(1963 - )
Eric Cantor is an American politician who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Virginia's 7th District, since 2001. In 2011, he was elected by his colleagues in the House to serve as the Majority Leader for the 112th Congress, after serving as Republican Whip for the 111th Congress.
A lifelong resident of the Richmond area, Eric Cantor was born on June 6, 1963. He 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 Association.
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 in Richmond.
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 secondary schools.
In 2006, Cantor authored the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 legislation, which became law late in the year.
In 2009, then-Minority Leader John Boehner tapped Cantor to head up the Republican Economic Solutions Group to produce a Republican alternative economic plan to President Obama's economic stimulus bill.
Cantor also co-authored the New York Times best-selling book, Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders, with Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Paul Ryan.
At home in Richmond, Eric maintains his commitment to community through his participation on several community boards and associations including the Western Henrico Rotary, Fraternal Lodge No. 53 AF and AM, and the Board of Trustees for the Virginia Holocaust Museum.