Paul G. Kirk, Jr. was appointed U.S. Senator from Massachusetts on September 24, 2009 by Governor Deval Patrick to take the seat vacated by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts). He took the oath of office on September 25, 2009.
Senator Kirk's engagement in public service dates back to 1965, when he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He helped direct the 1966 Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign of Kenneth P. O'Donnell, former White House Chief of Staff to President John F. Kennedy. He also worked in Washington, D.C. on Senator Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 Presidential campaign and on the United States Senate staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy from 1969 to 1977. Three years later, Senator Kirk served as National Political Director of Edward M. Kennedy's 1980 Presidential Campaign.
From 1985 to 1989, Senator Kirk served as Chairman of the Democratic Party of the United States, having served from 1983 to 1985 as its Treasurer. From 1992 to 2001 he also served as Chairman of the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs, a non-governmental organization dedicated to the expansion and strengthening of democracy worldwide.
Senator Kirk's not-for-profit activities have included serving as Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation (since 1992), and as Co-Chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates (since 1987). He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate and is a Trustee Emeritus of Stonehill College, on whose Board he served for many years. He was also a Trustee of long standing at St. Sebastian's School, from which he graduated in 1956. He is a past Chairman of the Harvard University Board of Overseers' Nominating Committee.
Senator Kirk previously served as a practicing attorney and Partner at the law firm of Sullivan & Worcester, and as Chairman of Kirk & Associates, Inc.
In 1999, Mr. Kirk was recognized for his leadership of a civic and political effort that enabled the New England Patriots to construct their new stadium in Foxboro, MA and keep the NFL franchise in Massachusetts.
Mr. Kirk is a 1960 graduate of Harvard College, where he majored in Government, played varsity football and received his ROTC commission as an officer in the U.S. Army. He is a 1964 graduate of Harvard Law School. He is a recipient of Honorary Degrees from Stonehill College and Southern New England School of Law.
Senator Kirk was born in 1938, grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, and is the son of the Honorable Paul G. Kirk, Sr., a distinguished jurist who served on both the Massachusetts Superior Court and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Senator Kirk and his wife, Gail Kirk, reside in Marstons Mills, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.