Charlie Crist was born in 1956 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, but his family soon settled in St. Petersburg. As a public school student Crist served as class president at St. Petersburg High School. He played football at Wake Forest University before transferring and receiving his undergraduate degree from Florida State in 1978 as well as serving as student body vice president. Crist then earned his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama.
Crist received invaluable experience in Florida's criminal justice system while interning in the State Attorney's Office before accepting a position as general counsel for the minor league division of the Baseball Commissioner's Office. Crist began his government service as state director for U.S. Senator Connie Mack before later returning to the private practice of law with the Tampa firm of Wood and Crist.
In 1992, Crist won a seat in the Florida Senate. After Crist completed his Senate service, Governor Jeb Bush appointed him as Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. In 2000, Crist won a special election and became Florida's last elected Commissioner of Education. Crist's path of public service next led him to seek election as Attorney General in 2002. He carried the general election by more than one-third of a million votes to become Florida's first elected Republican Attorney General.more » « less