Ronald Lee "Ron" Wyden (born May 3, 1949) is the senior U.S. Senator for Oregon, serving since 1996, and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1996.
Ron Wyden was born Ronald Lee Wyden in Wichita, Kansas, the son of Edith (née Rosenow) and Peter H. Wyden (1923-1998), both of whom were Jewish and had fled Nazi Germany a few years earlier. Wyden grew up in Palo Alto, California, where he was a basketball star for Palo Alto High School. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara on a basketball scholarship, and later transferred to Stanford University, where he received his B.A.
in 1971. He received a J.D. degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1974. While teaching gerontology at several Oregon universities, Wyden founded the Oregon chapter of the Gray Panthers; he led that organization from 1974 to 1980. Wyden is also the former director of the Oregon Legal Services Center for Elderly, a nonprofit law service.
In the 1980 Democratic primary, Wyden, who was just 31 years old at the time, upset incumbent Representative Bob Duncan in Oregon's 3rd congressional district.
Later that fall, Wyden easily defeated his Republican opponent, Darrell Conger. Wyden was re-elected to the House in each of the following seven elections.
Wyden was elected to a full term in 1998, and in 2004, was re-elected to another full term, receiving 64% of the vote compared to 31% for his main opponent, Republican Al King. As of April 2010, Wyden has an approval rating of 51%, with 35% disapproving.
Ron Wyden's home is in Portland, and he has an apartment in Washington, DC. He has two grown children, Adam and Lilly, by his first wife, Laurie.
Wyden married his current wife, Nancy Wyden (née Bass), co-owner of New York's Strand Bookstore, on September 24, 2005, in a ceremony performed by Rabbi Ariel Stone of Portland. On October 26, 2007, Nancy gave birth to twins, Ava Rose Wyden and William Peter Wyden. On December 16, 2010, Wyden announced that the previous month he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in its very early stage and is scheduled to undergo surgery on December 20. He said that he expects to make "a full and speedy recovery".
August 12th, 2011