Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

U.S. secretary of education

Lamar Alexander was born in Maryville, Tennessee, where he was raised, to Genevra Floreine (Rankin) and Andrew Lamar Alexander. In high school he was elected Governor of Tennessee Boys State. Alexander graduated with a B.A. from Vanderbilt University where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Chi Fraternity in 1962 and from the New York University School of Law in 1965. After graduating from law school, Alexander clerked for United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit judge John Minor Wisdom in New Orleans from 1965 to 1966.

In 1969 Alexander married Honey Buhler, who grew up in Victoria, Texas, and graduated from Smith College of Massachusetts. They had met during a softball game for Senate staff members; he was then a staffer for Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee while she worked for Senator John Tower of Texas. Together they have four children: Drew, Leslee, Kathryn, and Will.

He is also a classical and country pianist. Alexander got to put these talents on display in April 2007 when he played piano on singer Patti Page's re-recording of her 1950 hit "Tennessee Waltz." He appeared on the record at the invitation of record executive Mike Curb. Alexander and Page then performed the song live at an April 4 fundraiser for his Senatorial re-election campaign in Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

He is a member of Sons of the Revolution.

Lamar Alexander
Landon Lecture
Oct. 7, 1992