Christopher James "Chris" Christie (born September 6, 1962) is an American politician who is the 55th Governor of New Jersey, serving since 2010. He became the first Republican to win a statewide election in New Jersey in 12 years.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Christie is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Seton Hall University School of Law. In 1987 Christie worked as a lawyer in private practice before he was elected as a Freeholder of Morris County, New Jersey, where he served from 1995 to 1998. In 1998 Christie registered as a lobbyist, working for the legal representation firm Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci. President George W. Bush appointed Christie as the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey in 2002, serving in that position until his resignation 2008.
In January 2009, Christie filed as a candidate for Governor of New Jersey. He won the Republican Primary with 55% of the vote, and defeated incumbent Governor Jon Corzine, with 48% of the vote in the New Jersey gubernatorial election. Christie, who was seen as possible candidate in the 2012 Presidential Election but declined to run, delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Some view Christie as a leading contender for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016.
Chris Christie was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Sondra A. (née Grasso) and Wilbur James "Bill" Christie, a certified public accountant. His father is of Scottish and Irish descent and his mother was of Sicilian ancestry. He was raised in Livingston, graduating from Livingston High School in 1980. Christie graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1984 and Seton Hall University School of Law with a Juris Doctor in 1987. Christie was admitted to the New Jersey State Bar Association and the Bar of the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, in December 1987. After being elected the Governor of New Jersey, he was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Rutgers University, which is the state university of New Jersey, and from Monmouth University in 2010.
In 1986 Christie married Mary Pat Foster, a fellow student at the University of Delaware. After marriage they shared a one-room apartment in Summit, New Jersey. Mary Pat Christie pursued a career in investment banking, eventually working at the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. She left the firm in 2001 following the September 11 attacks. They have four children: Andrew (born 1993), Sarah (born 1996), Patrick (born 2000), and Bridget (born 2003). Christie and his family reside in Mendham Township.