James Henry "Jim" Webb, Jr. (born February 9, 1946) is the senior United States Senator from Virginia. He is also an author and a former Secretary of the Navy. He is a member of the Democratic Party. A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Webb served as a Marine Corps infantry officer until 1972, and is a highly decorated Vietnam War combat veteran. During his four years with the Reagan administration, Webb served as the first Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, then as Secretary of the Navy. Webb won the Democratic nomination for the 2006 Virginia Senate race by defeating Harris Miller in the primary, then won the general election by defeating the Republican incumbent George Allen. Webb's thin margin in the general election (less than 0.5%) kept the outcome uncertain for nearly two days after polls closed on November 7, 2006, and provided the final seat that tilted the Senate to Democratic control. On his sixty-fifth birthday, he announced that he will not seek re-election in 2012, saying that he does not want to spend his whole life in politics, and that he wants to return to the private sector. Webb is also an author of many books, stating that "I've written for a living all my life, so writing is as much a part of me as working out."
Jim Webb was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri, to James Henry Webb and his wife Vera Lorraine (née Hodges). He grew up in a military family, descended from Scots-Irish immigrants from Ulster who emigrated in the 18th century to the British North American colonies.
After graduating from high school in Bellevue, Nebraska, he attended the University of Southern California on a Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship from 1963–1964 (and was a member of Delta Chi). In 1964, Webb earned appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. At Annapolis, Webb was a member of the Brigade Honor Committee. He also won a varsity letter for boxing, at one point fighting a match against Oliver North, which was won by North on decision. He graduated in 1968, in the same class with North, Dennis C. Blair, Michael Mullen, and Michael Hagee. After graduating from Annapolis, Webb was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. As a first lieutenant during the Vietnam War he served as a platoon commander with Delta Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marines. He earned a Navy Cross, the second highest decoration in the Navy and Marine Corps for heroism in Vietnam. Webb also earned the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. Webb attended Georgetown Law Center from 1972 to 1975, graduating with a Juris Doctor degree.
Webb has been married three times, has four grown children, as well as a young child with his current wife Hong Le, and is stepfather to Le's child from a previous marriage.His first marriage was to Barbara Samorajczyk, a member of the Anne Arundel County, Maryland Council. They divorced in 1979. They have one daughter, Amy Hogan, who was eight at the time of the divorce.His second marriage was to health-care lobbyist Jo Ann Krukar in 1981 who also assisted in his 2006 Senate campaign. They have three children: Sarah, Jimmy, and Julia. Jimmy Webb is a rifleman and Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, and served a tour in Iraq with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion 6th Marines.
In tribute to Jimmy Webb and "all the people sent into harm's way", Webb wore his son's old combat boots every day during his 2006 Senate campaign.Webb is now married to Hong Le Webb, a Vietnamese-American securities and corporate lawyer. Hong Le Webb was born in South Vietnam and escaped to the United States when she was seven after the fall of Saigon. She grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. They first met in 1994 and started dating in 2002 when both were separated from their previous spouses. They married in 2006. Hong Le and Jim Webb have one child together, Georgia LeAnh, born 2006. Hong Le Webb also has a daughter from a previous marriage. Webb speaks Vietnamese.
United States Senate
In late 2005, a campaign to draft Webb to run for the Senate in 2006 began on the Internet. On February 7, 2006, he announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for the 2006 Senate race against incumbent Virginia Senator George Allen. The race, which at one point looked like a sure win for Allen, became one of the most watched and closest races of the 2006 elections. On November 9, 2006, after AP and Reuters projected that Webb had won the seat, Allen conceded the election. Although the margin was narrow — less than half of 1% of the total vote and therefore small enough under Virginia law to allow demanding a recount — Allen stated that he would not challenge the result. Webb, as a Democratic veteran challenger, was also considered one of the Fighting Dems. On November 15, 2006, Senate majority leader in waiting Harry Reid assigned Webb to three committees: the committees on Foreign Relations, Veterans' Affairs, and Armed Services. On January 4, 2007, Webb was sworn into the 110th U.S. Senate, accompanied by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., a fellow former Secretary of the Navy; and former Virginia Democratic Sen. Charles Robb. On August 14, 2009 Webb visited Myanmar (Burma), seeing its junta's leader, Gen. Than Shwe and also the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest. During Webb's visit with Than Shwe, Webb negotiated the release and deportation of an imprisoned American, John Yettaw. On January 27, 2010, Webb condemned Vietnam's jailing of four dissidents but urged the Obama administration not to isolate the communist nation. On February 9, 2011, Webb announced his plan to not run for reelection in 2012.
August 12th, 2011