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Richard J. DurbinDEMDemocrat United States Senator
78
Years of Age
39
Years of Experience
ILResidence (state)

Richard Joseph Durbin (born November 21, 1944) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the senior United States senator from Illinois, a seat he has held since 1997. A member of the Democratic Party, Durbin is in his fifth Senate term and has served as the Senate Democratic whip since 2005 (the second-highest position in the Democratic leadership in the Senate) and as the Senate majority whip since 2021. He chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and led the Ketanji Brown Jackson Supreme Court nomination hearings. Durbin was born in East St. Louis, Illinois. He graduated from the School of Foreign Service and Georgetown University Law Center. Working in state legal counsel throughout the 1970s, he made an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor of Illinois in 1978. Durbin was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, representing the Springfield-based 20th congressional district. After serving seven House terms, Durbin was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and reelected in 2002, 2008, 2014, and 2020. He has served as the Senate Democratic whip since 2005—under Harry Reid until 2017, and under Chuck Schumer since 2017.

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Education5 - 5 of 3
Walsh School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University
Bachelor of Science
1966
Georgetown University Law Center
Juris Doctor
1969
Past Positions1 - 12 of 12
Majority Whip
United States Senate
2021 - Current
Minority Whip
United States Senate
2017 - 2021
Assistant Minority Leader
United States Senate
2015 - 2017
Assistant Majority Leader
United States Senate
2006 - 2015
Assistant Minority Leader
United States Senate
2005 - 2006
Assistant Floor Leader
United States Senate
2001
Senator
United States Senate, Illinois
1997 - Current
Representative
United States House of Representatives, Illinois
1983 - 1996
Associate Professor
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
1978 - 1983
Legal Counsel
Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee
1972 - 1982
Legal Counsel
Illinois Lieutenant Governor
1969 - 1973
Intern
United States Senator Paul Douglas
1966
Other Experience1 - 22 of 22
Co-Chair
Democratic Platform Committee
2000
Chair
Illinois State Delegation, Democratic National Convention
1996
Delegate
Democratic National Convention
1984
Delegate
Democratic National Convention
1988
Delegate
Democratic National Convention
1992
Member
Illinois Bar Association
1969
Co-Chair
Atlantic Conference
Co-Chair
Senate Hunger Caucus
Co-Chair
Caucus on International Narcotics Control
Co-Chair
Senate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education Caucus
Former Member
Joint Committee on the Library, United States Senate
Former Member
Committee on Rules and Administration, United States Senate
Former Member
Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights, and Federal Courts, United States Senate
Former Member
Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources, United States Senate
Former Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Defense, United States Senate
Founding Member
Senate Global Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Caucus
Member
Senate Steel Caucus
Member
Congressional Soybean Caucus
Member
Senate National Guard Caucus
Member
Congressional Wine Caucus
Member
Congressional Internet Caucus
Member
Congressional Fire Services Caucus