A third-generation Marylander, Ben Cardin has represented the citizens of Maryland in the U.S. Senate, and before that in the House of Representatives.
Born on October 5, 1943, Ben Cardin was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his undergraduate degree from Baltimore City College in 1961 and University of Pittsburgh in 1964. He later got his law degree from University of Maryland School of Law in 1967.
Since 1993, he has been a Commissioner on the U.S. Helsinki Commission. He has acted as the chairman of the Congress two times. He was appointed as the Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the 57-nation Organization Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly in 2015.
As a member of the Small Business Committee, Senator Cardin was involved in the extension of increased guarantees and reduced fees in the Small Business Administration’s two largest loan programs. He has supported providing access to credit for qualified small businesses, as well as growing access to contracts for women, minority or veteran owned businesses.
He advocated for the Affordable Care Act. He was involved in the fight for a Patients’ Bill of Rights and was responsible for the elevation of the National Institute for Minority Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.
In his first four years in the Senate, he was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is currently the lead sponsor of legislation to restrict racial profiling by law enforcement, restore voting rights for former convicts, and get rid of the deadline for ratification of the Equal Right Amendment. He has sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
From 1987-2006, Ben Cardin represented Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives and worked for seventeen years on the Ways & Means Committee. He was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967-1986. When he was a Speaker from 1979 to 1986, he improved the school financing formula, Maryland’s property tax system and the moral standards for elected officials.
Ben lives with his wife Myra Edelman, a teacher, and his daughter.