Bob Corker grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended public schools, played sports, and from an early age learned to love and value hard work. At the age of 13, Bob took his first job lining baseball fields. When not in school or on the field, he spent the remainder of his teenage years bagging ice, working at the Western Auto and putting in long hours as a construction laborer.
Bob graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1974 with a degree in Industrial Management, and after working four years as a construction superintendent, he started his own construction company with $8,000. The company grew as it quickly gained a reputation for meeting deadlines on time and under budget and eventually expanded to operations in 18 states. Over time, Bob’s business interests evolved to acquiring and developing commercial real estate.
After traveling with his church on a mission trip to Haiti in his late twenties, Bob began to take a closer look at needs in his own community. He led the creation of Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, a non-profit organization that today has helped over 10,000 families secure decent, fit and affordable housing through low-interest loans and personal training in home maintenance.
In 1994, Bob was appointed Tennessee Commissioner of Finance and Administration, where he served for two years in the highest appointed office in state government. As commissioner, he tightened the state’s budget and helped move almost 40,000 Tennesseans off welfare and into jobs.
In 2001, Bob was elected mayor of Chattanooga. By applying a businessman’s focus on results, he helped transform his hometown into one of the nation’s most admired cities. He spearheaded the 21st Century Waterfront, attracted $2.1 billion in new investment and established strong business recruitment efforts, helping develop the 1,200 acre Enterprise South Industrial Park, now home to Volkswagen’s U.S. automotive production facility. He implemented merit bonus pay for teachers, which dramatically raised student achievement in some of the city’s most challenged schools and worked with local law enforcement officials to cut violent crime in half.
On November 7, 2006, Bob Corker was elected to serve the people of Tennessee in the United States Senate. He serves as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and is an active member of the Banking Committee and the Budget Committee.
Bob and his wife, Elizabeth, were married on January 10, 1987. They have two daughters, Emily Corker, Julia and her husband Justin Spickard, and one grandchild with a second on the way. The Corker family lives in Chattanooga.