Mr. Gephardt served for 28 years in the United States House of Representatives (from 1977 to 2005), representing Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District, home to his birthplace St. Louis. In his first year in Congress, he was appointed to both the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.
He was elected to serve as House Democratic Leader for more than 14 years, as House Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995, and Minority Leader from 1995 to 2003. In his role as Leader, Mr. Gephardt emerged as one of the leading strategists of the Democratic Party’s platform and chief architect to landmark reforms in healthcare, pensions, education, energy independence, and trade policy.
Mr. Gephardt began his career in public service in 1968 as a precinct captain for St. Louis’ 14th Ward, and from 1971 to 1976, served as its Alderman. In 1976, he was elected to the Congress, succeeding 24-year incumbent Leonor Sullivan. Mr. Gephardt earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in 1962 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School in 1965.
Mr. Gephardt established an endowment for the Gephardt Institute for Public Service (now the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement) in 2005. He provides ongoing support and vision for its future.