||Prior to his appointment, Vilsack served two terms as the Governor of Iowa, the first Democrat elected to that office in more than 30 years. In that role, and as a state senator and the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
Vilsack was born into an orphanage and adopted in 1951. He received a bachelor's degree from Hamilton College in 1972 and earned his law degree from Albany Law School in 1975. Following school, he and his wife Christie moved to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa - her hometown - where he practiced law. The Vilsacks have two adult sons, Jess and Doug; a daughter-in-law, Kate, who's married to Jess; and one grandchild.