60 Facts About Tom Ridge


Thomas Joseph Ridge was born on August 26,1945 and is an American politician and author who served as the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security from 2001 to 2003, and the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,468

Tom Ridge was born in Munhall, Pennsylvania, and raised in veterans' public housing in Erie, Pennsylvania.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,469

Tom Ridge then returned to Pennsylvania and completed his Juris Doctor degree at the Dickinson School of Law, graduating in 1972, and entered private practice.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,470

Tom Ridge then ran for governor in 1994, despite being little-known outside of northwest Pennsylvania.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,471

Tom Ridge won the election, and was reelected in 1998 with the most votes for a Republican governor in Pennsylvania in more than half a century.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,472

Tom Ridge served in these roles for Bush's first term as president, then retired and returned to the private sector.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,473

Tom Ridge is the founder and Chairman of Tom Ridge Global, a Washington, DC –based security consulting firm.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,474

Tom Ridge spent time campaigning with Senator John McCain during his 2008 bid for the presidency and was believed by some to have been on the short list of potential running mates.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,475

Tom Ridge was born in Munhall, Pennsylvania, in Pittsburgh's Steel Valley, the eldest of three children.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,476

Tom Ridge's parents were Laura and Thomas Regis Ridge, who was a traveling salesman and Navy veteran.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,477

Tom Ridge was raised in veterans' public housing in Erie, Pennsylvania.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,478

Tom Ridge was educated at St Andrews Elementary School and Cathedral Preparatory School and did well both academically and in sports.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,479

Tom Ridge attended Harvard College, where he paid his way through with construction work, played intramural baseball and football, and graduated with honors in 1967.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,480

Tom Ridge waived an opportunity for officer training school because it would have required a longer service commitment.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,481

In November 1969, Tom Ridge arrived as a sergeant in South Vietnam where he would serve for six months as a staff sergeant with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division during the Vietnam War.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,482

Tom Ridge became assistant district attorney in Erie County, Pennsylvania in 1980 and prosecuted 86 cases in two years.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,483

Tom Ridge was reelected in 1998 with 57 percent of the vote in a four-way race.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,484

Tom Ridge created and grew a "Rainy Day" Fund balance to over $1 billion to be utilized during an economic downturn or recession.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,485

Tom Ridge pushed for legislation permitting competition among electric utilities and enhanced federal and state support for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,486

Tom Ridge separated the Commonwealth's environmental regulatory and conservation programs into two new agencies; the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,487

Tom Ridge proposed the creation of public charter schools in Pennsylvania and in establishing alternate schools for disruptive students.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,488

Tom Ridge launched new academic standards that established academic expectations for what students were expected to know in different grades.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,489

Tom Ridge oversaw a number of e-government projects including renewing drivers' licenses and vehicle registrations to viewing historical documents and library catalogs.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,490

Tom Ridge created the Link-to-Learn initiative to increase the effective use of technology in public schools and universities.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,491

Tom Ridge signed two death warrants for African-American civil rights activist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a police officer at a traffic stop.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,492

Tom Ridge served as governor until he resigned to become the Director of Homeland Security in 2001, following the September 11 attacks.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,493

Tom Ridge formally resigned as Pennsylvania's governor on October 5,2001.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,494

Tom Ridge left the White House and became the first Secretary of Homeland Security.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,495

Tom Ridge worked with the employees from combined agencies to strengthen borders, provide for intelligence analysis and infrastructure protection, improve the use of science and technology to counter weapons of mass destruction, and to create a comprehensive response and recovery division.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,496

In January 2004, Tom Ridge was named among others in a lawsuit filed by a Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar who said he was tortured in Syria after being deported by American authorities.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,497

Tom Ridge is the founder and Chairman of Tom Ridge Global, an advisory firm in Washington, DC.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,498

Tom Ridge served on a state-appointed incident review panel that investigated the Virginia Tech shooting.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,499

Tom Ridge sits on the board of directors of the Atlantic Council.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,500

Tom Ridge has served on a variety of corporate boards of directors and in other roles.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,501

Tom Ridge was appointed to the board of directors of the Exelon Corporation electric utility in 2006, with starting director compensation of $35,000 annual retainer plus a $1,500 meeting fee or per diem fee and $60,000 in annual deferred stock units.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,502

Tom Ridge was named to serve on the executive board of The Hershey Company in 2007, and was named senior advisor to Texas-based security technology company TechRadium, Inc in 2008.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,503

Tom Ridge currently sits on the bipartisan advisory board of States United Democracy Center.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,504

Tom Ridge served as a senior aide to Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain of Arizona, and was considered by some as a possible running mate for McCain.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,505

Some Republicans thought Tom Ridge would have a better chance against Specter than would Toomey.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,506

On May 7,2009, Tom Ridge announced that he would not be a candidate for the US Senate in 2010.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,507

Tom Ridge originally endorsed former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman for president, in September 2011.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,508

In 2013, Ridge was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v Perry case.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,509

Tom Ridge spoke at a conference in support of the removal of the People's Mujahedin of Iran from the United States State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,510

In 2015, Tom Ridge served as co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, a commission that recommended changes to US policy regarding biodefense.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,511

Tom Ridge headed the organization with former Senator Joe Lieberman, and the Study Panel assembled in Washington DC for four meetings concerning current biodefense programs.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,512

In 2016, Tom Ridge endorsed Jeb Bush and subsequently John Kasich after Bush's withdrawal from the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,513

Tom Ridge stated he would not endorse Donald Trump, following Trump becoming the presumptive nominee, or Hillary Clinton in the general election.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,514

In July 2020, Tom Ridge criticized President Trump for saying in June that vote-by-mail leads to widespread voter fraud, responding that it is not a threat and that voters need a safe way to cast a ballot in the 2020 election, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,515

Tom Ridge said that it was "sad" that the President wants to quash the legitimacy of the election.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,516

Tom Ridge is a co-chair of VoteSafe, a bi-partisan group that promotes safe voting by mail and in person.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,517

Also in July 2020, Tom Ridge slammed his former Department for sending in federal agents to detain rioters allegedly committing federal crimes in Portland, Oregon, after more than 50 days of protests and riots there.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,518

Tom Ridge said, during an interview with radio host Michael Smerconish, that it would be a "cold day in hell" before he "would consent to an uninvited, unilateral intervention" in one of his cities in Pennsylvania.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,519

In September 2020, Tom Ridge endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,520

Tom Ridge confirmed to CNN on November 6,2020, it was the first time he ever voted for a Democratic presidential candidate.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,521

In 2022, Tom Ridge endorsed fellow Republican Mehmet Oz in the 2022 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,522

Tom Ridge explains the challenges and decision-making processes of the newly formed department, and gives his own views as to the future of the security of the United States of America.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,523

Tom Ridge wrote in his memoir that then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft pressured him to raise the terror alert level, running up to the 2004 elections, because of a pre-election message critical of President Bush from Osama Bin Laden.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,524

Tom Ridge was hospitalized in critical condition in Texas after a cardiac event on November 16,2017.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,525

On June 16,2021, Tom Ridge suffered a stroke while at his home in Bethesda, Maryland.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,526

Tom Ridge was hospitalized and underwent a successful procedure to remove a blood clot.

FactSnippet No. 1,897,527