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Chris Christie Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.


Birth date: September 6, 1962

Birth place: Newark, New Jersey

Birth name: Christopher James Christie

Father: Wilbur “Bill” Christie, an accountant

Mother: Sondra (Grasso) Christie

Marriage: Mary Pat (Foster) Christie (1986-present)

Children: Bridget, Patrick, Sarah and Andrew

Education: University of Delaware, B.A., 1984; Seton Hall University, J.D., 1987

Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Facts

While serving as the US attorney for New Jersey, Christie prosecuted more than 130 public officials for corruption.

A fan of Bruce Springsteen, Christie claims to have attended more than 100 of the New Jersey rocker’s performances.


1977 Volunteers for Republican Tom Kean’s gubernatorial campaign.

1987-2002 – Attorney at the law firm of Dughi and Hewit, later named Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci PC.

1992 Co-coordinates the New Jersey reelection efforts of US President George H.W. Bush.

1993 Becomes a partner at Dughi and Hewit.

1995-1997 Member of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

1997Director of the Freeholder Board.

2002-2008US attorney for New Jersey. Earns a reputation for being tough on corruption.

November 3, 2009 Defeats Democrat Jon Corzine, winning the election for governor.

January 19, 2010-January 16, 2018 – Republican Governor of New Jersey.

October 31, 2012 – Two days after Hurricane Sandy hits New Jersey, President Barack Obama visits the Garden State and tours devastated beach towns with Christie.

February 4, 2013 During an appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” Christie pulls a doughnut out of his pocket and begins eating it mid-interview. Christie’s weight has often been commented on in the media and mocked by comedians.

May 7, 2013 – Christie reveals to the New York Post that he secretly underwent lap-band surgery for the sake of his wife and kids.

November 5, 2013 – Wins reelection.

November 21, 2013 – Becomes the 2014 chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

January 8, 2014 – Emails emerge from Christie’s top aides bolstering suggestions that George Washington Bridge lane closures last year that tied up traffic stemmed from a political vendetta and not bureaucratic incompetence as his administration claimed. The scandal is dubbed Bridgegate.

June 30, 2015 – Formally announces he is running for the Republican presidential nomination during a speech in Livingston, New Jersey.

February 10, 2016 – Announces that he is suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

February 26, 2016 – Endorses Donald Trump for president of the United States.

May 9, 2016 – Trump announces that Christie will lead his presidential transition team, serving as chairman of the group tasked with finding candidates for jobs in a potential Trump administration.

August 10, 2016 – In a text message, a Christie aide declares the governor “flat out lied” during a 2013 Bridgegate press conference, according to court documents filed in the criminal case against two Christie staffers accused of plotting to create a traffic jam in Fort Lee.

November 11, 2016 – After Trump wins the election, he shakes up his transition team, demoting Christie to a supporting role and selecting Vice President-elect Mike Pence to take Christie’s place as chair.

December 6, 2016 – A Quinnipiac University Poll indicates that 19% of voters approve of Christie’s job performance as governor and 77% disapprove. That’s the lowest score for a governor in 20 years of Quinnipiac’s polls of 11 different states.

January 27, 2017 – The Bergen County prosecutor’s office says it won’t pursue charges of official misconduct against Christie in the Bridgegate case.

February 16, 2017 – A Bergen County municipal judge rules that a misconduct case against Christie, stemming from a citizen’s complaint related to Bridgegate, can proceed in court.

March 29, 2017 – Trump announces that Christie has been tapped to chair a commission that will seek ways to address the opioid crisis. On the same day, Christie’s former staffers, Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly are sentenced for their roles in the Bridgegate scandal. Baroni is sentenced to two years in prison while Kelly is initially sentenced to 18 months behind bars.

July 1, 2017 – Due to a dispute over a Christie-backed bill that would allow the state to control how Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield spends its cash reserve funds, the legislature fails to break an impasse during budget talks. As a result, Christie orders a government shutdown, closing state parks, courts, motor vehicle commission offices and unemployment offices statewide. Christie says the Democrats in the legislature created the crisis.

July 2, 2017 – As the government shutdown continues, Christie and his family vacation at one of the state parks that is closed during the holiday weekend. Island Beach State Park has a private governor’s residence, where Christie, his wife and other family members soak up sun on an empty beach. During the afternoon, the governor travels via state helicopter to Trenton to hold a news conference and denies that he has been enjoying the beach amid the crisis. Photos published by NJ Advance Media show that Christie was sitting on a beach chair earlier in the day.

July 3-4, 2017 – The state legislature reaches a deal to reopen the government and Christie signs the budget into law. During a press conference, Christie says that the backlash over the beach photos was unwarranted. He says that he was transparent about his plans to visit the oceanfront residence during the weekend and questions the news value of the pictures.

January 16, 2018 – Christie leaves office after two terms, and turns control of New Jersey’s state government over to Democrats for the first time in eight years.

January 29, 2019 – Christie’s memoir “Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics” is published.

April 24, 2019 – Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s former chief of staff, is sentenced to 13 months in prison for her involvement in the “Bridgegate” scandal. She was previously sentenced to 18 months but appealed her conviction. Following her sentencing, Kelly makes a statement: “Mr. Christie, you are a bully and the days of you calling me a liar and destroying my life are over.”

May 7, 2020 – The US Supreme Court throws out fraud convictions against Kelly and Baroni, who were involved in the “Bridgegate” political scandal. Writing for a unanimous court, Justice Elena Kagan says the move “jeopardized the safety of the town’s residents,” but concludes that “not every corrupt act by state or local officials is a federal crime.”

October 3, 2020 – Christie tells CNN he checked himself into a hospital as a precautionary measure after announcing earlier in the day that he had tested positive for Covid-19. Christie was among a group of senior Trump campaign staffers who were tested following news of the President’s positive diagnosis.

October 15, 2020 – In a statement, Christie says he spent seven days in an intensive care unit before recovering from Covid-19.

October 21, 2020 – In a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “I Should Have Worn a Mask,” Christie writes that mask wearing is not a “partisan or cultural symbol,” and that he was “wrong” not to wear a mask at the Supreme Court nomination ceremony of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and during debate prep with Trump.

December 16, 2020 – In an ad paid for by the COVID Collaborative, Christie says that he regrets not wearing a mask while visiting the White House, a choice he acknowledges led to him contracting the coronavirus and spending a week in the ICU.

November 16, 2021 – Christie’s book “Republican Rescue: Saving the Party From Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden” is published.

June 6, 2023 – Announces that he’s running for the Republican presidential nomination at a New Hampshire town hall event.

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