Ed Markey was born in Malden, Mass. He earned both a bachelor's degree and a law degree from Boston College.
He served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1968 to 1973.
Markey served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, from 1973 to 1976, and was named Legislator of the Year by the Massachusetts Bar Association in 1975.
He was first elected to the U.S. House in 1976.
He authored the book "Nuclear Peril: The Politics of Proliferation."
Markey and his wife, Susan Blumenthal, reside in Malden.
Ed Markey was first elected to the U.S. House in 1976 and is the dean of the Massachusetts congressional delegation.
He's the ranking Democrat on the House's Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of its Energy and Commerce Committee.
During debate in July 2012 concerning a GOP proposed energy plan, Markey chided Republicans for bringing six "giveaways to Big Oil" to the House floor, "all far too extreme to pass the Senate." The Republican bill, he said "would place drill rigs right off our beaches in Southern California" as well as off beaches in Maine and other eastern states.
Also in July 2012, after the Republican-majority House backed amendments that would block any Obama administration attempt to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, Markey ridiculed the move and said it was hard for some Republicans to "let go of the Cold War."
"The reality is we won. It's over," he said.
Markey dropped his chairmanship of the powerful House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet in January 2009 to head the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality. This was a signal that House Democrats plan to aggressively tackle global warming and other environmental issues.
The subcommittee is expected to play a key role in possible upcoming climate change legislation and Markey replaced another Democrat who was known for being friendly with the coal industry.
As part of that initiative, Markey met with auto industry leaders in February 2009 to discuss restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions and the production of more fuel-efficient vehicles. He also asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in March 2009 if it could prevent the importation of foreign radioactive waste for disposal in Utah's desert, a case pending in federal court.
Markey pushed a bill in 2008 that would result in an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas pollution by 2050 by using a cap-and-trade auction system that sets a price on carbon emissions and permits companies that pollute to buy or sell credits.
The Gulf oil spill in April 2010 gave him another chance to highlight his environmental bona fides. He was instrumental in getting BP to provide a live video feed of the crude pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. He also accused the oil giant of underestimating the scope of the spill.
Markey had been active in telecommunications issues since 2002 and was part of the House effort to preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness. He also co-founded the Privacy Caucus and co-chairs the bipartisan Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease.
Markey sharply criticized the George W. Bush administration following the Sept. 11 attacks for failing to safeguard the nation against future attacks and for trampling the civil rights of citizens. He voiced concerns about port and airline security and took aim at the administration's no-warrant wiretapping program.
Markey frequently criticized U.S. military actions abroad. He worked to impose a freeze on nuclear weapons and investigated the Ronald Reagan administration's environmental policies.
He announced in January 1984 he would retire from the House and run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Paul Tsongas. But on May 1, just three hours before the filing deadline, he dropped out of the crowded Senate race and instead ran for, and won, re-election to the House.
Markey lauded two 1994 bills he helped pass as "the most significant overhaul of telecommunications policy in 60 years."
One bill removed legal barriers that keep the so-called Baby Bell telephone companies from providing long-distance service and manufacturing telecommunications equipment. The other allowed local telephone and cable companies to move into each other's businesses.
American Conservative Union Rating: 8
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 100
Ed Markey won his September 2014 primary, he will face Brian Herr in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on September 10, 2014.)