Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jon Stevens Corzine (born January 1, 1947) is an American politician and businessman. He is a member of the Democratic Party and is currently a United States Senator from New Jersey serving from 2001 to 2007. He was the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee during the 2004 election cycle. On December 2, 2004, he announced his candidacy for Governor of New Jersey in the 2005 elections.
Born in central Illinois, Corzine grew up on a small family farm near Taylorville, Illinois. After completing high school, he applied to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for his undergraduate degree and graduated in 1969. While in college, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and served until 1975, rising to the rank of sergeant. After his active duty in 1970, he enrolled in the University of Chicago graduate business school. By 1973, he received his MBA, which launched him into his business career.
His first experience in business was a job at Bank Ohio, a regional bank in Columbus, Ohio. He worked there until 1975 when he moved his family to New Jersey. There he was hired as a bond trader for Goldman Sachs. Over the years, he worked his way up to Chairman and CEO of the company in 1994. He was later demoted to Vice Chairman after the investment firm lost nearly one-third of of its portfolio under Corzine's management. A poorly-executed attempt to convert the investment firm from a private partnership to a worldwide publicly traded corporation resulted in Corzine's removal from the firm by a unanimous vote of the Goldman Sachs executive committee.
Leaving Goldman Sachs in January 1999, Corzine campaigned for one of New Jersey's Senate seats after Frank Lautenberg announced his retirement. Corzine was elected to the Senate by a narrow margin over his Republican opponent Bob Franks in November 2000 and was sworn into the Senate in January 2001. He spent $62,802,999 on his campaign, the most expensive Senate campaign in US history, even though New Jersey is a predominantly Democratic state. Over $35 million of this was on the primary alone; New Jersey is one of the most expensive states to campaign in, because it is dominated by the two high-cost television markets of New York City and Philadelphia.
In the Senate, Corzine is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, the U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence , and the U.S. Senate Committee on Budget. He is a supporter of introducing legislation that reforms the 401 (k) plan to minimize the risk of investment portfolios. He is a sponsor of the Start Healthy, Stay Healthy Act which expands health care coverage for children and pregnant women. Corzine supported providing a two-year tax break to September 11, 2001 attacks victims to help them recover financially and help grant citizenship to victims that were legal resident aliens. He also supports tighter gun control laws, outlawing racial profiling, and subsidies for Amtrak.
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