shown: Virgin Falls, Sparta Tennessee
Senator Lamar Alexander
United States Senator
Lamar Alexander was born in Maryville, the son of a kindergarten teacher and a school principal. He is a seventh generation East Tennessean.
He is the only Tennessean ever popularly elected both governor and United States Senator and the first Tennessee Republican to serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. Alexander serves on Senate committees overseeing education, clean air, highways and the Tennessee Valley Authority. He is co-chairman of the TVA caucus and the Science and Technology caucus. In December of 2007, Sen. Alexander was elected by his peers to Chairman of the Senate Republican Conferenceóthe third-ranking Republican position in the United States Senate.
Sen. Alexander has been U.S. Education Secretary, president of the University of Tennessee, and the Goodman Professor at Harvard's School of Government. He was chairman of President Reagan's Commission on Americans Outdoors and the National Governors Association. In private life, he helped found a company that is the nation's largest provider of worksite day care.
In his campaign for governor, Lamar Alexander walked 1,000 miles across Tennessee in a red and black plaid shirt. He helped Tennessee become the third largest auto producer and the first state to pay teachers more for teaching well. He started Tennessee's Governor's Schools for outstanding students.
He is a classical and country pianist and the author of seven books, including Six Months Off, the story of his family's life in Australia after he was governor.
Lamar Alexander met Honey Buhler at a staff softball game when he worked for Sen. Howard H. Baker of Tennessee and she worked for Sen. John G. Tower of Texas. They were married in 1969 and have four children. He is an elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church.