Childhood & Early Life
Marco Antonio Rubio was born on May 28, 1971 in Miami, Florida. His parents, Mario Rubio Reina and Oriales Rubio are Cubans who immigrated to the United States in 1956, prior to the rise of Fidel Castro in 1959. He has three siblings.
Neither of his parents was a U.S. citizen at the time of Rubio’s birth but they later became naturalized citizens. He grew up in a working class neighbourhood where his father worked as a bartender at Sam's Town Hotel and his mother worked as a housekeeper at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino.
Rubio attended South Miami Senior High School, graduating in 1989. An athletic boy, he received a football scholarship to attend Tarkio College in Missouri for one year. He then earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Florida in 1993.
Furthering his education, he attended the University of Miami School of Law, graduating in 1996 with a J.D. degree cum laude. As a law student he interned for U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and also worked on Republican Senator Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign.
Continue Reading Below
Marco Rubio ventured into a political career within a couple of years following his graduation. In 1998, he was elected to a seat as City Commissioner for West Miami, and the next year he emerged successful in his bid for the Florida House of Representatives.
He assumed his position as a Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 111th district in 2000, succeeding Carlos Valdes. During his tenure he served as Majority Whip and Majority Leader. He actively promoted an agenda of lower taxes, better schools, a leaner and more efficient government and free market empowerment which made him a popular figure.
In 2006, he became the Speaker of the House and in this position he introduced a plan to reduce state property taxes to 2001 levels and supported efforts to promote literacy and mentoring for black children as he felt that young African-American males believed that the American dream is not available to them.
Prior to becoming the speaker, he had authored the book ‘100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future’ based on ideas collected from Florida residents. As the speaker he helped to enact many of the ideas presented in the book. The ideas which ultimately became laws include measures to crack down on gangs and sexual predators, promote energy efficient buildings, appliances and vehicles.
His tenure as the speaker ended in 2008. He returned to his legal career and started his own law firm. During this time he also began teaching in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University (FIU) as an adjunct professor.
In 2009, he launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate. Initially considered an underdog in the 2010 United States Senate election in Florida, he surprised everyone by defeating his opponents, the independent candidate, Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.
Marco Rubio assumed office as United States Senator from Florida in January 2011. He voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011, which included mandatory automatic budget cuts from sequestration and co-sponsored the Reducing the Size of Federal Government Through Attrition Act.
As the senator he serves on several committees including the Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, and Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's Issues.
He is a part of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" in the Senate and has co-authored the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 to give illegal immigrants a pathway to legal status. In 2015, he announced his plans to run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Marco Rubio is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's Issues which deals with all matters concerning U.S. relations with the countries of the Western Hemisphere, and also has the global responsibility for issues pertaining to transnational crime, human rights, and global women’s issues.