Jim Webb is a decorated former Marine Corps officer turned politician who most recently served as the United States Senator from Virginia from January 2007 to January 2013.
Webb is also an accomplished journalist, author, and filmmaker. One of his most notable productions is the movie ‘Rules of Engagement’ (2000) which starred seasoned Hollywood actors Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson.
Jim Webb was born James Henry Webb Jr., the second child but first son out of the four children of Vera Lorraine Hodges and James Henry Webb Sr. on the 9th of February 1946 in St. Joseph, Missouri.
As a child, Webb and his family moved around a lot, living in various states such as Missouri, Illinois, Texas, California, Virginia, Alabama, and Nebraska, as well as overseas in England, due to his father’s work with the United States Air Force. This also meant that Webb attended dozens of schools across all those locations.
He, however, graduated from a high school in Bellevue, Nebraska before attending the University of Southern California (USC) on a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship. After USC, Webb was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where after graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He also received a number of commendations, including the Superintendent’s Letter of Outstanding Leadership.
Webb went on to attend the Marine Corps Officer Basic School where he was the best graduating student. He went on to fight in the Vietnam War, during which he was promoted to first lieutenant. He was also awarded the second highest decoration in the Navy and Marine Corps, the Navy Cross, for his display of heroism in the war.
Other awards and recognition he received during his military service include the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts.
After Vietnam, Jim Webb was posted to the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia where he worked as an instructor for the Officer Candidates School. Later on, he held the post of Secretary of the Navy’s office until he was medically retired from active duty due to complications from injuries he sustained during the war.
The now Marine Corps veteran went on to get a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University in 1975. He also wrote his first book during this time, before getting a job as a staff on the House Committee on Veteran Affairs while also doing pro-bono cases for other vets.
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. In 2006, after switching to the Democratic Party, he was elected a United States Senator and was assigned to the Foreign Relations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Armed Services Committees.
Jim Webb chose to not seek re-election to his Senate seat in 2012 so he could focus on other things. In 2016, he announced he would run for President through the Democratic Party but after failing to garner enough support, he withdrew his candidacy.
He has since then continued his work as a writer, writing for many national journals including 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 got married in October 2005 and have one child together, a daughter named Georgia who was born in December 2006.
Webb has a total of six children. His first child is daughter Amy who he had with Barbara Samorajczyk, his first wife. He went on to have three other 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 planes during World War II and the Berlin airlift before pioneering the Air Force missile program and later serving as commanding officer of the 1001st Missile Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Webb was the first Naval Academy graduate to serve as Secretary of the Navy. He later resigned from the position after refusing to agree to President Reagan’s decision to reduce the size of the Navy.
Jim Webb wrote an article titled “Women Can’t Fight” in 1979 which has been said to have contributed to an atmosphere of hostility and harassment towards women at the US Naval Academy.
During the reception for newly elected members of Congress at the White House, Webb declined 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 be a member of the US Marine Corps.