U.S. Senator (R-Neb.)
National Press Club Luncheon Speaker -- June 19, 2003
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A fourth generation Nebraskan, Sen. Chuck Hagel was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and re-elected in 2002. Hagel sits on three Senate committees: Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Select Committee on Intelligence. He is also chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion Subcommittee and the Senate Banking International Trade and Finance Subcommittee.
Hagel began his career in 1969 as a newscaster and talk show host with radio stations KBON and KLNG in Omaha, Neb. From 1971 to 1977, served as an administrative assistant to Sen. John Y. McCollister (R-NE). President Ronald Reagan nominated Hagel in 1981 to serve as deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration. In the mid-1980s, Hagel co-founded VANGUARD Cellular Systems, Inc.
Immediately prior to his election to the Senate, Hagel was president of McCarthy & Co., an investment-banking firm based in Omaha, Neb., and served as chairman of the Board of American Information Systems. Before joining McCarthy & Co., Hagel was president and chief executive officer of the Private Sector Council in Washington, D.C., deputy director and chief operating officer of the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations (G7 Summit) and president and chief executive officer of the World USO.
Hagel is a Vietnam veteran, having served as an infantry squad leader with the U.S. Army's 9th Infantry Division. Hagel earned many military honors, including two Purple Hearts. He has made veterans affairs a top priority -- Hagel is co-chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Corporate Council and sits on the board of directors and the National Advisory Committee of the Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He is also a life member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Sen. Hagel is a graduate of St. Bonaventure High School in Columbus, Neb., the Brown Institute for Radio and Television in Minneapolis, Minn., and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Hagel and his wife, Lilibet, have two children.
Sen. Chuck Hagel's Web site