Ed Markey

Ed Markey
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
Assumed office
July 16, 2013
Serving with Elizabeth Warren
Preceded by Mo Cowan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts's 5th district
In office
January 3, 2013  July 3, 2013
Preceded by Niki Tsongas
Succeeded by Katherine Clark
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts's 7th district
In office
November 2, 1976  January 3, 2013
Preceded by Torbert Macdonald
Succeeded by Mike Capuano
Chair of the House Energy Independence Committee
In office
March 8, 2007  January 3, 2011
Preceded by Committee established
Succeeded by Committee abolished
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
from the 26th Middlesex district
In office
January 3, 1973  November 2, 1976
Preceded by William Callahan
Succeeded by John McNeil
Personal details
Born Edward John Markey
(1946-07-11) July 11, 1946
Malden, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Susan Blumenthal (1988–present)
Alma mater Boston College
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Senate website
Campaign website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1968–1973
Rank Specialist Fourth Class
Unit Army Reserve

Edward John "Ed" Markey (born July 11, 1946) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who is the junior United States Senator from Massachusetts, in office since 2013. From 1976 to 2013 he served as the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 5th congressional district. He previously served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1973 to 1976.

Markey is a liberal who has focused on energy policy and was Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 to 2011. In 2013, after John Kerry was appointed United States Secretary of State, he was elected to serve out the balance of Kerry's sixth Senate term in a 2013 special election. Markey defeated socially conservative Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary and Republican Gabriel E. Gomez in the general election. When he left the House, he was its eighth most senior member. In 2014 Markey was elected to a full six-year Senate term. He is the dean of the Massachusetts congressional delegation and the second longest-serving current member of Congress from New England, behind Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Early life, education, and career

Markey was born on July 11, 1946, in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of Christina M. (née Courtney) and John E. Markey, a milkman.[1][2][3] The family was Irish Catholic, and Markey was educated at Immaculate Conception School and Malden Catholic High School. He graduated from Boston College in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts, and from Boston College Law School in 1972 with a Juris Doctor.[4] After graduating, Markey worked as a lawyer in private practice.

Markey served in the United States Army Reserve from 1968 to 1973, attaining the rank of Specialist Fourth Class. He joined while a junior in college, and has stated that he enlisted before receiving a Vietnam War draft notice. He further stated that even though he opposed the war, if he had been drafted without having secured a position in the Reserve, he would have answered the induction notice and gone to Vietnam. Ed Markey's South Boston unit included Thomas P. O'Neill III, Steve Grossman, and Markey's brothers Richard and John. Markey was discharged in 1973, a year before his enlistment agreement was due to expire, which was not unusual as the military discharged many members early during post-Vietnam force drawdowns.[5][6][7][8][9]

Markey was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he represented the 16th Middlesex district (Malden and Melrose) from 1973 to 1976.[4][10]

U.S. House of Representatives


Markey in the 101st United States Congress (1989)

On May 21, 1976, incumbent Congressman Torbert Macdonald died in office. Markey, who had just been elected to a third term in the state house, entered a seven-candidate Democratic primary for what was then the 7th District In the primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic district—Markey won the nomination with a plurality of 22% of the vote.[11] In the November 1976 election, he defeated Republican Richard Daly 77-18%.[12] That election also doubled as a special election for the balance of Macdonald's term, and so Markey took office later that night. This gave him greater seniority than other Representatives elected in 1976.

Markey has been challenged in a Democratic primary 3 times; in 1980 when he won 85%,[13] in 1984 when he won 54%,[14] and in 2002 when he won 85%.[15]

Markey was re-elected 19 more times from this district, which included most of the northern suburbs of Boston. His lowest vote total was 62% in 1992, in a three-way election. Markey faced no Republican opposition in his bids for re-election 8 times, in 1978, 1980, 1986–90, 2000, 2002, and 2006.[16][17] His district was renumbered the 5th after the 2010 census, in which Massachusetts lost a district.


Markey as ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee

Markey was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the National Journal gave him a "Composite Liberal" score of 89.2.[18]

Braintree Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan praised him as "a fine congressman."[19]

Environment and energy

In December 2007, Markey became the first US politician to use Second Life, through which he addressed the delegates of the UNFCCC in Bali as part of OneClimate's Virtual Bali event. It was estimated that the carbon dioxide he saved by not flying to Bali was around 5.5 tons.[20] Pressure from Markey prompted BP to provide a live underwater video feed showing oil leaking out of a pipe in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.[21] Markey has been a longtime critic of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and has been critical of the NRC's decision-making on the proposed Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design and the NRC response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.[22][23]

In 2011, Markey criticized Republicans and the Tea Party movement, saying "Rick Perry and these other guys are allergic to science...too many of the tea party people, who basically don’t believe in science, are now controlling the Republican Party."[24] In reply to Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin's position on how the American Clean Energy and Security Act (also known as Waxman-Markey, named after Markey and Henry Waxman) could have a negative impact for Alaskans,[25] Markey wrote an article criticizing Palin's inaction on global warming and her environmental positions.[26]

