Who Is Beto O’Rourke?

History Club

Robert, or Beto, O’Rourke, was born in El Paso, Texas in 1972, where he resides today with his wife and three children. He graduated from Columbia University in 1993, where he was captain of the mens heavyweight crew team. After graduation, O’Rourke was a guitarist for a rock band and was once arrested for burglary and DUI charges, but went on to found a successful Internet service company in El Paso in 1999. He eventually ventured into politics when he was elected to El Paso’s City Council, serving from 2005-2011.

In 2012, he was elected to the House of Representatives to serve Texas’ 16th district and went on to serve three terms. He then ran against incumbent Ted Cruz for Texas Senate in the most recent Midterm elections. Even though he ended up losing by a couple percentage points, his race garnered a lot of attention as O’Rourke fought for more traditionally progressive policies such as gun control, universal healthcare, and marijuana legalization in a historically conservative state. While he hasn’t announced that he plans to run for President yet, many across the country eagerly await his candidacy.


This piece also appears in our January 2019 print edition.