73 Facts About Mark Kirk


Mark Steven Kirk was born on September 15,1959 and is a retired American politician and attorney who served as a United States senator from Illinois from 2010 to 2017, and as the United States representative for Illinois's 10th congressional district from 2001 to 2010.


Mark Kirk joined the United States Navy Reserve as a Direct Commission Officer in the Intelligence career field in 1989 and was recalled to active duty for the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.


Mark Kirk participated in Operation Northern Watch in Iraq the following year.


Mark Kirk attained the rank of Commander and retired from the Navy Reserve in 2013.


Mark Kirk was sworn in on November 29,2010 and began a six-year Senate term on January 3,2011.


In January 2012, Mark Kirk suffered a stroke; almost a full year passed before he returned to his senatorial duties.


In 2016, Mark Kirk ran for re-election to a second full term, but was defeated by Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth.

Related searches
Barack Obama Joe Biden

Mark Kirk was born in Champaign, Illinois, the son of Judith Ann and Francis Gabriel "Frank" Mark Kirk.


Mark Kirk later stated in speeches and interviews that he had been a nursery and middle school teacher.


Mark Kirk spent two years practicing international law and four years as counsel to the House International Relations Committee.


Mark Kirk was commissioned as an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve in 1989.


In 1999, Mark Kirk was recalled to active duty in Operation Allied Force for the bombing of Yugoslavia.


Mark Kirk served from April 10 to June 6,1999, as the intelligence officer of VAQ-209.


In March and April 2000, Mark Kirk trained with an EC-130 squadron based in Turkey.


Mark Kirk took a flight over Iraq as part of Operation Northern Watch, which enforced a no-fly zone over the northern section of Iraq.


Mark Kirk later clarified his statement, indicating that there is no record of his aircraft being fired upon and that he had incorrectly recalled the incident.


On one occasion Mark Kirk commented on Rod Blagojevich's arrest and posted a tweet while on duty with the Navy in Afghanistan.


Mark Kirk denied that he had ever improperly mixed politics with his military service.


Mark Kirk served three individual two-week reserve deployments in Afghanistan, with the latest concluding in September 2011.


Mark Kirk retired from the Navy Reserve in May 2013, after 23 years of service.


In 2010, Mark Kirk corrected statements he had made about being awarded "Navy Intelligence Officer of the Year" after it was brought to the media's attention by his Democratic opponent, Alexi Giannoulias.


Mark Kirk was the lead intelligence officer for VAQ-209, one of the four squadrons assigned to the Electronic Attack Wing.


Mark Kirk later apologized for this and other errors, including a claim made by his office of having participated in Operation Desert Storm when in fact he did not.


Mark Kirk worked on the staff of John Porter, the congressman for Illinois's 10th congressional district.


From 1991 to 1993, Mark Kirk was the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State in the US State Department.

Related searches
Barack Obama Joe Biden

In 1995 Mark Kirk was named as a counsel to the House International Relations Committee.


Mark Kirk remained counsel to the House International Relations Committee until 1999.


Mark Kirk was elected in 2000 to succeed the retiring Porter.


Mark Kirk defeated Democrat Dan Seals by a seven points in 2006, defeating him again by the same margin in a 2008 rematch.


Mark Kirk was a member of the House Iran Working Group, the founder and co-chair of the House US-China Working Group, the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, the co-chair of the Albanian Issues Caucus in ex Yugoslavia, and chair of The Tuesday Group, a group of moderate Republicans in the US House.


Mark Kirk was responsible for an amendment in 2004 which requires the Congressional Budget Office to annually publish a comparison of projected spending on entitlements with actual spending for the previous year.


Mark Kirk fought against spending on the Alaska "bridge to nowhere" and pushed for reforms in the intelligence community.


In 2005, Mark Kirk stated that he was not opposed to the immigration process in the United States discriminating against young Arab males from "terrorist-producing states".


In 2006, Mark Kirk pushed for an expansion of O'Hare and worked with Rahm Emanuel on a package to clean up Lake Michigan.


In 2009, Mark Kirk voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act.


