Official Senate portrait of John Cornyn

HONORABLE JOHN CORNYN was born on February 2, 1952 in Houston, Texas and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. A child of an active-duty U.S. Airman, Senator Cornyn attended high school in Japan. In 1973, he earned a B.A. in Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio. He then enrolled at St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio and received his J.D. in 1977. Senator Cornyn worked on the St. Mary’s Law Journal, and served as President of the Student Bar Association. After law school, he joined a private law firm where he specialized in medical malpractice suits. 

Senator Cornyn ran for State District Judge in Bexar County in 1984 and became a Judge on the Texas 37th District Court. In 1990, he was elected to the Texas Supreme Court and earned his Master of Law from the University of Virginia in 1995. 

Sen. Cornyn entered politics in 1998 and was elected Attorney General of Texas, the first Republican elected in this position since the Reconstruction period. In 2002, he was elected to the United States Senate, and in 2007, he joined the Republican Senate leadership team as Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference (2007-2009). Sen. Cornyn then served two terms as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (2009-2012).  In 2013, he became the Texas Senior Senator and served as the Minority Whip for the 113th Congress. Sen. Cornyn continues to serve as Majority Whip in the 115th Congress and sits on the Senate’s Judiciary, Finance, and Intelligence Committees (2018).  

By: Shine Trabucco, St. Mary’s University Law Fellows in Public History (2018)


  • About, John Cornyn | U.S. Senator, (last visited Nov 5, 2018). 
  • About John Cornyn, United States Senator John Cornyn, Texas (2019), (last visited Apr 25, 2019).