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Name: Cornyn, John
Current Position: Chairman

Replacing Edward “Ted” Kennedy as chairman of the board of trustees for the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation is U.S. Senator John Cornyn III (R-TX), one of the most conservative members of the Senate. The Foundation was founded by Congress in 1986 to encourage the teaching of the U.S. Constitution in secondary schools.

Born February 2, 1952, in Houston, Texas, Cornyn was raised by Atholene Gale Danley and John Cornyn Jr. His father, a B-17 pilot in World War II, served 31 years in the U.S. Air Force and, later taught at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Because of his father’s military service, Cornyn moved a lot while growing up. He attended high school in Japan and college at Trinity University in Texas, graduating in 1973 with a degree in journalism after entertaining thoughts of going into medicine. He earned a Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1977 and an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1995.
Cornyn practiced law as a private attorney and was a partner in the firm of Groce, Locke, and Hebdon until being elected in 1984 as a Bexar County (San Antonio) district court judge. Six years later, he was elected to the Texas Supreme Court, where he served for seven years. His political rise continued in 1999, when he was elected Texas Attorney General.
From his post as AG, Cornyn ran for the U.S. Senate in 2002, and easily defeated Democrat Ron Kirk, then-mayor of Dallas. He won re-election in 2008, beating Democrat Rick Noriega.
During his tenure in the Senate, Cornyn has forged a reputation as one of the most conservative Republicans in the upper house. National Journal ranked him the fourth-most conservative U.S. senator in 2006. He was a loyal supporter of his longtime friend, President George W. Bush, and his committee assignments have included seats on the agriculture, budget, finance and judiciary committees.
Cornyn surprised observers during the public debate over Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court when he repudiated remarks by Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich that she was a racist.
Cornyn currently serves as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, putting him in charge of the GOP’s Senate election efforts for the 2010 campaign.
Official Biography (
Biography (U.S. Senate)
John Cornyn Voting Record (Project Vote Smart)
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