May 6, 1934 in Birmingham, Alabama
Married: Annette Nevin
Two children: Richard Jr. and Claude Nevin
- B.A., University of Alabama, 1957
- LL.B., University of Alabama, School of Law, 1963
- Lawyer, 1963-1978
- Tuscaloosa City Prosecutor, 1963-1971
- U.S. Magistrate, Northern District of Alabama, 1966-1970
- Special Assistant Attorney General, State of Alabama, 1969-1971
- Alabama State Senator, 1970-1978
- U.S. Representative, 1979-1987
- U.S. Senator, 1987-Present
Senator Richard Shelby is the senior United States Senator from the State of Alabama. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986 and is currently in his sixth term. Senator Shelby is the current vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, of which he previously served as chairman. He is a senior member on the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, as well as the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, of which he is the longest-serving member in the history of the committee. He also serves on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 6, 1934, as a fifth generation Alabamian, Senator Shelby was educated by the local Birmingham public school system. He went on to receive his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Alabama and practiced law in Tuscaloosa for 15 years. On June 11, 1960, he married Annette Nevin, with whom he will soon celebrate his 62nd anniversary. He served as city prosecutor from 1963 to 1971, during which time he was appointed to be a U.S. magistrate for the Northern District of Alabama from 1966 to 1970 and Special Assistant Attorney General of Alabama from 1969 to 1971.
In 1970, he won a seat in the Alabama State Senate that he held for eight years, where he was elected chairman of the Legislative Council. As a conservative Southern Democrat, he was elected to the Ninety-sixth Congress in 1978 to represent Alabama’s seventh congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, and was re-elected in 1980, 1982, and 1984. In 1986, he was elected to the United States Senate, defeating the incumbent, and was re-elected in 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010, and 2016. In March 2019, he became the longest-serving U.S. Senator from the state of Alabama, surpassing the previous record (held by Senator John Sparkman) of 32 years and 58 days.
After the 1994 midterm election, Senator Shelby switched parties to better support his electorate following the realignment of the Republican Party in the South. He became a member of the Senate Republican Conference and went on to eventually chair four committees. From 1997 to 2001, Senator Shelby served as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In 2003, he became chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, a position he held until 2007 and again from 2015 to 2017. Following his leadership on Banking, he served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration from 2017 to 2018. Upon the retirement of Senator Thad Cochran in April 2018, Senator Shelby became chairman of the full Senate Appropriations Committee and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, a position he held until 2021, when control of the Senate switched and he assumed the position of vice chairman of the full Committee and the Defense Subcommittee.
Senator Shelby believes that a smaller government is more effective and has long opposed government bailouts. He is a stalwart supporter of Second Amendment rights and has worked tirelessly to bring jobs and economic growth to Alabama. He has introduced legislation establishing a flat tax in every Congress since his election to the U.S. Senate, as well as a Balanced Budget amendment to the Constitution.