Birthdate: Aug. 27, 1943
Birth Place: Lincoln, NE, United States
Residence: Omaha, NE
Religion: First Methodist Church
Bob Kerrey was born in Lincoln, Neb., and now resides in Omaha. He earned a bachelor's in pharmacy in 1966 from the University of Nebraska.
After college he enlisted in the Navy and graduated from Officer Candidate School. He then received underwater demolition training and volunteered for the Navy SEAL special operations force.
He served in Vietnam in 1969 and directed an attack on a Viet Cong guerrilla group after losing part of his right leg in a grenade blast, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
After his military service, he worked briefly as a pharmacist in Lincoln before going into the restaurant business in 1972 with his brother-in-law, Dean Rasmussen. Their business expanded into a chain of eight restaurants and three health clubs.
Kerrey was registered as a Republican for 14 years but switched to the Democratic Party in 1978. He was elected governor of Nebraska in 1982 but did not seek re-election. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1988.
Kerrey ran unsuccessfully for president in 1991. He was re-elected to the Senate in 1994, then opted not to run again in 2000.
He worked as president of The New School in New York City from 2001 to 2010. He was then hired as executive chairman of Seattle-based educational software company Global Scholar in 2011.
He served on the Sept. 11 commission, which investigated the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Kerrey and his wife, screenwriter Sarah Paley, have three children.
Bob Kerrey is a war hero and successful businessman who has served as governor and was twice elected to the U.S. Senate, but in the 2012 general election most Nebraskans see him as the underdog.
That's because in the 12 years since Kerrey opted not to seek re-election to his Senate seat, Nebraska has grown increasingly conservative and dominated by Republicans.
As a Democrat who has lived for most of the past decade in New York City, Kerrey's decision to return to Omaha and run for Senate is viewed skeptically by many in the state.
Super political action committees that support Republicans already have spent more than $1 million to run television advertisements that focus on Kerrey's extended residency in New York.
After serving a single term as governor and then two terms in the Senate, Kerrey hasn't tried to hide from his career outside Nebraska. He worked as president of The New School in New York City from 2001 to 2010. After resigning from that position, he was hired as executive chairman of Seattle-based educational software company Global Scholar in 2011.
Kerrey has said his decision to run for Senate reflected a desire to take on big problems now being largely ignored due to partisanship and political posturing.
After his easy Democratic primary win in May 2012, Kerrey noted, "If the voters decide they want me, they'll get six years of hard work."
Kerrey has said he has a history of working with Republicans, and he's tried to contrast his experience with his GOP opponent, state Sen. Deb Fischer. He's argued that the Republican Fischer is driven more by ideology and has rarely worked with Democrats.
"I think I've got the capacity to work both with Democrats, but particularly the Republicans, to get them to see we have to do something here, and it's not likely to produce a round of applause from the audience," Kerrey said in a March 2012 interview.
In his campaign, Kerrey has focused on entitlement reform, deficit reduction, health care, the economy and agriculture.
Kerrey has said the 2010 health care reforms backed by President Barack Obama were far from perfect, but he called them "better than nothing" and said he would have voted to approve the package.
After Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage rights, Kerrey said he also thinks gays and lesbians should have equal marriage rights.
Source: Associated Press