American politician and Democrat, Beto O’rourke represented Texas 16th District from 2013 to 2019. He however, garnered widespread fame following his senatorial challenge of Ted Cruz, and his bid for the US 2020 presidential race as a Democratic candidate. With his far-reaching door-to-door campaign style and record-breaking fundraisers, Beto has endeared himself to many hearts across America and the entire globe. Meanwhile, O’rourke is not only a politician, but he is also a versatile businessman, musician, and author.
Beto O’rourke Biography (Age, Ethnicity)
He was born as Robert Francis O’Rourke on September 26, 1972, in El Paso, Texas, United States. He is American by nationality but of mixed ethnicity comprising Irish-Welsh decent. As a baby, his parents nicknamed him “Beto”, a Spanish pet variant for names that ended in “-berto”.
Beto O’rourke grew up in El Paso where he attended the Escuela Montessori Del Valle preschool, Rivera Elementary School and Mesita Elementary School. On completing his elementary education, he enrolled at the El Paso High School. He, however, spent only two years there before moving to the Woodberry Forest School in Madison County, Virginia. Growing up, O’rourke was a socially shy and awkward kid. However, frequently accompanying his father to political events made him unconsciously develop leadership skills and passion for politics.
O’rourke was a bit rough as a teenager, belonging to the Cult of the Dead Cow, a computer hacker group that devised tools that aided computer hacking. As a member of the Dead Cow Cult, Beto stole phone services as well as used his literary talent to write socially unacceptable poems. Even as a young adult, he experienced arrests on two different occasions. The first was in 1995 for trespassing in a physical plant with a group of friends while the second was in 1998 for driving under the influence – actions that he has openly said he now regrets.
On graduating from Woodberry, Beto proceeded to the Columbia University in New York City where he earned a Bachelor of Art’s degree in English Literature in 1995. As an undergraduate, Beto was a co-captain of the university’s boat rowing crew. He was also a member of “Foss”, a post-hardcore music band where he played the bass guitar. He later belonged to other bands including “Swedes”, “Fragile Gang” and “The Sheeps”.
Business and Political Career
After his university education, Beto O’rourke delved into business, mainly investing in real estate. He also worked in a variety of positions for different firms, including his mother’s furniture shop. He however, got his first full-time job at the H.W. Wilson Publishing Company where he worked as a proofreader. Although he is an English Literature graduate, Beto’s works usually revolve around computer technology including software and web designing. In 2000, he established an internet and software service company in El Paso which he named Stanton Street Technology Group.
In addition to profitable businesses, O’rourke was also committed to civic and non-profit organisations. Some of the groups he was involved with include the Rotary Club, Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, and United Way. He was also a board member of the Institute for Policy and Economic Development as well as the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Beto O’rourke began his political career in 2005 when he became elected to the El Paso City Council. On leaving the council in 2011, he won the representative seat for Texas’ 16th congressional district late in 2012, retaining the position until 3rd January 2019. During the 2018 representative/senatorial elections, O’rourke competed against Republican Senator Ted Cruz, losing the election with a narrow margin of only 2.6%. He would have become the first Democrat to represent Texas in the Senate for 30 years, had he won the election. Few months after his loss, precisely on 14th March 2019, Beto launched his campaign for the 2020 US presidential seat.
In 2011, Beto O’rourke co-authored Dealing Death and Drugs alongside Susie Byrd.
Beto O’rourke married Amy Hoover Sanders, daughter of Texas real estate mogul on September 24, 2005, few months after he won a spot in the El Paso City Council. The wedding took place at the latter’s family ranch in Lamy, New Mexico. The couple met ten months earlier on a blind date set up by a friend.
Amy Sanders studied Psychology, and is a teacher and educationist by profession. Among her numerous other ventures, Amy served as the president of Beto’s Stanton Street Technology Company from 2013. She however, relinquished the position in 2017 to devote more time to her husband’s political cause. Interestingly, Amy’s father, Bill Sanders was the one who introduced Beto’s mother to his father after previously dating her.
Beto has three children with his wife – two boys and a girl named Ulysses, Henry and Molly respectively. The family of five resides in El Paso, Texas.
About his biological family, Beto O’rourke comes fromCatholiclic and political family. With two younger sisters, Beto is the first child and only son of his parents, Melissa Martha and Patrick “Pat” Francis O’Rourke. While his father was a politician/public office holder in the El Paso County, his mother managed a high-end furniture shop. Most prominent among Pat O’rourke’s political offices were El Paso County Commissioner (1978-1982) and El Paso County Judge (1982-1986).
Unfortunately, Beto’s father, a cycling lover died in a road accident on the 3rd day of July, 2001. It happened that a car hit him from behind while he was riding on his bicycle. Thrown about 70 feet by the accident, he sustained severe head injuries which claimed his life at the spot.
In 2015, Beto O’rourk’s net worth was estimated at $9 million. Contributing to O’rourke’s wealth are his investments in finance, insurance and real estate. In addition, his Stanton Street Company, his salary as a congressman as well as some property inheritance from his family. He also co-owns a shopping mall worth millions of dollars.
Beto O’rourke stands tall at an imposing height of 6 feet 4 inches, an equivalent of 1.93 meters.