January 24, 2003 – February 1, 2005
|President||George W. Bush|
|Succeeded by||Michael Chertoff|
January 17, 1995 – October 5, 2001
|Lieutenant||Mark S. Schweiker|
|Preceded by||Bob Casey|
|Succeeded by||Mark S. Schweiker|
1983 – 1995
|Preceded by||Donald A. Bailey|
|Succeeded by||Phil English|
|Born||August 26, 1945 |
Munhall, Pennsylvania, United States
Thomas Joseph Ridge (born August 27, 1945 near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives (1983–1995), Governor of Pennsylvania (1995–2001), Assistant to the President for Homeland Security (2001–2003), and the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security (2003–2005). The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the American homeland Events 41 - Gaius Caesar (Caligula, known for his eccentricity and cruel Despotism, is Assassinated by his disgruntled Year 2003 ( MMIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. Events 1327 - Teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother Queen Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. Michael B Chertoff (born November 28, 1953) is the current United States Secretary of Homeland Security, and co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act Governors Pennsylvania was one of the original Thirteen colonies, and was admitted as a state on December 12 1787 Events 38 BC - Octavian marries Livia Drusilla. 1287 - King Alfonso III of Aragon invades Minorca Year 1995 ( MCMXCV) was a Common year starting on Sunday. Events of 1995 Events 869 - The Fourth Council of Constantinople is convened to decide about what to do about Patriarch Photius of Constantinople Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. Mark Steven Schweiker (born January 31 1953) was the governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 2001 to 2003. For other people with the same name see Robert Casey. Robert Patrick Casey Sr Mark Steven Schweiker (born January 31 1953) was the governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 2001 to 2003. The United States House of Representatives is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. Pennsylvania's twenty-first congressional district was a former congressional district in northwestern Pennsylvania. Year 1983 ( MCMLXXXIII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar) Year 1995 ( MCMXCV) was a Common year starting on Sunday. Events of 1995 Hon Donald Allen "Don" Bailey (born July 21, 1945) is an American politician and Lawyer, from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Philip Sheridan "Phil" English (born June 20, 1956) has served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives Events 1071 - Battle of Manzikert: The Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantine Army at Manzikert. Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar Munhall is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania on the west bank of the Monongahela river eight miles (13 km south of the confluence of the The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Events 479 BC - Greco-Persian Wars: Persian forces led by Mardonius are routed by Pausanias, the Spartan Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar The United States House of Representatives is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. Governors Pennsylvania was one of the original Thirteen colonies, and was admitted as a state on December 12 1787 The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by The term homeland security refers to the broad national effort by all levels of government to protect its territory from hazards both internal and external natural and man-made The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the American homeland
Born in Munhall, Pennsylvania, in Pittsburgh, USA's Steel Valley, the son of a traveling salesman and Navy veteran, he was the oldest of three children. Munhall is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania on the west bank of the Monongahela river eight miles (13 km south of the confluence of the The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern His mother's family of Rusyn nationality came from Slovakia, his father's ancestors were Irish. Rusyns (also referred to as Русины Ruthenians Ruthenes Rusins Carpatho-Rusyns and Rusnaks) are a Slavic Ethnic group that speaks Slovakia (long form Slovak Republic; Slovak:, long form, is a Landlocked country in Central Europe with a population of over five million The Irish people ( Irish: Muintir na hÉireann, na hÉireannaigh, na Gaeil) are a Western European Ethnic group who originate Ridge was raised in veterans' public housing in Erie, Pennsylvania. He was educated at St. Andrews Elementary School and Cathedral Preparatory School and did well both academically and in sports. Cathedral Preparatory School, is a male-only Roman Catholic high school in Erie Pennsylvania in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie. He earned a scholarship to Harvard College, paying his way through with construction work and graduating with honors in 1967. Harvard College is the undergraduate section and oldest school of Harvard University, a Private university in the United States founded in 1636 by the Massachusetts
After his first year at the Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant during the Vietnam War. The Dickinson School of Law (also known as Penn State Dickinson or Penn State Law) is the law school of The The United States Army is a military organization whose primary mission is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities. For the Brush-footed butterfly Species, see Athyma selenophora. The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, or the Vietnam Conflict, occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia He earned the Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration which may be awarded for bravery acts of merit or meritorious service The National Defense Service Medal is a military decoration of the United States military originally commissioned by President Dwight D The Vietnam Service Medal is a military award which was created in 1965 by order of President Lyndon B The Vietnam Campaign Medal is a military recognition awarded by the Republic of Vietnam, (also known as South Vietnam) to any member of the United States Australian The Vietnam Gallantry Cross is a military decoration of South Vietnam which wasestablished in August 1950. The Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB is an award of the United States Army which is presented to those officers warrant officers and enlisted soldiers in the grade Later he was offered a position as an officer but turned it down when he learned that it would require an extra year of service. An officer is a member of an armed force who holds a position of authority
A ruptured appendix cut short his tour and he returned home in 1970; service also aggravated a childhood ear infection. Since then Ridge has had a hearing aid in his left ear. Deafness forces him to lean in close and listen intently to whoever is speaking to him.
