Ken Salazar life and biography

Ken Salazar picture, image, poster

Ken Salazar biography

Date of birth : 1955-03-02
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Alamosa, Colorado, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2022-03-02
Credited as : Lawyer, politician and diplomat, Secretary of the Interior, Obama administration

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Ken Salazar (also known as: Ken L. Salazar, Kenneth Lee Salazar, Kenneth L. Salazar ) born March 2, 1955 in Alamosa, Colorado, United States is an American lawyer, politician and diplomat. He served in the administration of President Barack Obama. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. He and Mel Martinez (R-Florida) were the first Hispanic U.S. Senators since 1977; they were joined by Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) in January 2006. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, he served as Attorney General of Colorado from 1999 to 2005.

U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Senator Ken Salazar as secretary of the interior in December of 2008. A fifth generation Coloradan, Salazar boasted a resume that included rancher, lawyer, small business owner, and attorney general of Colorado. He was also well known for effectively working both sides of the political aisle in order to find the best solutions available.

Colorado Bred

Salazar was born on March 2, 1955, in Alamosa, Colorado. One of eight siblings, he grew up on the remote ranch his family had run for five generations--without benefit of either electricity or telephone. Nonetheless, he credited his parents with instilling the work ethic and sense of values that enabled each of their children to become first-generation college graduates. True to that end, but after exploring the idea of becoming a Catholic priest, Salazar earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Colorado College (1977) and a law degree from the University of Michigan (1981).

Salazar's professional life was rich and varied. Positions in the private sector included a partnership in the family ranch, operating bilingual radio stations and a Dairy Queen, and practicing environmental and water law. He first entered the public sector in 1986, as chief legal counsel to Colorado Governor Roy Romer. He then served as director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources from 1990 until 1994 before returning to his private law practice for four years. In 1998 Salazar re-emerged in the public eye when he won a bid to become Colorado's attorney general, the first Hispanic to be elected to the job. And in 2004, he won a seat in the United States Senate (his brother John won a spot in Congress that same year).

Salazar became known in the senate, as he had been in Colorado, for his integrity and his talent for finding bipartisan solutions to difficult problems (not to mention his signature off-white Stetson). As Romer put it succinctly to Julie Poppen of Denver's Rocky Mountain News, "He listens to people." Perhaps because of these traits, he and fellow freshman Senator Barack Obama established a rapport and camaraderie that resulted in Salazar's becoming one of Obama's most ardent supporters during the 2008 presidential campaign. That the admiration was mutual was clearly established after Obama's election, when the president-elect nominated Salazar to be his secretary of the interior. He was unanimously confirmed to the position by the senate on January 20, 2009.

On June 10, 2013, he became a partner in the major international law firm of WilmerHale, and was tasked with opening a Denver office for the firm. On August 16, 2016, Salazar was appointed to head presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's transition team.

In May 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Salazar as the United States ambassador to Mexico. His nomination was confirmed by a voice vote in the United States Senate on August 11, 2021.

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