Barney Frank is a Jewish American politician who formerly served in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States.
Frank (born March 31, 1940) was born in Bayonne, New Jersey. His grandparents had immigrated to the United States from Poland and Russia. Frank graduated in 1962 from Harvard College. In 1968, before completing his Ph.D. degree, Frank left graduate school to become the Chief Assistant to Mayor Kevin White of Boston, a position he held for three years.
In 1971, Frank spent six months as a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School. He then served for one year as Administrative Assistant to U.S. Congressman Michael J. Harrington.
In 1972, Frank was elected to the Massachusetts Legislature, where he served for eight years. During that time, he entered Harvard Law School and graduated in 1977.
In 1980, Frank won election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusett's 4th district. From 1985 to 2008, Frank won re-election to his post 12 consecutive times, never earning less than 67% of the vote. On May 30, 1987, while in the midst of a campaign, Frank publicly came out as gay, "prompted in part by increased media interest in his private life" as well as by the death of Stewart McKinney, "a closeted bisexual Republican representative from Connecticut."
In November 2011, Frank announced that he would no seek re-election in 2012, retiring from Congress after serving 16 terms in the House.
Frank married his long-time partner Jim Ready in July 2012. They currently live together in Newton, Massachusetts.