Claire McCaskill is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party. She was born on July 24, 1953, and served as the senior United States Senator from Missouri. She is the first female U.S. Senator elected in Missouri.
McCaskill served as the State Auditor of Missouri from 1999 to 2007 before her election to the U.S. Senate. Prior to that, she served as Jackson County Prosecutor from 1993 to 1998 and as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives from 1983 to 1989. She ran for Governor of Missouri in the 2004 election, beating Democratic incumbent Bob Holden in the primary election but lost by a narrow margin to Republican Matt Blunt in the general election.
Claire McCaskill was born in Rolla, Missouri. McCaskill’s father, William Young McCaskill (1925–1993), served as a state Insurance Commissioner during the administration of Governor Warren E. Hearnes. Her mother, Betty Anne, was the first woman elected to the City Council of Columbia, Missouri.
Ironically, Betty Anne McCaskill lost a race for a seat in the state House of Representatives to Leroy Blunt, the father of U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and grandfather of former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt.
Since being elected to the Senate, McCaskill has consistently been named by the National Journal in its ideological rankings as one of the ten most “moderate” Senators. In 2011, she was ranked exactly 50th out of 100 senators, from most-liberal to most-conservative.
Early Years of Claire McCaskill – United States Democratic Senator
McCaskill spent her youth in Houston, Missouri, and later moved to Lebanon and eventually Columbia. McCaskill attended David H. Hickman High School in Columbia, where she was a cheerleader, Pep Club president, a member of the debate club, musical cast member, and homecoming queen. While attending the University of Missouri, McCaskill joined Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, graduating in 1975 with a B.A. in political science. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1978. In 1974, McCaskill studied at the Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown University.
McCaskill has worked in the public sector almost continuously since graduating from law school in 1978. After graduating, she spent one year as a law clerk on the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District in Kansas City. Later, McCaskill joined the Jackson County prosecutor’s office, where she specialized in arson cases.
McCaskill was married to David Exposito, with whom she had three children. After 11 years of marriage, the couple divorced while McCaskill was Jackson County Prosecutor. David Exposito was later found murdered in Kansas City, Kansas, on December 12, 2005. Exposito’s murder has never been solved.
A convert to Roman Catholicism, McCaskill was denied communion for her pro-choice stance on abortion by then-Bishop Raymond Burke, later Raymond Cardinal Burke.
McCaskill joined Sheryl Sandberg’s pro-feminist movement to encourage young women to be more assertive in the workplace.
On February 22, 2016, McCaskill announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She stated through Tumblr, “It’s a little scary, but my prognosis is good, and I expect a full recovery.”