Jack Reed's life was influenced early on by his father, Joe, a custodian, and his mother Mary, a homemaker. Raised in Cranston, just outside of Providence, Jack learned the values of family, hard work, and education.
In 1967, Senator John Pastore selected Reed for a seat at the United States Military Academy at West Point based on his leadership, community involvement, and grades. Upon graduation in 1971, Reed earned a degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He qualified as a United States Army Ranger and commanded paratroopers in the 82nd Airborne Division. After 8 years of active duty service, Reed resigned as a Captain from the Army and attended Harvard Law School. Upon earning his law degree in 1982, Reed became an associate at Sutherland, Asbill, and Brennan in Washington, DC, and then returned to Rhode Island in 1983 to practice law, joining the Providence firm Edwards and Angell.
He was elected to the Rhode Island State Senate in 1984, where for 3 terms he focused on improving the lives of children and making housing more affordable.
In 1990, he won a four-way Democratic primary and a tough head-to-head election to represent Rhode Island's Second District in the U.S. House of Represenatives. In the House, he worked to balance the federal budget, save the Seawolf submarine program from early termination by then-Secretary of Defense Cheney, shield the value of a family's home from the determination for student financial aid, and create standards-based learning in our nation's schools.
When Senator Claiborne Pell announced his retirement in 1996, Reed entered the race to succeed him, fighting off a million dollar negative attack ad blitz by the national Republican Party. He beat the incumbent Rhode Island State Treasurer to become the 46th Senator from Rhode Island.
In the Senate, Reed serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Armed Services Committee, the Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee, as well as the Banking, Housing, & Urban Development Committee. On the Banking Committee, Reed is Chairman of the Securities, Insurance, & Investment Subcommittee. On the Armed Services Committee, Reed is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats & Capabilities.
Reed works tirelessly for Rhode Islanders. He is at the forefront in tackling high energy costs and protecting homeowners from the fallout of the housing crisis. He has opposed the Iraq War from the start, while steadfastly supporting our brave men and women in uniform, and visiting the troops on the ground in Iraq twelve times. He has opposed the harmful Bush Administration policies that have led to the largest deficits in American history, while voting for common sense and fair middle class tax reforms. He has enhanced Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure by securing millions in funding for vital road, bridge, and transit projects across the state. He has expanded health care for children, increased college aid, and ensured up to date books in our nation's school libraries.
Time magazine wrote that "Reed is a serious, intellectually honest veteran and expert on defense issues in the Senate." Reed has also been described as "a relentless advocate for his home state" by the Boston Globe. The New York Times lauds Reed as a "quiet dealmaker respected by colleagues in both parties."
Senator Reed, his wife, Julia, and daughter, Emily, reside in Jamestown, Rhode Island.