(1944 - 2002)
U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, the senior senator from Minnesota,
was born to Leon and Minnie Wellstone on July 21, 1944. In 1963 he married
Sheila Ison with whom he has three children, David, Marcia, and Mark;
the Wellstones have six grandchildren, Cari, Keith, Joshua, Acacia,
Sydney, and Matt.
Paul grew up in Arlington, VA and attended Wakefield
and Yorktown high schools. He then went on to the University of North
Carolina in Chapel Hill where he was a champion wrestler. In 1965,
he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and earned a Ph.D. in
Political Science in 1969. He accepted a teaching position at Carleton
College in Northfield, MN and taught there for 21 years before being
elected to the U.S. Senate.
In 1990, underdog Paul Wellstone rallied together
a dedicated volunteer force and traversed the state in his trademark
Green Bus to become the only Senate contender to unseat an incumbent.
In 1996, Paul Wellstone promised Minnesotans that he would run a grassroots
campaign that would make them proud. He mobilized his volunteers and
field organization to generate a massive participation in the political
process, now a model for the nation.
Paul Wellstone's experience as a teacher and grassroots
organizer in Minnesota provides the framework for his progressive policies
and priorities as a Senator. Minnesotans have a proud tradition of electing
people like Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy and Walter Mondale--U.S.
Senators--who through their commitment and hard work became strong voices
and real fighters for those who had no one else to fight for them. Paul
Wellstone takes great pride in being a part of this Minnesota tradition.
During his first Senate term he helped lead the fight
to ensure that people would be able to take time off from work to care
for a sick child or aging parent without losing their jobs, and to ensure
that health care is accessible and affordable for all Minnesotans. He
led the successful fight to raise the federal minimum wage, and he supported
legislation that would protect the security of thousands of Minnesotans
and their families by preventing corporations from raiding seniors'
pension funds. And, he authored historic new lobbying disclosure and
ethics reforms which have changed the way business is done in Washington.
During his second term, Paul Wellstone traveled around the country to
focus the nation's attention on children, and continued to be an outspoken
national leader in the fight for economic justice for all. As
a Senator for Minnesota, Paul Wellstone fought for a progressive, values-based
working families agenda and for major political reforms designed to
transform the way federal campaigns are financed and organized.
Wellstone served from January 3, 1991, until his death
in a plane crash during his reelection campaign on October 25, 2002.
Sources: Source: Senator Paul Wellstone. U.S. Senate