With his appointment as co-chairman of the Commission on Intelligence Capabilities,
former Democratic senator and governor of Virginia Charles Robb will write
another chapter in his long public service career.
Robb, a native of Phoenix, began his military career in the Marine Corps in
1961 after earning his bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin. During
the 1960s, Robb commanded an infantry combat company in Vietnam. After leaving
active duty, Robb remained a member of the Marines Corps Reserve until he retired
Robb went back to school for his law degree, graduating from the University
of Virginia in 1973, upon which he began a clerkship at the 4th U.S. Court
Robb's political career took off with his election as lieutenant governor
of Virginia, serving from 1978 to 1982. He was elected governor in 1982. He
moved on to Congress in January 1989, and served on numerous committees throughout
his 12-year tenure in the Senate.
While in the Senate, Robb became the only senator to serve simultaneously
on all three national security committees (Foreign Relations, Armed Services
and Intelligence). He gained the reputation as a moderate but loyal Democrat,
heavily involved in campaign activities.
In 1998, during the U.S. military strikes against Iraq, Robb advocated taking
tougher actions against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, including a regime change
and considering changing an executive order banning assassinations of foreign
leaders as a warning to Saddam.
Robb, who lost a 2000 reelection bid to Republican Sen. George Allen, is now
teaching law and public policy at George Mason University in Virginia.
In addition to teaching, Robb has been a member of the Board of Visitors of
the U.S. Naval Academy, as well as the boards of several technology-related
corporations and national security-based or education-based foundations, including
the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the MITRE Corp.
Robb is married to Lynda Bird Johnson, daughter of former President Lyndon
Baines Johnson, and has three children.
Compiled by Diana M. Alvear for the Online NewsHour