After returning to Pennsylvania, he completed his Juris Doctor (J. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern Juris Doctor (abbreviated JD or JD, from the Latin, Teacher of Law) is a first professional graduate degree and Professional D. ) degree at the Dickinson School of Law, graduating in 1972, and entered private practice. The Dickinson School of Law (also known as Penn State Dickinson or Penn State Law) is the law school of The
He became Assistant District Attorney in Erie County, Pennsylvania in 1980 and prosecuted 86 cases in two years. Erie County is a County located in the US state of Pennsylvania. In 1982 he successfully ran for northwestern Pennsylvania's seat in Congress, and was re-elected six times. The United States House of Representatives is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. Ridge was notable as the first enlisted Vietnam combat veteran elected to the U. Vietnam (ˌviːɛtˈnɑːm Việt Nam) officially S. House. As of 2006, Ridge has never lost an election for public office. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar.
In 1994, despite being little-known outside of northwest Pennsylvania, Ridge ran for governor of Pennsylvania, winning the election as a pro-choice Republican. Overview See also Ethical aspects of abortion Pro-choice advocates emphasize their beliefs that having a child is a personal choice that affects a woman's body and He was reelected in 1998 with 57 percent of the vote in a four-way race. Ridge's share of the vote was the highest for a Republican governor in Pennsylvania (where Democrats outnumber Republicans by almost 500,000) in more than half a century.  Ridge served as Governor until his resignation to become the Director of Homeland Security in 2001.
As governor, he promoted "law and order" policies, supporting a three-strikes law and a faster death penalty process. In Politics, law and order refers to a political platform which supports a strict Criminal justice system especially in relation to Violent crime Capital punishment, the death penalty or execution, is the Killing of a person by judicial process as Punishment. A death penalty supporter, Ridge signed more 224 execution warrants – five times the number signed over a 25-year period by the two previous governors – and oversaw three executions. A total of 3 individuals convicted of murder have been executed by the commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 1976 On social issues, he opposed gay marriage, and, in spite of being a Roman Catholic, is pro-choice on abortion issues. Same-sex marriage (also referred to as gay marriage) is a term for a legally or Socially recognized Marriage between two people of the same Overview See also Ethical aspects of abortion Pro-choice advocates emphasize their beliefs that having a child is a personal choice that affects a woman's body and An
The Governor nominated Dr. Peter J. Jannetta to be his secretary of health. Dr. Jannetta was known to the governor to have testified perjuriously in Court, the Pennsylvania Superior Court stating, "We have little difficulty in concluding that Dr. Jannetta's testimony at deposition was different than, or inconsistent with, the testimony at trial. " Levy v Jannetta, CCP Allegheny County, GD 81-7689; appeal -J. A370017/92 Levy v Jannetta et al, No. 00150 Pittsburgh, 1992. settled, 1995. " Dr. Jannetta served as Governor Ridge's health secretary for 6 months.
Over Ridge's tenure, the Commonwealth's budget grew by two to three percent per fiscal year and combined tax reductions totaled over $2 billion. Ridge created and grew a "Rainy Day" Fund balance to over $1 billion to be utilized during an economic downturn or recession.
Ridge pushed for legislation permitting competition among electric utilities and enhanced federal and state support for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). He also separated the Commonwealth's environmental regulatory and conservation programs into two new agencies; the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Ridge proposed the creation of public charter schools in Pennsylvania and in establishing alternate schools for disruptive students. Charter schools are elementary or secondary schools in the United States that receive public money but He launched new academic standards that established academic expectations for what students were expected to know in different grades. Ridge also proposed a school choice demonstration program.
Ridge oversaw a number of e-government projects including renewing drivers' licenses and vehicle registrations to viewing historical documents and library catalogs. The Commonwealth's portal won several national awards. One of the nation's first electronic grant systems was put into place at the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Ridge also created the Link-to-Learn initiative to increase the effective use of technology in public schools and universities.
Ridge served as a close advisor to GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush, a close friend from their simultaneous tenures as governors, during the 2000 presidential campaign. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. In return, Bush named Ridge to his short list for possible running mates, along with New York Governor George Pataki, Michigan Governor John Engler, Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, former Missouri Senator John Danforth, and former American Red Cross President Elizabeth Dole. George Elmer Pataki (born June 24, 1945) is an American politician who was the 53rd Governor of New York serving three consecutive John Mathias Engler (born October 12, 1948) is an American Politician. Francis Anthony "Frank" Keating (born February 10, 1944) is an American Politician from Oklahoma. John Claggett "Jack" Danforth (born September 5, 1936) is a former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and former Republican The American Red Cross (also known as the American National Red Cross) is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance disaster relief and education inside Mary Elizabeth Hanford "Liddy" Dole (born July 29 1936 is an American politician who served in both the Ronald Reagan and George H 
However, Bush selected the man who was in charge of leading his search for the vice presidential nominee, former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, to be his running mate. Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney (born January 30 1941 is the forty-sixth and current Vice President of the United States.
