(1963 - )
Eric Cantor is a Jewish American politician who served in the U.S. House of Representatives as House Majority Leader from 2011-2014.
Cantor (born June 6, 1963) was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and attended an elite, private Protestant-based school as a child
although he grew up affiliating with the Conservative movement of Judaism. While attending
George Washington University, he got his political start interning with
Congressman Tom Bliley and served as his driver on his first re-election
campaign. He then attended the College of William and Mary, where he
received his law degree, and went on to get his Masters at Columbia
University in New York. While in New York, Cantor met his wife Diana and
brought her back to Virginia where they now raise their three children,
Evan, Jenna and Michael, who attend Henrico County Public Schools.
Before his election to Congress, Cantor served in the
Virginia House of Delegates for nine years and achieved a record of
accomplishment as a state legislator that was recognized by groups such
as Virginia Free, the leading pro-business organization in Virginia,
as well as the Virginia Family Foundation and the Virginia Health Care
On January 3, 2001, Cantor was sworn in as U.S. Congressman
for Virginias Seventh District. During his first term in Congress,
Cantor served on the House Financial Services Committee and on the House
International Relations Committee. On January 31, 2001, Cantor became the first freshman
member of the 107th Congress to author legislation that was passed by
the U.S. House of Representatives.
On April 1, 2001, Cantor was selected to serve as Chairman
of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, a coalition of Members of Congress studying the threats
international terrorism poses to the U.S. and developing policy proposals
and legislative recommendations regarding the fight against terrorism.
He is a strong supporter of Israel.
In November 2002, Cantor won reelection to Congress,
obtaining 70% of the vote. Shortly after his reelection, Cantor was selected
to serve as Chief Deputy Majority Whip, the highest appointed position
in the House of Representatives.
On January 10, 2003, Cantor won a seat on the powerful
House Ways and Means Committee, which has direct jurisdiction over taxes,
trade, Social Security, Medicare, prescription drugs for seniors, health
care and welfare reform.. Congressman Cantor is the 34th Virginian to be appointed
to the Ways and Means Committee. James Madison was the first Virginian
to serve on the committee during the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Congresses. John
Tyler served on the committee during the 16th Congress. However, in
the last two decades, only one other Virginian has served on the committee.
On February 28, 2003, Cantor was appointed by Speaker
of the House J. Dennis Hastert to the United States Holocaust Museum Council, following years of involvement in the Virginia Holocaust Museum
On April 10, 2003, President George Bush nominated
Eric to the Board of Trustees of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship
Foundation. The Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 for the
purpose of improving teaching about the United States Constitution in
From 2003 to 2009, Cantor served in the role of House Chief Deputy Whip and then from 2009 to 2011 as House Minority Whip. When the Republicans won control of the House in 2011, Cantor became the House Majority Leader.
In June 2014, Cantor lost his bid for re-election to the House of Representives when he was suprisingly defeated in the Republican primary by a tea-party challenger, David Brat. Following the loss, Cantor announced that he would be resigning his post as House Majority Leader effective July 2014. His loss in the primary marked the first time that a sitting House Majority Leader had lost his reelection primary.
Eric Cantor; Insight Magazine (November 11-24, 2003); The Atlantic (June 10, 2014); Wikipedia