John Kerry Fast Facts

John Kerry was overwhelmingly confirmed Tuesday as the 68th secretary of state by his colleagues in the U.S. Senate.

Here's a look at the life of Secretary of State John Kerry.

Birth date:
December 11, 1943

Birth place: Denver, Colorado

Birth name: John Forbes Kerry

Father: Richard Kerry, a Foreign Service officer

Mother: Rosemary (Forbes) Kerry

Marriages: Teresa Heinz (1995-present); Julia Thorne (1970-1988, divorced)

Children: with Julia Thorne: Vanessa (1976), Alexandra (1973)

Education: Yale University, B.A., 1966; Boston College, J.D., 1976

Military Service: U.S. Navy, 1966-1970, Lieutenant

Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Facts:
Grew up overseas, having lived in Berlin before going to a Swiss boarding school at age 11.

After his return from Vietnam, became a leader of the group Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).

1966-1969 -
Serves in the Navy in Vietnam as a gunboat officer on the Mekong Delta, and is awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts.

1971 - Speaks to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and makes headlines at a DC protest by disposing of his medals on the Capitol lawn. Later admits that the medals had belonged to someone else.

1972 - Runs unsuccessfully for Congress, Massachusetts's Fifth District.

1976 - Is admitted to the Massachusetts State Bar.

1976-1979 - District Attorney of Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

1979-1982 - Partner in the law firm Kerry & Sragow in Boston.

1982-1984 - Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis.

1984 - Is elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate for Massachusetts.

1990 - Wins a second term in the U.S. Senate.

1996 - Re-elected to the Senate.

November 5, 2002 - Is re-elected to a fourth Senate term. He runs unopposed, and is the first Massachusetts senator in 80 years with no major party opposition.

February 12, 2003 - Has surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on his prostate gland at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. His doctors announce that the cancer had not spread, and he did not have to have radiation treatments. He is released February 15.

September 2, 2003 - Formally announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president. In his announcement speech he says that President George W. Bush is taking America "in the wrong direction."

March 11, 2004 - CNN reports that Kerry has received in the primaries the exact number of Democratic delegates to assure his nomination as the candidate for president.

July 6, 2004 - Kerry names Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) as his vice presidential running mate.

November 2, 2004 - George W. Bush is re-elected with 62,040,606 votes to Kerry's 59,028,109. Kerry gets 252 Electoral College votes, and Bush has 292.

November 3, 2004 - Calls President George W. Bush to concede the White House race, one day after the election.

November 1, 2006 - Apologizes after saying that college students needed to study hard or else they would "get stuck in Iraq."

January 24, 2007 - Announces that he will not be running for president in the 2008 election and will run for a fifth Senate term instead.

January 10, 2008 - Endorses Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race, not former running mate John Edwards.

November 4, 2008 - Wins a fifth term in the U.S. Senate.

2009-2013 - Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

June 4, 2009 - IRS files a $820,000 lien against Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign over payroll taxes.

August 2009 - Has hip surgery to address chronic pain.

August 2011 - Kerry is selected as one of twelve members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, created to work out $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction after an initial round of more than $900 billion in spending cuts.

December 21, 2012 - Is nominated to be secretary of state by President Barack Obama.

January 29, 2013 - Kerry is confirmed as the next secretary of state by the full U.S. Senate on a 94-3 vote.

February 1, 2013 - Is sworn in as the 68th secretary of state.