Joe Lieberman

Joseph I. Lieberman's political career began as a popular Connecticut Democrat, but ultimately left him an independent U.S. Senator. Only a few years after a campaign as the Democratic party's nominee for vice president, Lieberman lost a contentious re-election primary for his Senate seat and opted to run as an independent. His split from his party was fueled by his strong support for the war in Iraq. Lieberman is chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is responsible for oversight of the Department of Homeland Security. He was a vocal advocate of legislation creating the department. Born in Stamford, on Feb. 24, 1942, Lieberman earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1967. He was elected to the state Senate in 1970 and served there for ten years, the last six as majority leader. He was elected as state attorney general in 1982. He won his first term to the U.S. Senate in 1988, defeating Lowell Weicker by a huge margin. Lieberman's popularity soared in 2000 when he became Al Gore's running mate and the first Jewish American to seek the vice presidency. Fueled by concerns about the ongoing Iraq war, his 2006 campaign drew national attention when businessman Ned Lamont defeated him in the primary, but lost to him in the general election. Lieberman lives in Stamford and Washington with his wife Hadassah. They have four children. (Photo AP)