Richard Joseph Durbin is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Illinois since 1997. He has been the Assistant Democratic Leader, the second-highest position in the Democratic Party leadership in the Senate, since 2005, serving as Minority Whip from 2005 to 2007, Majority Whip from 2007 to 2015, and Minority Whip again since 2015.
Durbin was born in East St. Louis, Illinois. He graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Georgetown University Law Center. Working in state legal counsel throughout the 1970’s, he made an unsuccessful run for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 1978.