On Dec. 21, President Obama looks to nominate John Kerry for the next Secretary of State. As John Kerry waits for the Senate to confirm the start of a new chapter in his very long and industrious career, we take a look back at his time in public service.Click through for some snapshots of the career of the US Senator from Massachusetts. Next
After John Kerry came home from the Vietnam War, he began to speak out against the war. Kerry was the first Vietnam War veteran to testify to Congress against the war. He is pictured at a meeting of the Foreign Relations Committee in Washington in April 22, 1971, famously asking lawmakers, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”
Kerry also participated in an Operation POW march organized by Vietnam Veterans Against War on Memorial Day weekend of 1971. His arrest led to positive national coverage for the group. Next
John Kerry lost a congressional election to Paul W. Cronin. Next
Kerry earned his juris doctorate from Boston College. Next
After graduating from Boston College and passing the bar exam, Kerry went to work as a prosecutor for the Middlesex County district attorney. Next
Kerry re-entered politics in 1982 and was elected lieutenant governer of Massachusetts with Michael Dukakis as governor. While in office, Kerry organized the nation’s governors to combat acid rain. Next
Kerry ran for the US Senate seat when Paul Tsongas stepped down. He went on to win against Ray Shamie and was sworn in to office in January 1985.
Kerry is currently serving his fourth term as a US senator from Massachusetts. Next
Shortly after entering the Senate, John Kerry went on a fact-finding mission to Nicaragua and presented his findings to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The committee went on to investigate the Contra guerrillas and their connection to drug trafficking in the United States, which resulted in the Iran-Contral scandal, a scheme that diverted profits from illegal arms sales to Iran to support the Contras.
Kerry is pictured calling for a subpoena of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North’s handwritten diaries in order to investigate connections between the Contra resupply network and narcotics trafficking. Next
John Kerry ran for president in 2004, but lost to George W. Bush by a very slim margin.
He is pictured here with his running mate, John Edwards. Next
In 2002, Kerry sponsored the bipartisan US Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act. The legislation was unanimously approved by the Senate and became the foundation of the global AIDS legislation that was passed by Congress and signed by President Bush. In 2008 the Senate passed Kerry’s legislation to repeal a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act that barred HIV positive individuals from entering the United States, including HIV positive doctors and experts as well as refugees seeking asylum.
He is pictured making a statement on AIDS/HIV during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill on June 23, 2009. Next
In September 2009, Kerry introduced the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act with Senator Barbara Boxer. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed the bill in November, making it the only comprehensive climate bill to pass through committee in the 110th Congress.
John Kerry, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, spoke with a Chinese officials while in Beijing for Climate Control meetings in May 2009. Next
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
John Kerry has been active in foreign affairs throughout his career. In 1992, as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, he sponsored a resolution with Senator John McCain that called for an end to the trade embargo against Vietnam.
As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Kerry is pictured holding a hearing on Iraq and how to transition to a civilian government after years of war and military control on Feb. 1, 2011. Back to the beginning
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below