|United States Senator
from New York
January 3, 1999
Serving with Kirsten Gillibrand
|Preceded by||Al D’Amato|
|Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee|
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Dianne Feinstein|
|Succeeded by||Roy Blunt|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York|
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1999
|Preceded by||Elizabeth Holtzman|
|Succeeded by||Anthony Weiner|
|Constituency||16th district 1981–1983
10th district 1983–1993
9th district 1993–1999
|Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 45th district
January 1, 1975 – December 31, 1980
|Preceded by||Stephen J. Solarz|
|Succeeded by||Daniel L. Feldman|
|Born||Charles Ellis Schumer
November 23, 1950
Brooklyn, New York City
|Alma mater||Harvard College (A.B.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Charles Ellis “Chuck” Schumer (/ˈʃuːmər/; born November 23, 1950) is the senior United States Senator from New York and a member of the Democratic Party. First elected in 1998, he defeated three-term Republican incumbent Al D’Amato by a margin of 55%–44%. Schumer was re-elected in 2004 by a margin of 71%–24% and in 2010 by a margin of 66%–33%.
Before his election to the U.S. Senate, Schumer served in the US House of Representatives from 1981 to 1999, representing New York’s 16th congressional district, later redistricted to the 10th congressional district in 1983 and to the 9th congressional district in 1993. A native of Brooklyn and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he was a three-term member of the New York State Assembly, serving from 1975 to 1980.
Schumer was chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2009, in which post he oversaw a total of 14 Democratic gains in the Senate in the 2006 and 2008 elections. He is the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, behind Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, elected Vice Chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the Senate in 2006. In November 2010, he was also chosen to hold the additional role of chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee starting at the opening of the 112th Congress. In 2015, Reid (who is retiring after the 2016 elections) and Durbin endorsed Schumer as the next leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
Notable former aides to Schumer include former US congressman Anthony Weiner; and current New York state senator Daniel Squadron and New York State Assembly Members Phil Goldfeder and Victor M. Pichardo.
Early life and education
Schumer was born in Brooklyn, the son of Selma (née Rosen) and Abraham Schumer. His family is Jewish, and he is related to comedienne Amy Schumer. He attended public schools in Brooklyn, scoring a perfect 1600 on the SAT, and graduated as the valedictorian from James Madison High School in 1967. Schumer competed for Madison High on the It’s Academic television quiz show.
He attended Harvard College, where he became interested in politics and campaigned for Eugene McCarthy in 1968. After completing his undergraduate degree, he continued to Harvard Law School, earning his Juris Doctor with honors in 1974. Schumer passed the New York State Bar Exam in early 1975, but never practiced law, entering politics instead.
State Assemblyman and Congressman
In 1974, Schumer ran for and was elected to the New York State Assembly, becoming, at age 23, the youngest member of the New York legislature since Theodore Roosevelt. He served three terms, from 1975 to 1980, sitting in the 181st, 182nd and 183rd New York State Legislatures. He has never lost an election.
He was re-elected eight times from the Brooklyn and Queens-based district, which changed numbers twice in his tenure (it was numbered the 16th from 1981 to 1983, the 10th from 1983 to 1993 and the 9th from 1993). In 1982, as a result of redistricting, Schumer faced a potential matchup with his mentor, veteran Brooklyn congressman Steve Solarz. In preparation, Schumer “set about making friends on Wall Street, tapping the city’s top law firms and securities houses for campaign donations. ‘I told them I looked like I had a very difficult reapportionment fight. If I were to stand a chance of being re-elected, I needed some help,’ he would later tell the Associated Press.”
As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Schumer was one of four congressional members who oversaw the House investigation (leading the Democratic defense of the Clinton administration), of the Waco siege hearings in 1995.