Dick Gephardt is an American politician and former Democratic congressman from Missouri. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on January 31, 1941. His parents, Loreen and Louis Gephardt, were both active in the Democratic Party.
Gephardt attended St. Louis University High School before attending Northwestern University, where he earned a degree in business administration. After college, Gephardt worked as a lawyer in St. Louis.
In 1976, Gephardt was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District. He was reelected every two years until his retirement in 2005. During his tenure in the House, Gephardt was an influential leader in the party, serving as House Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995.
Gephardt was an ardent supporter of the labor movement and was a driving force behind the passage of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. He also played a key role in the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provided paid leave for workers, and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which instituted background checks for gun purchases.
Gephardt was a three-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, in 1988, 2004, and 2008. He ran on a platform of economic populism, advocating for a more progressive tax system and increased government spending on healthcare and education.
Gephardt is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. He has served on the boards of several organizations, including the National Education Association and the International Rescue Committee.
Gephardt is now a senior advisor at the law firm DLA Piper and a professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. He also serves as the Chairman of the board of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service at Washington University in St. Louis.
Dick Gephardt is a prominent figure in American politics, having served in the House of Representatives for nearly three decades and making multiple runs for the Democratic presidential nomination. His legacy of advocacy for the labor movement, healthcare reform and gun control is still felt today.