John Boehner married Debbie Boehner in 1973 and the couple had two daughters together.
In 2017, he won one of Japan’s biggest civilian honours, Order of the Rising Sun. Additionally he has won the Laetare Medal by the University of Notre Dame. It is considered to be the highest medal for American Catholics.
He has been a great critic of Donald Trump. In 2018, he stated that it was not Republican Party anymore, it was the Trump Party, indicating that the party has largely turned autocratic.
He wrote a memoir titled ‘On the House: A Washington Memoir’, which was released in spring 2020.
In 1981, John was appointed to serve on the board of trustees of the Union Township, Butler County, Ohio. He stayed on the position until 1984. In 1985, he was selected to become an Ohio State Representative from the 57th district. He served on the position until 1990, as he aimed to contest for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in that year.
In 1990, he ran for the United States House of Representatives from Ohio’s 8th district. He faced initial competition from three Republican candidates, as the incumbent representative was also a Republican named Buz Lukens. However, Buz did not pose a big threat as he was already facing charges of having sex with a minor. During the elections, John faced Democrat Greg Jolivette, and won the elections.
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During his first year at the U.S. Congress, 1991, John was part of a group of newly elected Republican U.S. Representatives called Gang of Seven. The gang aimed at bringing media attention to the corruption rampant in the U.S. House of Representatives, such as the House Banking Scandal.
John, along with several other representatives from the Republican Party, created the ‘Contract with America’ campaign before the 1994 elections. This plan turned out to be a major success as the Republican Party, in 1994 elections, managed to secure a majority in the U.S. Congress for the first time in four decades.
In 1995, he was appointed as the House Republican Conference Chairman. While on the position, he passed the Freedom to Farm Act which simplified the direct programmes for crops and facilitated the government purchases of crops and milk.
In 1997, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich was becoming quite an eye-sore for the members of the house, owing to his bad public image. Many Republican members of the house planned to remove Newt from his position and offered him a choice, to be voted out or to resign. Newt denied leaving his position and said that the Democrat Dick Gephardt would probably replace him as the new speaker.
In the 1998 elections, the Republican Party suffered major losses, which had the House Republican Leadership undergoing some big changes, which eventually led Republican Dennis Hastert to become the new speaker of the House.
In the 2001 presidential elections, Republican Party’s George W. Bush won and became the President. In the same year, John was elected as the chairman of the House of Education and the Workforce Committee. In his first year on the new position, he authored a passage of the No Child Left Behind act of 2001, along with revising the Pension Protection Act. He stayed on the position until 2006.
In 2005, he became the House Republican Leader when the Republican Party was in majority. However, in 2006 when the Democratic Party became the majority party in the house, John became House Leader of the Minority.
In the 2008 Congress.org power ranking, John was named the most powerful Republican in the U.S. Congress and the sixth most powerful Congressman overall.
In the 2010 midterm elections, the Republican Party once again gained a clear majority and in the same year, John was nominated by the Republicans to be the Speaker and he was eventually elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2011.
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However, it was not an easy term for him. He saw himself disagreeing with the more conservative elements of his own party when in 2013 he supported a bill that increased the taxes on the wealthy Americans. Additionally, the conservative politicians from his party threatened to shut down the government if the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or the PPACA, was not defunded. The government, as a result, was shut down for 16 days in October 2013.
John was also considered a weak Speaker, an opinion which was further fuelled by the fact that many bills that he introduced, failed to get passed. In 2015, the Republicans also raised strong voice against the Planned Parenthood Act and threatened to shut down the government again.
This and many more reasons compelled John to announce his retirement from the position as the House Speaker in September 2015. However, during his final weeks, he brought a budget plan, which was eventually passed by the House. However, most Republicans had voted against this bill as well.
Since 1990, when he was first elected to the House of Representatives, John had won 12 consecutive elections to remain seated in the House from Ohio’s 8th district. Except a few times, he always won the elections with big margins.
Following his resignation from the position of House Speaker, John began working at a lobbying firm. He also became a board member of Reynolds American, a tobacco company. He further joined the board of a cannabis company named Acreage Holdings.
Going with his party’s stand against the legalization of marijuana, John has opposed it. Since siding himself from active politics, he said that his views on marijuana had ‘evolved’, and he ended up supporting the legalization.
Childhood & Early Life
John Boehner was born John Andrew Boehner on November 17, 1949, in Reading, Ohio, to Earl Henry and Mary Anne Boehner. He was born as the second child to his parents and had 11 siblings growing up. He was raised in lower middle class circumstances with 12 siblings and parents living in a small house with two bedrooms. His father ran a family bar, which was started by John’s grandfather, in Cincinnati.
Due to the dwindling financial situations in the family, when John was 8 years old, he began working in his family bar. He spent his entire childhood in southwest Ohio, Cincinnati, in the inner suburb.
He graduated high school from the Moeller High School in Cincinnati and scored average grades. Part of it was due to his involvement in extracurricular activities. He had begun playing football in school as a linebacker. He graduated high school in 1968, during the peak of the Vietnam War.
Like many high school graduates, John was also enlisted into the U.S. Navy and was sent to Vietnam. But John suffered a bad back there and hence, he was honourably discharged from the Navy. He came back to the United States and decided to resume his education. He enrolled into Xavier University in 1971 and graduated with a B.A. degree in business administration, in 1977, thus becoming the first member from his family to ever attend a college.
However, he had to work many jobs through the years to pay for his tuition fee. It took him seven years to complete his graduation. Shortly after his graduation, he began working in a sales company called Nucite Sales. He stayed with the company for around a decade and quickly received promotions to become the company’s president by 1990.