On July 20,2009, Mark Kirk announced his candidacy for the US Senate election for the seat held by Roland Burris, which had been held by Barack Obama before his election as president.


On February 2,2010, Mark Kirk won the Republican primary with 56.6 percent of the vote; no other candidate had as much as 20 percent.


Mark Kirk ran against Democratic nominee Alexi Giannoulias, Green Party nominee LeAlan Jones, and Libertarian nominee Mike Labno.


In 2012, Mark Kirk's ex-wife accused him of concealing a payment of $143,000 to a former girlfriend, Dodie McCracken, who had worked on his 2010 US Senate campaign.


The Federal Election Commission dismissed allegations that the Mark Kirk campaign had hidden the payments, saying they did not need to be disclosed because the girlfriend worked as a subcontractor on the campaign.


In November 2014, Mark Kirk reiterated his plans to seek re-election.


Mark Kirk defeated fellow Republican James Marter in the primary election.


Mark Kirk faced Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth in the general election.


Mark Kirk's campaign purchased television air time to advertise his opposition to admitting refugees to the United States "until it can be done safely".


Mark Kirk's mother was a Thai immigrant and her father's ancestors came to America before the Revolutionary War.

Related searches
Barack Obama Joe Biden

On November 8,2016, Mark Kirk lost to Duckworth by 14 points.


Mark Kirk was sworn in on November 29,2010, as the junior US senator from Illinois.


Mark Kirk sat at the Senate's coveted Candy Desk for several years.


Mark Kirk is considered to be a social moderate and fiscal conservative.


Mark Kirk authored legislation, entitled the Lincoln Legacy Infrastructure Development Act, that sought to eliminate barriers and encourage private investment in roads, transit, airport and rail.


Mark Kirk had introduced similar legislation before, and Mark Kirk had been a longstanding supporter of efforts to keep invasive Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes ecosystem.


In 2016, Mark Kirk suggested that Iran should be required to provide reports about how funds made available through sanctions relief were used to ensure that money was not ending up in the hands of Hezbollah or the Iranian military.


In May 2016, Mark Kirk petitioned the Treasury Department to be more aggressive towards Qatar's financing of terrorism.


Mark Kirk appointed a sovereign debt advisory board to help research the unfunded obligations and unpaid bills contributing to Illinois' debt crisis.


Mark Kirk later produced a Report on Illinois Debt highlighting the unsustainable debt the state continued to hold and the need for pension reform.


Mark Kirk voted for re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.


In May 2010, Mark Kirk voted against the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.


In December 2010, Mark Kirk joined seven other Senate Republicans in voting in favor of the policy's repeal.


Mark Kirk said he would not vote for the bill or a related compromise bill.


Mark Kirk voted in April 2014 to extend federal funding for unemployment benefits.


In March 2015, Mark Kirk voted for an amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to allow employees to earn paid sick time.


Mark Kirk is the only Republican US Senator to receive an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association.


In 2011, Mark Kirk was one of only two Republicans to oppose legislation to detain American citizens indefinitely.


In 2014, Mark Kirk co-sponsored legislation to re-authorize the Export-Import Bank.


In February 1998, Mark Kirk met Kimberly Vertolli, a Naval Intelligence Officer, while the two were on duty together at the Pentagon.

Related searches
Barack Obama Joe Biden

On January 21,2012, at age 52, Mark Kirk suffered an ischemic stroke caused by a damaged blood vessel in his neck.


Mark Kirk underwent follow-up surgery two days after that to remove more of his skull and some damaged brain tissue.


Mark Kirk suffered significant left-sided weakness and spent several months at an inpatient physical rehabilitation center.


On May 1,2012, Mark Kirk was sent home from the rehabilitation center.


On January 3,2013, Mark Kirk returned to the Capitol for the first time since his stroke in time for the start of the 113th Congress.


Mark Kirk was escorted up the Capitol steps by Vice President and President of the Senate Joe Biden.


Mark Kirk returned to his role as Senator, at times using a cane or wheelchair for assistance.


Mark Kirk cites his public role as motivation to return to work and to serve as an example for families suffering from stroke and his stroke itself as motivation to improve early stroke detection and rehabilitation.