Markey sarcastically suggested in August 2010 that global warming deniers form their own country on an iceberg: “An iceberg four times the size of Manhattan has broken off Greenland, creating plenty of room for global warming deniers to start their own country.” Markey also said that, at the time, 2010 was the hottest recorded year, and "scientists agree arctic ice is a canary in a coal mine that provides clear warnings on climate”.[27][28] Markey has derided Republicans' stance on global warming, stating during a hearing: "I won’t physically rise, because I’m worried that Republicans will overturn the law of gravity, sending us floating about the room.”[29]

In January 2011, House Republicans eliminated the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, which Nancy Pelosi created in 2006 and Markey chaired.[30]

Domestic issues

Markey was one of the 31 members of the House who voted not to count the electoral votes from Ohio in the 2004 Presidential election; without Ohio's votes John Kerry would have been elected President.[31]

Markey introduced legislation to change the duration of Daylight Saving Time[32] and to increasing privacy controls over children online.[33]

Markey drew some controversy through his proposal to introduce legislation[34] that deals with amusement parks' roller coasters, believing that newer, faster rides that exert greater G-pressures on the human body are dangerous mentally and physically, despite a lack of concrete evidence to support these claims,[35] and contrary to studies that affirmed the safety of roller coasters in general.[36]

As a Representative in 2009, Markey sponsored the Internet Freedom Preservation Act to enact principles of net neutrality.[37] The proposed legislation received support from a few dozen co-sponsors and public interest organizations but ultimately died in committee before enactment.[38]

National defense

In 2003, Markey called attention to the lack of security surrounding air cargo placed on commercial passenger planes, arguing that if passenger baggage is screened for explosive devices, cargo on the plane should be as well.[39] In 2007, he succeeded in getting a 100 percent air cargo screening requirement signed into law.[40] In the law codifying the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, Markey wrote the mandate requiring all cargo on passenger planes to be screened.[41]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

In 2004, Markey was considered a contender for John Kerry's seat in the United States Senate if Kerry were to be elected President of the United States.[42] Markey was considered a leading contender in the 2010 special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy, but on September 12, 2009, he announced his decision not to run and endorsed fellow Congressman Michael Capuano, who went on to lose the Democratic primary to Martha Coakley.[43]

2013 special election

On December 27, 2012, Markey was the first to announce his candidacy to run in a special election to fill Kerry's seat after Barack Obama nominated him for United States Secretary of State.[44] Several politicians, including Kerry, endorsed Markey even before the Senate confirmed Kerry.[45] On April 30, 2013, Markey won the Democratic nomination by defeating fellow Congressman Stephen Lynch in the primary election.[46] He defeated Republican challenger Gabriel E. Gomez in the general special election on June 25 and completed the remaining 17 months of Kerry's term.[47][48]

Markey is the longest tenured House member ever elected to the Senate, with his 36-plus years of service exceeding that of Frederick H. Gillett, who served in the House for 32 years before moving to the upper chamber in 1925.[49][50] Markey is the 11th oldest candidate to win a U.S. Senate special election out of more than 170 men and women since the passage of the 17th Amendment.[51]


Markey attending the Greater Boston Labor Council’s annual Labor Day Breakfast in Boston.

Markey resigned his House seat on July 15, 2013 and was sworn into the Senate on July 16.[52] Although he is the dean of the Massachusetts delegation, he is the state's junior Senator, alongside Elizabeth Warren.

Markey is known for the "blizzard" of public letters he posts on his website and sends to the press to draw attention to his favored issues.[53]

Committee assignments

Personal life

Since 1988, Markey has been married to Dr. Susan J. Blumenthal, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Women's Health and held the rank of rear admiral as Assistant U.S. Surgeon General.[55] Since 2005, he has been a contributing writer for The Huffington Post.[56] He was one of several politicians who had a cameo role in the 2003 film Gods and Generals, in which he played an Irish Brigade officer.[57]

