Published January 19 2011
Kent Conrad timelineBorn March 12, 1948, in Bismarck, Kent Conrad was orphaned at age 5 when his parents were killed in a car accident. He and his brothers were raised by his grandparents and by an uncle and aunt. Here are some highlights of his life and career:
- 1971: Obtained bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.
- 1975: Earned master’s degree from George Washington University.
- 1974-80: Assistant to the North Dakota state tax commissioner.
- 1980: North Dakota Tax Department director of management planning.
- 1981-86: North Dakota state tax commissioner.
- 1986: Conrad defeated Republican incumbent Sen. Mark Andrews.
- 1987: Married Lucy Calautti.
- 1992: Conrad pledged not to run for re-election if the federal budget had not dropped by the end of his term. Former Sen. Byron Dorgan won the primary election to succeed Conrad as the Democratic candidate, but Conrad retained a Senate seat after winning a special election to fill out the remainder of the term for Quentin N. Burdick, who died in September 1992. Conrad won Burdick’s seat, and was sworn in as Burdick’s replacement on the same day he resigned the seat won by Dorgan.
- 1994: Conrad re-elected to full six-year term.
- 2000: Re-elected.
- 2002: Conrad helped write the first of two farm bills, the other coming in 2008.
- 2006: Conrad re-elected and featured by Time magazine as one of “America’s Ten Best Senators.”
- 2008: Conrad accused of receiving preferential treatment from Countrywide Financial, whose business practices were alleged to stoke a subprime lending crisis and resulting recession.
- 2009: A Senate ethics panel cleared Conrad of breaking rules by getting mortgages through Countrywide.
- Jan. 18, 2010: Conrad announces he will not seek re-election when his term expires in 2012.