Dennis Hastert is a former American congressman who served as the 51st Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2007, representing Illinois’s 14th congressional district from 1987 to 2007. He is the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House in history, and is the highest-ranking politician in U.S. history to have gone to prison.
Hastert grew up in rural Illinois. He graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, with a degree in economics in 1964 and obtained an education degree from Northern Illinois University three years later. From 1965 to 1981, Hastert was a high school teacher and coach.