Robert O’Rourke, more commonly known by his nickname Beto O’Rourke, is a rising politician in the Democratic party who rose to stardom after unsuccessfully challenging incumbent Ted Cruz in the Texas State Senate race. O’Rourke previously served in the United States House of Representatives and is currently a 2020 presidential candidate as part of a crowded field.
“I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us,” O’Rourke said in a video announcing his candidacy.
I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you're in: https://t.co/EKLdkVET2u pic.twitter.com/lainXyvG2n
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2019
Everything you need to know about the rising political star and presidential candidate can be seen below.
Beto O’Rourke Ethnicity & Heritage
Robert Francis O’Rourke is of Irish and Welsh ancestry. O’Rourke was born in El Paso, Texas to Pat Francis O’Rourke and Melissa Martha Williams. O’Rourke’s family gave Robert the nickname “Beto,” which is a common Spanish nickname for first names that end in “-berto,” like Roberto. Because of the overwhelming Spanish community in the El Paso area, Beto’s name was very common. O’Rourke is fluent in Spanish.
Beto O’Rourke Bio
Born: September 26, 1972
Robert Francis O’Rourke was born on September 26, 1972, at Hotel Dieu Hospital in El Paso, Texas. His father served as County Commissioner and County Judge in El Paso, while also serving as a state chairman on Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns. His mother is the stepdaughter of Fred Korth, who served under John F. Kennedy as Secretary of the Navy. She was the owner of a furniture store.
O’Rourke served as a congressional intern for U.S. Congressman Ron Coleman. O’Rourke went to college at Columbia University and was co-captain of the rowing team. He graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature. While at Columbia, O’Rourke was in a band named Foss where he played bass. The drummer for his band was Cedric Bixler-Zalava, who went on to be a vocalist for At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta.
As a politician, O’Rourke served in the United States House of Representatives where he served Texas’ 16th District. After serving in the House and on multiple committees, O’Rourke unsuccessfully challenged Ted Cruz in the state Senate race, but he made it a close call and rose to national prominence.
On Wednesday, March 13, O’Rourke officially announced his candidacy for the presidency.