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Richard Joseph “Dick” Durbin (born November 21, 1944) is the senior United States Senator from Illinois, in office since 1997. He has been the Senate Minority Whip, the second highest position in the Democratic Party leadership in the Senate, since 2015.
Durbin was born in East St. Louis, Illinois. He graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Georgetown University Law Center. Working in state legal counsel throughout the 1970s, he made an unsuccessful run for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 1978. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, representing the Springfield-based 20th congressional district. In 1996, he won election to the U.S. Senate by an unexpected 15-point margin. He has served as Senate Democratic Whip since 2005, and for a period of eight years (2007–2015) served as the Senate Majority Whip.
Senator Durbin now serves as the Senate Minority Whip following the 2014 midterm election, where the Republicans gained a majority in the U.S. Senate. Durbin recently won reelection in the 2014 midterm election, beating his Republican opponent, Jim Oberweis, by a margin of 53.55% to 42.69%.