Congressman Jim Cooper was born and raised in Tennessee and lives in Nashville. His wife of nearly 36 years, Martha, passed away February 4, 2021. They have three children and one grandchild.
He represents Tennessee’s 5th Congressional district, which consist of Nashville and Dickson and Cheatham counties. He is chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee that oversees the nation’s nuclear installations and satellites and a member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform and Committee on Budget. A lawyer by training, he also taught health policy at Vanderbilt University’s business school for two decades and is a recognized budget expert.
He’s known as a moderate and a proud “nerd.” A New York Times columnist called him “the House’s conscience, a lonely voice for civility in this ugly era” and a “tart-tongued moderate” who “seeks bipartisanship on fiscal matters and other issues in a polarized political climate.” USA Today named him one of the “Brave 38” of a “tiny band of heroes” in Congress for his work on a bipartisan budget plan.
He is a strong advocate of voting rights. In recent years, he has worked to increase voter registration in Tennessee, a state that’s consistently ranked last in voter participation.