Tom Daschle

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Thomas Andrew Daschle (born December 9, 1947) is a former U.S. Senator from South Dakota and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

A South Dakota native, Daschle obtained his university degree there, and served in the United States Air Force. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1978 and served four terms. In 1986, he was elected to the Senate, becoming minority leader in 1994. Defeated for re-election in 2004, he took a position as a policy advisor with a lobbying firm, and also became a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He co-authored a book advocating universal health care.

Daschle was an early supporter of Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy, and was offered the position of Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services after the 2008 election. He was President Barack Obama's nominee to serve as the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Obama's Cabinet,[2] but withdrew his name on February 3, 2009, amid a growing controversy over his failure to accurately report and pay income taxes.[3] He is currently working for the global law firm DLA Piper.[4]


Family background

Daschle was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, to Elizabeth B. Meier and Sebastian C. Daschle. His paternal grandparents were Volga Germans.[5] Daschle grew up in a working-class Roman Catholic family as the eldest of four brothers.[6] He became the first person in his family to graduate from college when he earned a B.A. in political science from South Dakota State University in 1969. While attending South Dakota State University, Daschle became a brother of Alpha Phi Omega. From 1969 to 1972, Daschle served in the United States Air Force as an intelligence officer with the Strategic Air Command.[7]

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