- Date of Birth:
- December 13, 1950
- Mount Pleasant
Tom Vilsack (born Thomas James Vilsack on December 13, 1950 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American politician. After attending Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, he enrolled in Hamilton College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1972. He received his Juris Doctor in 1975 from Albany Law School. He moved to Mount Pleasant, Iowa in 1975, his wife’s hometown. That was where he began his political career, as he was elected the town’s mayor in 1987. He was elected to the Iowa senate in 1992 and in 1998, after Terry Branstad chose to not seek re-election, Tom ran for governor. He narrowly defeated Jim Ross Lightfoot to become Iowa’s first Democratic governor in 30 years. He was re-elected in in 2002 and chose not to seek a third term. In 2008, Tom announced he was running for president. Eventually, the Democratic Party’s nomination went to Barack Obama. After ending his bid in 2008, Tom endorsed Hillary Clinton and became the national co-chair for her presidential campaign. Tom was named by President Obama to be the 30th Secretary of Agriculture, and Tom has served in that role since 2009. In 2016, Tom was one of the names considered to be Hillary’s vice president pick for her 2016 presidential campaign.
Best Known For:
Tom Vilsack is best known as an American politician, having served as the Governor of Iowa and the Sec. of Agriculture.
Tom was placed in a Roman Catholic orphanage until Bud and Dolly Vilsack adopted him in 1951. Tom met his wife, Ann Christine Vilsack, in 1968. The bonded over shared political views and fell in love. They have two songs – Jess and Doug. Both sons have followed their father’s footsteps, with Jess getting his law degree in 2003 and Doug graduating from the University of Colorado School of Law.