There are probably not more than a handful of people who can proudly say that they have served in both chambers of the United States Congress, held a senior diplomatic post, and also held a cabinet-level position as Dan Coats. The longtime politician, who was most recently appointed by President Trump to serve as the 5th Director of National Intelligence, has enjoyed a distinguished career that should serve as a model to many others. Learn more about him below.
Who is Dan Coats?
Dan Coats is an American politician that was born Daniel Ray Coats on May 16, 1943, in Jackson, Michigan. His parents are Vera (Nora) Elisabeth (nee Swanlund) and Edward Raymond Coats. He is American by nationality and of English, German, and Swedish descent.
Coats received his basic education at a local public school Jackson High School, where he graduated from in 1961. He subsequently enrolled at Wheaton College in Illinois, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1965. Between 1966 and 1968, he served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers before deciding to head back to school. He went to Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 1972. During his time there, he served as the associate editor of the Indiana Law Review before going ahead to enter a life of politics.
5 Interesting Facts To Know About Dan Coasts
1. He Has Served Both in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate
Four years after earning his Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law, in 1976, Dan Coats found work as the district representative for the then-U.S. Representative from Indiana’s 4th Congressional district, Dan Quayle. He held the position for four years before deciding to run as a replacement for his boss, who had himself challenged the incumbent Senator from the state.
From January 1981 to January 1989, Coats was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana’s 4th district. He vacated his seat when he was appointed to the Senate following the resignation of his former boss, Quayle, who was at the time elected to the office of Vice President of the United States. Coats was subsequently re-elected to the Senate for a first full term before he declined to run for a second term in 1998. He, however, announced that he was going to run for his previous Senate seat in 2010. This prompted his successor and incumbent of the seat to announce his retirement a few days later. Coats went on to serve one more term as Senator before opting not to seek re-election in 2016.
2. Coats Supported the Iraq War
In the lead up to the Iraq War in 2003, Dan Coats was serving as the United States Ambassador to Germany. Through his position, he pressured the German government with threats of sanctions and worsened bilateral relations if they oppose the war that eventually led to the overthrowing of the Saddam Hussein government.
Coats held the position of Ambassador from August 15, 2001, to February 28, 2005. While his efforts to pressure Germany to support the war are well documented, he also played a key role in establishing robust relations with Angela Merkel, who was at the time the leader of the opposition.
3. He is Happily Married
For more than five decades, Dan Coats has been happily married to his wife, Marsha Coats. Marsha serves as Indiana’s female representative to the Republican National Committee. The couple was said to have met each other while in college and after a few years of relationship, they tied the knot in 1965. Together, they have three children.
4. Coats Do Not Support Same-Sex Marriage
Like every other member of the Republican party, Dan Coats does not support same-sex marriage; however, he opposes interference on people lifestyles. In 1993, the politician, who was at the time a United States Senator, emerged as a strong opponent to efforts made by his colleagues from the Democratic party and President Bill Clinton to allow LGBT individuals serve openly in the United States armed forces.
In order to make sure that people do not openly identify with their sexuality in the armed forces, he helped the Clinton administration author the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. This policy bars openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons from military service and prohibits military personnel from discriminating against or harassing closeted homosexual or bisexual service members or applicants.
5. He is a Former College Athlete and an Avid Sports Fan
Dan Coats was known for his sporting abilities in Wheaton College in Illinois. The Michigan native was said to have been a focal member of his school’s soccer team during his time there. After graduating, he became a fan of the sport, but not as huge a fan of the baseball team, the Chicago Cubs. The longtime lawmaker is a diehard fan of the Major League Baseball side, something he proved by reportedly taking his wife to a Cubs game just a day after their wedding.