Tom Harkin is a product of small town Iowa who has not forgotten his origins. He was born November 19, 1939 to a coal miner father and a Slovenian immigrant mother who passed away when Tom was ten years old. Tom, his three brothers and two sisters and their parents shared a two-bedroom home in Cumming, Iowa. It remains his home today. Tom is a fourth generation Iowan, a father, grandfather, a Navy veteran, and a graduate of Iowa State University.
Tom served in the House of Representatives for ten years and, in 1984, challenged an incumbent Senator and won. Iowans returned him to the U.S. Senate in 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008.