Sherrod Brown was born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio. He majored in Russian studies at Yale University, earning a master's in education and public administration from Ohio State University.
He was elected in 1974 to the first of four terms as a state representative. In 1982, at the age of 29, Brown was elected Ohio secretary of state. He also has worked as a faculty associate at Ohio State University.
Brown was elected to the U.S. House in 1992. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, defeating longtime GOP Sen. Mike DeWine.
Brown resides in Lorain with his wife, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Connie Schultz. He has two children and two stepchildren.
Sherrod Brown has made his mark in Congress as an aggressive supporter of health care reform and ballot access, and as a strong supporter of President Barack Obama's policies aimed at reviving the economy.
His move up in the U.S. Senate was noted when he won a seat in July 2010 on the powerful Appropriations Committee, filling the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
Brown has been a big backer of alternative energy, especially wind and solar projects. He supported legislation in 2010 to expand tax incentives for offshore wind development, including in Ohio's Lake Erie. But he also opposed a stimulus program aimed at financing renewable energy, saying money was going to projects creating jobs in foreign countries.
In 2011, he sponsored legislation along with Sen. Olympia Snowe intended to punish China for alleged currency manipulation — accusing Beijing of flouting World Trade Organization rules and "gaming the system to its advantage." That same year he was among 16 Democratic senators who requested a Justice Department investigation into the effects on voting rights of laws requiring voters to show photo identification.
Brown was fairly pleased with the final Senate health care legislation passed in 2009 despite failing to secure the public option he had been pushing. He praised it for preventing insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
His was the decisive 60th vote for Obama's economic stimulus plan in February 2009 after he flew aboard a government plane from Ohio to Washington, where his mother died earlier in the week.
In his union-heavy, industrial Cleveland district, Brown's opposition to trade deals earned him attention. He said deals with nations such as China and Mexico threaten American jobs by rewarding low wages, poor working conditions and lax environmental standards.
Brown worked in 2005 to get Democrats and Republicans to vote against the Central American Free Trade Agreement — a bill that passed by just one vote after the GOP-led House extended the voting time on the floor. Brown has said this was the deciding factor that inspired him to run for U.S. Senate.
He helped start the Taiwan Caucus in 2002 and was appointed to a commission that monitors human rights in China. He served on the House International Relations Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, where he was the ranking Democrat on the Health and the Environment Subcommittee.
During his eight years as Ohio secretary of state, Brown extended voter registration programs to high schools and worked to make polling places accessible to the handicapped.
When Ohio completed congressional redistricting in 2000, Brown announced that he would move to the state's redrawn 13th District, stretching from Lorain through Cleveland's southern suburbs and east almost to Warren. He won a seven-way primary with 46 percent of the vote and defeated a largely self-financed Republican millionaire, Margaret Mueller.
In the 2012 election, Brown faces challenger Republican State Treasurer Josh Mandel. A U.S. Marine veteran and driven campaigner, Mandel's strong fundraising has elevated the contest to one of the most watched in the nation.
Committee Assignments: Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Appropriations; Select Ethics; Veterans' Affairs;
American Conservative Union Rating: 0
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 95
Sherrod Brown is not up for re-election in 2014.
(Last updated by Julie Carr Smyth on June 7, 2014.)