After more than 20 years of serving in the U.S. Congress, Speaker John Boehner passed the gavel to his successor, Rep. Paul Ryan, on Oct 29. The Ohio congressman has been a fixture in the Republican Party, lending a hand in landmark legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the Pension Protection Act.
John Boehner, the second oldest of 12 brothers and sisters, grew up in southwest Ohio, where he worked his first job at his family's tavern, Andy's Tavern. (speakerboehner/Instagram)
John Boehner played football at Archbishop Moeller High School. Throughout his career, he maintained contact with his football coach, Gerry Faust, who Boehner credits as pushing him to reach further in his political career. (speakerboehner/Instagram)
Boehner graduated from Xavier University in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in business. (speakerboehner/Instagram)
After college, John Boehner ran a small business in the plastics and packaging industry, which he credits as his inspiration to reform the public sector. (screengrab/boehner.house.gov)
In 1984, John Boehner was elected to serve in the Ohio General Assembly after minor positions in the neighborhood homeowners' association and township board of trustees. (speakerboehner/Instagram)
Before setting his sights on Washington, John Boehner spent several more years representing southwest Ohio as a state representative. (speakerboehner/Instagram)
After being elected to Congress in 1990, John Boehner became a part of a conservative group that identified itself as the "Gang of Seven." The gang considered themselves reformers, challenging both Democrats and Republicans. (speaker.gov)
In 1995, Boehner took on his first major position of leadership in Congress as the House Republican Conference chairman. He was eventually ousted in 1998 after the Republican Party lost congressional seats. (screengrab/boehner.house.gov)
From 2001 to 2006, John Boehner was elected chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, where he co-wrote a bill establishing a school-voucher program in the District of Columbia. (speakerboehner/Instagram)
John Boehner's work on the Education and Workforce Committee led him to work on the No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law in 2002 by then President George W. Bush. (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)
After rising in popularity among Republicans in Congress, John Boehner was first elected to serve as House majority leader in 2006 and then minority leader when Republicans lost control of the House. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images )
On January 5, 2011, John Boehner was officially sworn in as the 53rd speaker of the House in the 112th Congress following former Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Speaker John Boehner/Flickr)
Reelected for a third term in 2015, the Ohio congressman continued to serve as speaker of the House for the 114th Congress. (Speaker John Boehner/Flickr)
John Boehner officially announced on September 25, 2015, that he will resign from office on October 30. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
We want to hear what you think about this article.
Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Gibbens is a producer on National Journal's audience development team. She previously worked as a digital media fellow at The Podesta Group and as a writer for San Antonio-based newspaper The Rivard Report. Sarah graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio where she was the editor-in-chief of the independent student newspaper, The Paisano.
News and updates from the editors of