997

Religion: Baptist

Other Facts

First leader of the House Democrats to be born after the end of World War II.

During his time at CBS, Jeffries worked on the case against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) involving Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl. Indecency fines against the network were ultimately thrown out on appeal in 2011.

Is a fan of legendary rapper Notorious B.I.G., and has referenced his lyrics on the House floor at least twice, once in 2017, on the 20th anniversary of his murder in a drive-by shooting, and again in 2020 during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The late musician, born Christopher Wallace, grew up in Brooklyn, New York, the district Jeffries now represents.


1997-1998 – Law clerk for federal district judge Harold Baer Jr. of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

1997-2004 – Attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP.

November 7, 2000 – Runs for the New York State Assembly, 57th District, but loses to longtime Assemblyman Roger Green.

2004-2005 – Corporate counsel at Viacom.

2006 – Assistant general counsel at CBS Broadcasting.

November 7, 2006 – Elected to the New York State Assembly, representing the 57th District. Jeffries is reelected in 2008 and 2010.

2013-present – Representative, US House of Representatives, New York’s 8th District.

2015-2017 – Whip, Congressional Black Caucus.

2018 – Elected chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

2020 – One of seven managers of Trump’s first Senate impeachment trial.

November 30, 2022 – House Democrats elect Jeffries party leader, replacing Nancy Pelosi, who is stepping down from the leadership role she’s held for over 20 years.

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