Birthdate: May 28, 1971
Birth Place: Miami, FL, United States
Residence: West Miami, FL
Religion: Roman Catholic
First Elected: 2010
Marco Rubio was born in Miami and currently lives in West Miami. His parents are Cuban immigrants who worked in the service industry _ his father as a bartender, his mother as a maid and retail stock clerk. Rubio received a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida and a law degree from the University of Miami.
Rubio began his career in public service as a city commissioner in West Miami. He served in the Florida House from 2000 to 2008, rising eventually to House speaker.
Rubio resumed practicing law after leaving the Legislature and teaches as a visiting professor at Florida International University.
He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010.
Rubio and his wife, Jeanette, have four children.
Marco Rubio has is considered among Republican leaders to be one of the brightest rising stars in GOP politics. He was often discussed as a potential running mate to 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney and was chosen to introduce Romney at the nominating convention. Just two years into his first Senate term, he is already considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016 or 2020.
The speed at which he has risen in the party was unfathomable to many political observers when he announced he was going to run for Senate in May 2009. That's because the same Republican leaders who embrace him now tried to force him out of the race to create a clear path for then-Gov. Charlie Crist, who began the race far ahead in the polls and raising $13 for every $1 of Rubio's.
But Rubio built off early tea party support and used a consistent conservative message to erode Crist's lead. He also portrayed Crist as a populist who didn't have true conservative values _ a point that was emphasized with a photo of Crist hugging President Barack Obama at a rally in support of the 2009 approximately $800 billion stimulus plan that was opposed by most Republicans. Crist eventually dropped out of the Republican primary and ran as an independent. Rubio easily won the three-way race that included Democratic then-Rep. Kendrick Meek.
Since taking office, Rubio has made major speeches on foreign policy and was invited by former first lady Nancy Reagan to speak at the Ronald Reagan Foundation Library.
Rubio sought a compromise on immigration in 2012. His proposal would have allowed young immigrants to remain in the country if they met certain conditions. Obama later imposed a similar policy.
He is a skilled orator who won election to the Florida House of Representatives at age 29. Within eight years he ascended from a representative seated by special election to majority whip, majority leader and eventually speaker of the House. The telegenic candidate has cultivated an avid base.
Though he represented only a small part of Miami in the Legislature, Rubio leveraged his future as incoming speaker of the House to connect with voters across Florida. He toured the state holding a series of town hall-style meetings called "idearaisers," soliciting ways lawmakers could improve the lives of constituents. The notes were compiled in a 224-page book, "100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future," and became Rubio's political platform as speaker from 2006 to 2008.
Rubio's opponents have sought to link him to a Republican Party of Florida scandal involving the use of party credit cards for lavish personal expenses. Rubio says some charges were made on his card inadvertently, but the party was always repaid in full.
Source: Associated Press