Terry Branstad Biography

Terry Edward Branstad is an American politician who is the 42nd Governor of Iowa, since January 2011. This biography profiles his childhood, life, political career, achievements and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: November 17, 1946

Nationality: American

Famous: Political Leaders American Men

Age: 73 Years, 73 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Scorpio

Also Known As: Terry Edward Branstad

Born in: Leland, Iowa, U.S.

Famous as: 42nd Governor of Iowa


Spouse/Ex-: Christine Johnson

father: Edward Arnold Branstad

mother: Rita L. (Garland)

children: Allison Branstad, Eric Branstad, Marcus Branstad

U.S. State: Iowa

More Facts

education: University of Iowa (BA), Drake University (JD)

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America’s longest serving governor, Terry Edward Branstad returned to politics by winning the primary and general elections for Governor in 2010. He is presently the 42nd Governor of Iowa. Right from the start he was the perfect candidate, with a survey predicting 70 percent votes in his favour. Thus, with him the Republican Party knocked over occupant Democrat representative Chet Culver with a clear margin of 52.9 percent votes to Culver’s 43.1 percent. Taking his seat once again in 2015, he was made the first governor to ever serve a sixth four-year term, overtaking the Governor of New York, George Clinton who served for a period of 21 years. He recently accepted the role of ambassador to China by American President Donald Trump. Terry still has a lot up his sleeve with 22 years of experience as governor and counting, he still has agenda’s chalked out. From the age of 36 he has shaped Iowa’s politics making spectacular contributions in reducing unemployment rate. He is well read and has served his nation in the army. With his governance he had brought about financial stability to the locals and has worked closely with schools and colleges improving infrastructure and standards. He also holds the record of never losing an election.

Childhood & Early life
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The Beginning of a Meritorious Career
  • In 1972, things took a political turn for Branstad, he was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives, where he represented his hometown along with the whole of north-central Iowa district.
  • He managed to supersede two strong Republican contenders in the Primary election becoming Iowa’s lieutenant governor from 1979 to 1983.
  • When he was thirty six, he was elected Governor after running down Democrat, Roxanne Conlin. He was titled the youngest chief executive in all of Iowa’s history in 1983.
Four Terms as Governor
  • From 1983-1999, he served a period of four terms to become the only Iowa governor to stay in office for such a long period of time.
  • During this phase he bolstered Iowa and retrieved it from crisis. He played a major role in helping to reduce the effect of economic recession in Iowa. He also dealt with the infamous farm crisis of the 80’s.
  • In 1985 in order to bring an end to the farm crisis he decared an economic emergency, wherein a limited ban was initiated on farm foreclosures. The next year he reduced state agencies and vested the power to appoint their directors in the Governor alone.
  • However, all wasn’t rosy for him, in his first year he was hit with a major setback, when he found that the state budget had a deficit of 90 million dollars. Yet with his ability to turn the tables, he brought Iowa back on its feet, and made its economy thrive.
Break from Politics
  • On leaving the chair after a glorious era as governor, he turned his attention to aspects other than politics. Going back to his law roots he established ‘Branstad and Associates, LLC’. He partnered with Pattee, Kaufman and also became the financial advisor of Robert W. Baird & Company.
  • He served as a visiting professor at the University of Iowa and in 2003 he was offered the role of the president of ‘Des Moines University’. He worked there for six years and retired in 2009.
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  • During his role as a president he encouraged teachers and pupils to increase graduate rankings and with his guidance he made it the Wellness Council of ‘America’s first Platinum Recognition University’.
Back to Politics
  • In 2009, Branstad registered for Republican nomination as Governor. Hearing of the return of Branstad a survey was conducted where he received around 70% votes in his favour.
  • Winning the Republican nomination, Branstad was all set to campaign for the general elections, though he didn’t receive support from all members of the Republican Party.
  • Some of the reasons for opposition ranged from him having a history of “raising taxes” to former state auditor, Richard Johnson’s allegations of “owning two sets of state budget books” advising him to be “transparent” to the voters of Iowa.
  • He ran for the Iowa gubernatorial election in 2010, and ousted incumbent Democrat Chet Culver, winning the seat by more than 50 percent votes.
  • He stood again for re-election in 2014 as the incumbent Republican nominee choosing Senator Kim Reynolds as his running mate, he was opposed by Tom Hoefling, but he went on to win the primary election by a major 83% votes.
  • He campaigned against Jack Hatch in the general elections, nominee of the Democratic Party, but Jack hardly stood a chance in front of him. He won the general elections of 2014 with a clean 59% margin.
  • His agenda for the new term is to create two hundred thousand job openings, with a 15 percent drop in government expenditure and a quarter percentage increase in minimum wages.
Major Works
  • Branstad walked his talk, when after his first term he reduced the rate of unemployment from 8.5 % to 2.5 % which became his biggest success.
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  • He helped Iowa leap out of its 900 million dollars deficit and turned it around to a 900 million surplus.
  • George W. Bush appointed him to chair the ‘President’s Commission for Excellence in Special Education’, where he had to better educational planning and performance of children suffering from various disabilities.
  • His work proved to be of excellent contribution for which he was offered to be a member of the national Advisory Council for PATH and was also made a public member of the ‘American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’.
Awards & Achievements
  • During his run as Governor of Iowa, he served in major offices such as the National Governors Association from 1989-1990. He was made Chairman of ‘Midwestern Governors Association, Education Commission of the States, Governor’s Ethanol Coalition and the Republican Governors Association.
  • In 2015, he was bestowed with the ‘Knight Commander of the Court of Honour’.
  • He has been selected as US Ambassador to China by current American President Donald Trump, which he accepted. If the senate agrees upon the selection then Lieutenant Governor, Kim Reynolds will take office and become Iowa’s first female Governor.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Terry married the beautiful Christine Johnson in June, 1972. Christine was professionally a medical assistant and in her youth she often volunteered at hospitals and schools.
  • They have three children, the eldest is Eric, followed by Allison and then Marcus. All his children are now married, making him a proud grandfather of seven grandchildren.
  • Terry has successfully kept his family away from any controversies or spotlight while he has been in and out of politics.
  • While Branstad served as a military policeman he arrested the famous actress Jane Fonda when she was heading to attend an anti-war protest.

See the events in life of Terry Branstad in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Terry Branstad Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- January 24, 2017
Terry Branstad

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