Ridge was also reportedly Colin Powell's choice to be Secretary of Defense in Bush's new cabinet. Colin Luther Powell, KCB (Honorary MSC, (born April 5, 1937) is a retired General in the United States Army. The United States Secretary of Defense ( SECDEF) is the head of the U With his reputation as a former Congressman and a strong administrator as governor, in addition to his friendship with Bush and Powell, he was seen as a frontrunner for the post. But after much decrying by conservatives over his lack of defense experience, particularly by Republican primary candidate Gary Bauer, who decried Ridge as a "peacenik-type of congressman during the Reagan years" and Robert Novak who wrote of Ridge's lack of defense experience and his opposition to the Strategic Defense Initiative. Gary Lee Bauer (born May 4 1946, Covington Kentucky) is a neoconservative American Politician notable for his ties to Robert David Sanders "Bob" Novak (born February 26, 1931) is a Conservative American political commentator syndicated columnist and journalist The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI was a proposal by US President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983 to use ground and space-based systems to protect There was also rumored to be a lot of animosity regarding the nomination between Powell and Dick Cheney regarding Ridge. With all of this Ridge promptly took his name out of the running and Donald Rumsfeld was eventually named as defense secretary. Donald Henry Rumsfeld (born July 9 1932 is a United States Businessman, Politician, the 13th Secretary of Defense under President
Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, U. S. President George W. Bush created the Office of Homeland Security within the White House, and named Ridge to head it. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. The charge to the nation's new director of homeland security was to develop and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to strengthen the United States against terrorist threats or attacks. In the words of President George W. Bush, he had the strength, experience, personal commitment and authority to accomplish this critical mission. Ridge formally resigned as Pennsylvania's governor on October 5, 2001. Events 869 - The Fourth Council of Constantinople is convened to decide about what to do about Patriarch Photius of Constantinople Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar.
In January 2003 and after the passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Office of Homeland Security split into a Cabinet-level Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House Homeland Security Advisory Council. The United States Cabinet (usually simplified as "the Cabinet" is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the Executive branch of the Federal government See also United States Department of Homeland Security The Homeland Security Advisory Council is part of the Executive Office of the President Ridge left the White House and became the first Secretary of Homeland Security. The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the American homeland The Department's Mission "is to (A) prevent terrorist attacks within the United States; (B) reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism; and (C) minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States" (From H. R. 5005-8 the Homeland Security Act of 2002). The newly created Department was the most comprehensive reorganization of the Federal government since the National Security Act of 1947. The National Security Act of 1947, Pub L No 235 80 Cong 61 Stat The Department of Homeland Security consolidates 22 agencies and 180,000 employees, unifying once-fragmented Federal functions in a single agency dedicated to protecting America from terrorism. Ridge worked with the employees from combined agencies to strengthen borders, provide for intelligence analysis and infrastructure protection, improve the use of science and technology to counter weapons of mass destruction, and to create a comprehensive response and recovery division. 
On November 30, 2004, he submitted his resignation to the President, saying, "After more than 22 consecutive years of public service, it is time to give personal and family matters a higher priority. Events 1700 - Battle of Narva — A Swedish army of 8500 men under Charles XII defeats "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " "
Ridge is the founder and CEO of Ridge Global, an advisory firm in Washington, D. C. 
Ridge served on a state-appointed incident review panel which investigated the Virginia Tech massacre of April 2007. The Virginia Tech massacre was a School shooting consisting of two separate attacks approximately two hours apart on April 16 2007 that took place on the campus of 
In February 2005, Tom Ridge was named to the board of Home Depot. The Home Depot ( is an American Retailer of Home improvement and construction products and services  Ridge's compensation was expected to be about $100,000 per annum for this position.  Since April 2005, Ridge has also served on the board of Savi Technology, the primary technology provider for the wireless cargo-monitoring network for the United States Department of Defense. Savi Technology is a US -based Company that provides real-time RFID solutions for managing and securing global Supply chain assets 
In November 2006, Tom Ridge was announced as a Senior Advisor for Deloitte & Touch USA LLP. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (also branded as Deloitte) is one of the largest Professional services firms in the world and one of the Big Four auditors, along 
In November 2007, Ridge was named to serve on The Hershey Company's Executive Board. The Hershey Company ( known until April 2004 as the Hershey Foods Corporation and commonly called Hershey's, is the largest Chocolate manufacturer After several years of poor stock holding the Hershey Trust Company which is the primary share holder of the company "requested" that a change take place. The board named Ridge to the board for his knowledge of economics. 
Announced in January 2008, Tom Ridge will serve as a senior advisor to TechRadium, Inc. , a leading Texas-based security technology company that provides its patented alert and notification system, IRIS (Immediate Response Information System), to a wide range of users including municipalities, public schools and universities, utilities, and military programs. 
Tom's wife, Michele Ridge, is the former executive director of the Erie County Library System. Erie County is a County located in the US state of Pennsylvania. They have been married since 1979 and have two children: Lesley and Tommy.