|United States Senator|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2013
Serving with John Cornyn
|Preceded by||Kay Bailey Hutchison|
|3rd Solicitor General of Texas|
January 9, 2003 – May 12, 2008
|Preceded by||Julie Parsley|
|Succeeded by||James C. Ho|
Rafael Edward Cruz
December 22, 1970
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Heidi Nelson (m. 2001)
|Relatives||Rafael Cruz (father)|
|Education||Princeton University (BA)|
Harvard University (JD)
Rafael Edward Cruz (/kruːz/; born December 22, 1970) is an American politician and attorney serving as the junior United States Senator for Texas since 2013. He was the runner-up for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election.
Cruz holds degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. From 1999 to 2003, he held various government positions, serving as Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice, and as a Domestic Policy Advisor to George W. Bush during Bush's 2000 presidential campaign. Cruz served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to 2008, having been appointed by Texas Attorney General and later Governor Greg Abbott. He was the longest-serving solicitor general in Texas history and the first Hispanic American to serve in that capacity. From 2004 to 2009, Cruz was an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, where he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation.
In 2012, Cruz ran for and won the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. He is the first Hispanic American to serve as a U.S. Senator from Texas. In 2016, Cruz ran for President of the United States, winning Republican contests in 12 states before withdrawing from the race. He was reelected to the Senate in 2018, defeating Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke by a slim margin of 50.9% to 48.3% in the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history. Along with Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio, Cruz is one of three current U.S. Senators of Cuban descent.
Early life and family
Cruz was born Rafael Edward Cruz on December 22, 1970, at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta, to Eleanor Elizabeth (née Darragh) Wilson and Rafael Cruz. Eleanor Wilson was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She is of three-quarters Irish and one-quarter Italian descent, and earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Rice University in the 1950s.
Cruz's father was born and raised in Cuba. He left in 1957 to attend the University of Texas at Austin and obtained political asylum in the U.S. after his four-year student visa expired. He earned Canadian citizenship in 1973 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005.
At the time of his birth, Ted Cruz's parents had lived in Calgary for three years and were working in the oil business as owners of a seismic-data processing firm for oil drilling. Cruz has said that he is the son of "two mathematicians/computer programmers." In 1974, Cruz's father left the family and moved to Texas. Later that year, Cruz's parents reconciled and relocated the family to Houston. They divorced in 1997. Cruz has two older half-sisters, Miriam Ceferina Cruz and Roxana Lourdes Cruz, from his father's first marriage. Miriam died in 2011.