Electoral history


  1. http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1976/11/22/ed-markey-the-milkmans-son-who/
  2. "Obituary; John E. Markey, at 89, manager for H.P. Hood". Boston Herald. July 14, 2000.
  3. "Obituary; Christina M. Markey, congressman's mother". Boston Herald. July 24, 1998.
  4. 1 2 "Markey, Edward John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress.
  5. Noah Bierman, Boston Globe, A Drive That Stunned Markey’s Family, and Never Ebbed: Representative Came in as a Rebel, Then Rose, April 21, 2013
  6. Curt Nickisch, WBUR Radio, Markey, U.S. Congressman For 36 Years, Sets His Sights On The Senate, April 24, 2013
  7. Emily O'Donnell, Attleboro Sun-Chronicle, Faithful Embrace Markey at Victory Party, May 1, 2013
  8. William E. Schmidt, New York Times News Service, Lawrence Journal-World, 12 of Quayle's Contemporaries Served in Reserve, Guard Units, August 21, 1988
  9. John J. Monahan, Worcester Telegram, Front-Runner Ed Markey: It’s Time for us to Start Singing ‘Getting to Know You’, January 27, 2013
  10. Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1973, 1975. Massachusetts General Court.
  11. "MA District 07 - D Primary Race - Sep 14, 1976". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  12. "MA District 07 - Special Election Race - Nov 02, 1976". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  13. "MA District 07 - D Primary Race - Sep 16, 1980". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  14. "MA District 7 - D Primary Race - Sep 18, 1984". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  15. "MA District 7 - D Primary Race - Sep 17, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  16. "Office of the House Clerk – Electoral Statistics". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on July 30, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  17. "Election Results". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  18. "National Special Interest Groups". Vote Smart. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  19. Clarida, Matthew (February 20, 2013). "Harvard Dems Endorse Markey". Harvard Crimson. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  20. "Remarks of the Avatar of the Hon. Edward J. Markey on the virtual island of Bali, Indonesia in Second Life". December 11, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  21. "BP Bows to Pressure for Oil Leak Livestream". CBS News. May 19, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  22. Matthew L. Wald (July 28, 2011). "U.S. Regulator Says Fukushima Lessons Can Percolate". New York Times.
  23. Peter Fairley (March 15, 2011). "Fukushima's Spreading Impact". Technology Review.
  24. "Republicans 'are allergic to science'". MSNBC. Raw Story.
  25. "Governor Palin Opposes Waxman-Markey Bill". June 30, 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  26. "Markey predicts U.S. economy will rebound soon". Boston Business Journal. June 11, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  27. "Markey: Deniers of global warming should 'start their own country'". The Hill. 7 August 2010.
  28. "MA pol: warming skeptics should move to ice island". Boston. 7 August 2010.
  29. "During Climate Hearing, Markey Asks If Anti-Science GOP Will Repeal Gravity, Heliocentrism, Relativity". March 10, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  30. Sheppard, Kate (January 6, 2011). "Republicans kill global warming committee". The Guardian. London.
  31. Final Vote Results for Roll Call 7. Clerk.house.gov. January 6, 2005.
  32. "USA Daylight Saving Time change from 2007". daylight-saving-time.com. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  33. Stecklow, Steve; Angwin, Julia (May 7, 2011). "House Releases 'Do Not Track' Children Bill". AllThingsD. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  35. Cooke, Charles C. W. "Ed Markey's Peculiar Crusade". National Review. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  36. Collins, Dan (February 11, 2009). "Researchers: Roller Coasters Are Safe". CBS News. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  37. "Text of H.R. 3458 as Introduced in House: Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009". opencongress. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  38. Brodsky, Art. "Public Knowledge Hails Internet Freedom Preservation Act". Public Knowledge. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  39. Kathy Uek (November 1, 2010). "Markey targets air cargo loophole". The MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  40. "Markey cites progress on 100% air cargo screening, says more needs to be done.". States News Service. July 31, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  41. Ed Markey (January 5, 2007). "Commerce Won't Trump Homeland Security in the 110th Congress". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  42. "Markey weighs Senate bid". Politico. September 7, 2009.
  43. Rhee, Foon (September 12, 2009). "Markey not running for Kennedy seat". Boston.com.
  44. Arsenault, Mark (December 27, 2012). "US Rep. Markey to run in Senate special election". Boston.com.
  45. Phillips, Frank. "Kerry supports Markey's Senate run". Retrieved December 28, 2012.
  46. Steve LeBlanc and Bob Salsberg, Huffington Post, Ed Markey Wins Massachusetts Democratic Senate Primary, April 30, 2013,
  47. Levenson, Michael; Frank Phillips (June 26, 2013). "Edward Markey keeps party's hold on Senate seat". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  48. Katharine Q. Seelye (June 25, 2013). "Democrat Wins Special Election for Kerry's Senate Seat". nytimes.com.
  49. Michael A. Memoli, Los Angeles Times, Rep. Edward Markey Wins John Kerry's Senate Seat in Massachusetts, June 25, 2013.
  50. Ostermeier, Eric (June 27, 2013). "Paying His Dues: Markey Shatters Senate Record for Prior House Service". Smart Politics.
  51. Ostermeier, Eric (June 26, 2013). "How Long Will Ed Markey Serve?". Smart Politics.
  52. "Special election set for Dec. 10 to fill Ed Markey's U.S. House seat". masslive.com. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  53. Byers, Alex (November 2, 2014). "Ed Markey's policy strategy: Letter rip". Politico. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  54. "New US Sen. Markey receives committee assignments". Associated Press. July 17, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  55. Susan J. Blumenthal, Biography, 2010
  56. "Rep. Ed Markey". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  57. Full Cast and Crew for Gods and Generals (2003)

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ed Markey.
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Edward John Markey
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Torbert Macdonald
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 7th congressional district

January 3, 1976 – January 3, 2013
Succeeded by
Mike Capuano
Preceded by
Niki Tsongas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 5th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – July 15, 2013
Succeeded by
Katherine Clark
New office Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Position abolished
United States Senate
Preceded by
John Kerry (2008)
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (Class 2)
2013 (Special), 2014
Most recent
Preceded by
Mo Cowan
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Massachusetts
July 16, 2013  present
Served alongside: Elizabeth Warren
Preceded by
Heidi Heitkamp
Current U.S. Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Cory Booker
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