Jim Webb is a decorated former Marine Corps officer who became a politician and most recently served as the United States Senator from January 2007 to January 2013.
Webb is also an accomplished journalist, author, and filmmaker. One of his most remarkable productions is the film “Rules of Engagement” (2000), in which the experienced Hollywood actors Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson played the leading roles.
Jim Webb was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, on February 9, 1946, as the second child, but the first son of the four children of Vera Lorraine Hodges and James Henry Webb Sr.
As a child, Webb and his family traveled extensively and lived in various states including Missouri, Illinois, Texas, California, Virginia, Alabama, and Nebraska, and overseas in England due to his father’s work with the U.S. Air Force. This also meant that Webb attended dozens of schools in all these places.
He did, however, graduate from high school in Bellevue, Nebraska, before attending the University of Southern California (USC) on a scholarship from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. After USC, Webb was called to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he was assigned to the United States Naval Corps as a Second Lieutenant after graduation. He also received a number of awards, including a Letter of Outstanding Leadership from the Superintendent.
Webb then attended the Marine Corps’ Elementary School, where he was the best graduate. He then fought in the Vietnam War, during which he was promoted to lieutenant. He was also awarded the second-highest decoration of the Marine and Naval Corps, the Navy Cross, for his heroism during the war.
Other awards and recognitions he received during his military service include the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts.
After Vietnam, Jim Webb was transferred to the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, where he worked as an instructor for the Officer Candidate School. He later served as Navy Secretary until he was medically retired from active duty due to complications resulting from injuries he suffered during the war.
The current Marine Corps veteran received a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University in 1975. It was also during this time that he wrote his first book before being offered a position on the House of Representatives’ Veterans Affairs Committee while working on pro bono cases for other veterinarians.
In the 1980s Jim Webb joined the Republican Party and served in President Ronald Regan’s administration as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs and then as Secretary of the Navy. After joining the Democratic Party, he was elected United States Senator in 2006 and was assigned to the Foreign Relations, Veterans Affairs, and Armed Services Committees.
Jim Webb decided not to seek reelection to his Senate seat in 2012 so he could focus on other things. In 2016 he announced that he would run for president through the Democratic Party, but withdrew his candidacy after he did not receive enough support.
Since then, he has continued his work as a writer, writing for many national magazines such as The Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Jim Webb’s Family – His Wife and Children
Jim Webb is married to a Vietnamese-American lawyer, Hong Le Webb. The couple married in October 2005 and have one child, a daughter named Georgia, born in December 2006.
Webb has a total of six children. His first child is his daughter Amy, who he had with Barbara Samorajczyk, his first wife. After that, he had three more children: Sarah, Jimmy, and Julia with his second wife Jo Ann Krukar.
Other Facts You Need to Know
Jim Webb’s father, James Henry Webb Sr., had a very long and successful career in the United States Air Force. He flew aircraft during World War II and the Berlin Airlift before becoming a pioneer in the Air Force’s missile program and later served as commander of the 1001st Rocket Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Webb was the first graduate of the Naval Academy to serve as Secretary of the Navy. He later resigned from this post after refusing to agree to President Reagan’s decision to reduce the size of the Navy.
Jim Webb wrote an article entitled “Women Can’t Fight” in 1979, which allegedly contributed to an atmosphere of hostility and harassment against women at the US Naval Academy.
During the reception for newly elected congressmen at the White House, Webb refused to take a photo with President George W. Bush because he disagreed with his decision to invade Iraq.
Jim Webb’s son, Jimmy, followed in his father’s footsteps to become a member of the US Marine Corps.