U.S. Senator from Connecticut
With a father who fled Nazi Germany at age 18, and a mother who left Nebraska’s farmland to become a social worker, Richard Blumenthal was raised with a deep dedication to public service, a duty to give back by helping others, and a bedrock belief in hard work. Those values carried him through his childhood and his education at Harvard College (Editorial Chairman The Harvard Crimson, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude), and Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal. To a year working as assistant to Daniel Patrick Moynihan when he was Assistant to the President of the United States. And to enlisting in the United States Marine Corps Reserves in 1970. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1976.
After graduating law school in 1973, Senator Blumenthal clerked for then U.S. District Judge Jon Newman, and then for United States Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun.
He then transitioned to lead U.S. Senator Abraham A. Ribicoff’s staff as an Administrative Assistant (now known as Chief of Staff).
From 1977 to 1981, Senator Blumenthal served as a U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, prosecuting drug trafficking, organized and white-collar crime, civil rights violations, consumer fraud, and environmental pollution. He served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1984 to 1987, and the Connecticut State Senate from 1987 to 1990. As a volunteer attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Senator Blumenthal saved the life of an innocent, wrongly convicted death row inmate who came within hours of execution.
Senator Blumenthal served an unprecedented five terms, from 1991 to 2011, as Connecticut’s Attorney General, fighting for people against large and powerful special interests. His aggressive law enforcement for consumer protection, environmental stewardship, labor rights, and personal privacy helped to reshape the role of state attorneys general nationwide, and resulted in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars for Connecticut taxpayers and consumers each year.
A key player in the national fight against Big Tobacco, he helped end deceptive marketing aimed at children—a victory significantly lowering youth smoking rates, and compelling a multi-billion dollar settlement for Connecticut taxpayers. He also helped lead a coalition of all 50 states that culminated in historic agreements with social networking sites to better protect children from internet predators.
Senator Blumenthal personally argued several major cases in court, including four before the U.S. Supreme Court—among them his successful effort to uphold the Connecticut sex offender registry in the Supreme Court. He fought and sued the federal government for failing to follow or enforce environmental laws and energy statues, as well as imposing multimillion dollar unfunded mandates on local taxpayers under the No Child Left Behind Act.
In 2010, Senator Blumenthal was elected to represent Connecticut in the United States Senate. He was reelected in 2016 and 2022.
In the Senate, Senator Blumenthal has built on his longtime advocacy for consumers by holding companies accountable for the safety of their products. He has pushed GM to fix its cars’ fatal defects, fought to keep dangerous nicotine products out of the hands of children, and worked to make communities safe from hazardous chemicals. As chair of the Commerce Consumer Protection subcommittee, he led hearings and legislation to hold tech platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and TikTok accountable for privacy failings, toxic and illegal content, and other serious harms.
Senator Blumenthal is also working to bring Connecticut’s transportation systems and infrastructure into the twenty-first century. Working with Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation, he has secured billions of dollars of federal funding to improve rail safety, promoted climate resiliency, and protected Long Island Sound and Connecticut’s rivers and streams.
He has spearheaded legislation to support veterans by expanding employment opportunities, increasing housing access, holding the VA accountable, and providing health care for those exposed to toxic chemicals during their service including Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and veterans working near burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senator Blumenthal authored the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, a bipartisan law to improve mental health care and suicide prevention resources.
Senator Blumenthal is a member of the Committee on the Judiciary, Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, Committee on Armed Services, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Special Committee on Aging.