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Mitch McConnell Fast Facts


CNN Editorial Research

(CNN) — Here is a look at the life of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky.


Birth date: February 20, 1942

Birth place: Colbert County, Alabama

Birth name: Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr.

Father: Addison Mitchell McConnell

Mother: Julia (Shockley) McConnell

Marriages: Elaine Chao (1993-present); Sherrill Redmon (1968-1980, divorced)

Children: with Sherrill Redmon: Porter; Claire; Eleanor

Education: University of Louisville, B.A., 1964; University of Kentucky, J.D., 1967

Religion: Baptist

Other Facts

Contracted polio at age 2 and was not allowed to walk for two years while completing physical therapy.

His wife, Elaine Chao, served as secretary of the Department of Labor under President George W. Bush and deputy secretary of the Department of Transportation under President George H.W. Bush. Chao served as the secretary of the Department of Transportation under President Donald Trump.


1968-1970 – Chief legislative assistant to Senator Marlow Cook.

1974-1975 – Deputy Assistant United States Attorney for Legislative Affairs.

1975 – Acting Assistant Attorney General.

1978-1985 – Judge-Executive of Jefferson County, Kentucky.

1984 – Elected to the US Senate to represent Kentucky.

1990 – Reelected to the US Senate.

1996 – Reelected to the US Senate.

2002 – Reelected to the US Senate.

2003-2007 – Senate Republican Whip.

November 16, 2006 – Elected Senate Republican leader. McConnell replaces Bill Frist.

January 4, 2007-January 6, 2015 – Senate Minority Leader.

2008 – Reelected to the US Senate.

October 23, 2010 – During an interview with the National Journal, McConnell says, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President [Barack] Obama to be a one-term president.”

November 4, 2014 – Reelected to the US Senate.

November 13, 2014 – McConnell is reelected leader of the Republican party in the Senate. When Congress reconvenes in January 2015, McConnell will take over as Senate majority leader from Harry Reid.

January 6, 2015January 20, 2021 Senate Majority Leader.

December 12, 2016 – Announces he supports a congressional investigation into findings that Russian hackers attempted to influence the election.

June 12, 2018 – Becomes the longest-serving Republican leader in the Senate’s history, surpassing former Sen. Robert Dole’s record.

August 4, 2019 – McConnell fractures his shoulder after falling in his Kentucky home. “This morning, Leader McConnell tripped at home on his outside patio and suffered a fractured shoulder,” David Popp, McConnell’s communications director, says in a statement. “He has been treated, released, and is working from home in Louisville.”

August 15, 2019 – McConnell undergoes surgery to repair the fracture in his shoulder. “The surgery was performed without incident, and the Leader is grateful to the surgical team for their skill,” Popp says in a statement.

November 3, 2020 – Wins reelection to the US Senate, defeating Democratic opponent Amy McGrath and her massive fundraising efforts to unseat him.

November 10, 2020 – McConnell is reelected as a Senate party leader, but the party holding the Senate majority won’t be determined until two runoff elections in Georgia take place in January.

December 15, 2020 – Six weeks after Election Day McConnell finally acknowledges Joe Biden’s victory and refers to him as president-elect.

January 2, 2021 – Police report that McConnell’s home has been vandalized. The damage takes place after the Senate stalls on increasing stimulus checks to $2,000. The home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the other highest-ranking member of Congress, was vandalized the previous day.

January 20, 2021-present – Senate Minority Leader.

February 13, 2021 – McConnell directly blames former President Trump for instigating last month’s riot at the Capitol but votes to acquit him anyway of inciting an insurrection.

November 16, 2022 – Wins a secret-ballot leadership election, putting him on pace to become the longest-serving Senate party leader in US history. McConnell defeats Florida Sen. Rick Scott in a 37-10-1 vote, his first challenger in his 15 years atop his conference.

March 8, 2023 – McConnell is being treated for a concussion and is staying at a hospital for observation after a fall at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Washington, DC.

July 26, 2023 – McConnell stops speaking in the middle of remarks at his regularly scheduled weekly news conference on Capitol Hill. After a 30-second pause, his colleagues crowded around to see if he was OK and asked him how he felt. He later tells reporters that he’s “fine.”

August 30, 2023 – Appears to freeze for about 30 seconds while speaking with reporters after a speech in Covington, Kentucky.

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