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Robert 'Bob' Phillips Corker, Jr.
Birthdate: Aug. 24, 1952
Birth Place: Orangeburg, SC, United States
Residence: Chattanooga, TN
First Elected: 2006
Undergraduate: University of Tennessee
Bob Corker grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he now resides. He earned a bachelor's in industrial management in 1974 from the University of Tennessee.
Corker worked as a construction superintendent before starting his own construction company, Bencor. He sold the construction arm of his company in 1990 as he began acquiring real estate.
He purchased in 1999 two of the largest real estate companies in Chattanooga, making him the largest private landowner in Hamilton County. He sold most of his properties early in 2006.
Corker founded the nonprofit Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprises, which helps families obtain low-interest loans.
He was appointed commissioner in 1995 of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, and he was elected Chattanooga mayor in 2001.
Corker was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.
He and his wife, Elizabeth, have two daughters.
Bob Corker, the only Republican to win election to the U.S. Senate in 2006, raised his national profile by becoming an outspoken critic of federal bailouts for U.S.-based automakers.
Many workers at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., felt Corker's role did little to keep the plant from being idled later in 2009. And when Corker attended a 2011 ceremony to announce auto production would resume at the plant, he was roundly booed and heckled by workers in the audience.
"I see the saga continues," Corker told the crowd. "I think everyone knows that we've had our differences in the past. And I can tell today that that's fine with you, and it's fine with me."
Corker voted against the 2009 approximately $800 billion economic stimulus plan backed by President Barack Obama and also voted against the 2010 health care reform bill.
Corker has developed a reputation for his attempts to craft compromises on key issues and his willingness to confront his opponents. During a 2010 lunch with GOP senators, Corker challenged Obama about what he perceived as "duplicity" amid efforts to craft a bipartisan financial regulation bill.
Also in 2010, Corker lashed out at the AARP because of the group's efforts to help defeat a bipartisan task force to tackle the federal deficit.
"I think AARP has done as much to hurt our country for the long-term as any organization I know," Corker said in a speech to Nashville Republicans.
The 2006 Senate election in Tennessee drew national attention as Corker's Democratic opponent Harold Ford Jr. tried to become the South's first black senator since Reconstruction.
Race was an undercurrent in the campaign, especially when an ad produced by the Republican National Committee hit the airwaves. A portion of the ad showed a white woman with blond hair and bare shoulders who looked into the camera, winks and whispered, "Harold, call me."
Critics said it made an implicit appeal to deep-seated racial fears about black men and white women. The RNC denied it had any racial subtext, but Corker called the ad tacky and said it should stop running.
Corker's first job was as a general laborer. He worked his way up to a supervisor position and then started his own construction and commercial development business. He went on to become a millionaire and now donates his entire Senate paycheck to charity.
Corker has told reporters that he's developed a plan to reform taxes and balance the federal budget _ but said he didn't plan to release details until after the November 2012 election.
Source: Associated Press
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