Tom Carper was born in Beckley, West Virginia and was raised in Virginia. He went to Ohio State University as a Navy ROTC midshipman and following graduation, served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War where he was a Navy mission command officer of P3 airplanes hunting submarines. After arriving back in the States, he attended the University of Delaware, where he received his MBA.
Tom Carper began his career in public service at the age of 29, when he was elected Delaware’s State Treasurer. He went on to serve five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms as Governor, building a reputation as common sense policy maker and consensus builder. In 2000, after a successful tenure as Governor, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and was reelected in 2006 with 70 percent of the vote. In 2009, he became the senior Senator for Delaware when Senator Joe Biden resigned to serve as President Obama’s Vice President.
As Governor, Carper worked to cut taxes, balance the budget and increase the rainy day fund. He also championed education reform, making raising student achievement a priority through student testing, teacher accountability and the institution of Charter schools. Governor Carper also led efforts to create a prescription drug benefit for seniors in need and created a nurturing environment for business, successfully recruiting businesses to Delaware.. During this time, he served as Chairman of the National Governors Association, where he worked with Governors across the country to successfully develop consensus on contentious issues including welfare and education reform.
After being elected to the U.S. Senate, Carper has continued his efforts to build consensus and push for common sense policy solutions. He’s been a leader in promoting initiatives to make government more effective, including passing legislation that provides the federal government with more tools to root out instances of waste, fraud and abuse. Senator Carper played a key role in crafting the health care reform bill, working to better health care outcomes for lower costs. He’s also been an environmental leader in the Senate, working to reduce air pollutants harmful to public health, and promoting clean, renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency.
Senator Carper serves on the Finance, the Environment and Public Works, and the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committees. He is the chairman of the subcommittees on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety and Federal Financial Management. From these posts, Senator Carper promotes policies that create jobs and strengthen the economy, clean the air and encourage the development of clean, renewable energy. He is also focused on reducing waste, fraud and abuse in federal agencies while improving the effectiveness of government and strengthening American security.
Senator Carper is a part of Senate leadership, serving as a Deputy Whip. He is also a vice chairman of the moderate group Third Way. He is widely recognized as a pragmatic, common sense lawmaker within the Democratic Party.
Senator Carper is married to the former Martha Ann Stacy and they have two sons, Christopher and Ben. They reside in Wilmington, Delaware.