Baron Hill (D)

Baron Hill was born and raised in Seymour, Indiana. Before he was elected to Congress in 1998, Baron ran a small business in Seymour, served his community in the Indiana General Assembly, served at the Indiana State Student Assistance Commission, and worked as a financial analyst for Merrill Lynch. Baron and his wife of 33 years, Betty Schepman Hill, still live in Seymour. Betty teaches math and social studies at Seymour Middle School. The Hills have two grown daughters, Jennifer and Cara. Their third daughter, Elizabeth recently graduated from a public school in Seymour and will be attending college in the fall.

Baron was a standout athlete at Seymour High School, setting records in basketball, football and track. Baron still holds the Indiana State record in the 100-yard dash and is Seymour High School's all-time leading basketball scorer. He won one of the highest honors any Hoosier basketball player can receive when he was named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Basketball legend Larry Bird joined Baron in the 2000 class Hall of Fame inductees.

Baron continued his education at Furman University, where he graduated with a degree in history in 1975. After college, he returned to Seymour and ran an insurance and real estate business for 15 years. He was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1982 and served there for eight years. In 1990, Baron left the Indiana legislature to run for the United States Senate and narrowly missed an upset victory. During that campaign, Baron walked the entire length of the State of Indiana, meeting and talking with Hoosiers along the way.

In 1992, then-Governor Evan Bayh named Baron the Executive Director to the Indiana State Student Assistance Commission, which helped Hoosier students' dream of attending college become an affordable reality. Baron later returned to the private sector, where he was a financial analyst for Merrill Lynch until he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1998. Baron represented Southern Indiana for three terms in Congress. He served on three committees: the House Agriculture Committee, the Armed Services Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee. As part of his duties on the House Armed Services Committee, Baron sat on the Anit-Terrorism Subcommittee and the Military Readiness Subcommittee, which among other responsibilities oversaw military installations such as Crane Navel Surface Warfare Center, located in Southern Indiana.

Drawing on his business background, Baron took the lead on budget and fiscal issues in Congress. In his third term, his colleagues selected him as Communications Co-Chair for the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 38 moderate-to-conservative Democrats who offer common-sense solutions and strongly advocate fiscal discipline. He was also an active member of the New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats who focus on economic issues like promoting a high-tech economy and job growth. In January of 2002, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), appointed Baron as one of seven Chief Deputy Whips, making him one of the highest-ranking moderate Democrats in Congress. Hill served as a middle-of-the-road voice, bringing moderate and conservative views within the Democratic Caucus to the leadership table.

In an effort to make schools safer and better learning environments, where principals and teachers know their students and parents have an active role, Baron authored the Smaller Schools, Stronger Communities Act. The bill would provide grants to local educational agencies to develop smaller schools or 'schools within schools.' Baron's legislation is based on research that concludes children learn better and are safer in schools where they feel connected to each other and to their teachers and administrators. Baron's initiative was signed into law as part of H.R. 1, President Bush's education reform bill.

Baron is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Seymour and has participated in the Elks Club, the American Red Cross, Seymour Chamber of Commerce and was the Seymour Jaycees former president. Baron was born in Seymour on June 23, 1953.

Information obtained from Baron Hill's campaign website.