Bob Menendez is an American lawyer and politician who have served as the senior United States senator from New Jersey since 2006. A member of the Democratic Party, he was initially appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor Jon Corzine. Menendez has twice chaired the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, first from 2013 to 2015 and again from 2021 to 2023.
Age- 69 years
Height- 1.73 m
Full name- Robert Menendez
Born- 1 January 1954
Birthplace- New York, New York, United States
Spouse- Nadine Arslanian (m. 2020), Jane Menendez (m. 1976–2005)
Profession- Lawyer and Politician
Previous offices-Representative, NJ 13th District (1993–2006), MORE
Office- Senator (D-NJ) since 2006
He enrolled at Union Hill High School, where his speech instructor, Gail Harper, played a pivotal role in nurturing his public speaking skills. Reflecting on this period, Menendez has expressed, “My mother and Miss Harper made me realize the significance of education, the value of prioritizing learning, putting in hard work.
During his time at Union Hill, Menendez achieved the position of student body president. His educational journey marked a significant milestone as he became the first member of his family to attend college. He pursued his higher education at Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City, where he joined the Lambda Theta Phi fraternity. Menendez graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and later earned his Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers Law School in 1979, with his legal studies based at the Newark campus.
Subsequently, Menendez was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1980, embarking on a career as a practicing attorney in private practice.
Menendez began his political career in 1974 when, at the age of 20, he was elected to the Union City School District’s Board of Education. He earned degrees from Saint Peter’s University and Rutgers Law School. In 1986, he became the mayor of Union City. While still serving as mayor, he was elected to represent New Jersey’s 33rd district in the New Jersey General Assembly in 1988. Within three years, he moved to the New Jersey Senate after winning a special election in March 1991. The following year, Menendez secured a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New Jersey’s 13th congressional district for six two-year terms, from 1993 to 2006. In January 2006, he was appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy left by Jon Corzine, who had been elected governor of New Jersey. He was subsequently elected to a full six-year term in November and was reelected in 2012 and 2018.
In 2015, Menendez faced federal corruption charges, but the jury could not reach a verdict, leading to the dropping of the charges in 2018. In April 2018, the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics “severely admonished” Menendez for accepting gifts from donor Salomon Melgen without obtaining committee approval, failing to disclose certain gifts, and using his senatorial position to advance Melgen’s interests.
Awards and honors
- West New York, New Jersey, a town bordering Robert Menendez’s childhood hometown of Union City to the north, renamed Public School No. 3 in his honor. This educational institution is now officially known as Robert Menendez Elementary School.
- The renaming ceremony took place on December 4, 2013, to commemorate Menendez’s contributions and legacy in the community.
- In 2021, Robert Menendez was honored with the Grand Cross of the Order of Honour by President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou. This prestigious award was bestowed upon him in recognition of his significant contributions to deepening Greek-US relations and promoting peace and cooperation in the broader region.
- Additionally, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades awarded Menendez the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III. This recognition was given to Menendez for his tireless efforts in promoting human rights, upholding the rule of law, and advancing democracy.
Born in New York City on January 1, 1954, Robert Menendez was the child of Cuban immigrants who had departed Cuba several months before his birth in 1953. His father, Mario Menéndez, worked as a carpenter, while his mother, Evangelina, pursued a career as a seamstress. The family later relocated to New Jersey, and Menendez spent his formative years growing up in an apartment in Union City.
In 1976, Robert Menendez entered into matrimony with Jane Jacobsen, who worked as an educator within the Union City Board of Education and the Union City Public Schools. However, their marital union came to an end, and they officially divorced in 2005.
In October 2019, Menendez’s romantic journey took a new turn as he became engaged to Nadine Arslanian, a businesswoman hailing from Bergen County. Their engagement eventually led to a joyful wedding ceremony in October 2020. Notably, Nadine Arslanian had two children from a previous marriage and had undergone her own divorce in 2005.
Menendez and Jane Jacobsen were blessed with two children during their marriage: Alicia Menendez, who has established herself as an MSNBC television commentator and host,and Rob Menendez. Rob Menendez served as the Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and, in 2022, secured a congressional seat in New Jersey’s 8th congressional district as a member of the Democratic Party.
Net Worth 2023
Senator Bob Menendez possesses a total wealth valued at $18 million.
Bob Menendez indicted on bribery charges
Bob Menendez and his wife Indicted Gold Bars and Cash Seized
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife faced indictment on Friday, with charges alleging their acceptance of bribes in the form of cash, gold bars, and a luxury car in exchange for various corrupt acts. These acts included Menendez leveraging his influence in foreign affairs to benefit Egypt’s authoritarian government.
As a consequence, Menendez, aged 69, will be required to relinquish his position as the chair of the Senate’s foreign relations committee. Senate Democratic caucus rules dictate that any member facing felony charges must step down from a leadership role.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, emphasized that the investigation was ongoing and urged individuals with relevant information to come forward promptly during a news conference detailing aspects of the government’s case.
Some of the significant allegations and details include:
- A search of the couple’s residence revealed $100,000 in gold bars and $480,000 in concealed cash, which prosecutors assert were bribes.
- The senator is accused of divulging sensitive U.S. government information to Egypt.
- He is also alleged to have ghost-written a letter on Egypt’s behalf, urging his U.S. colleagues to release $300 million in aid to Cairo.
- Nadine Arslanian Menendez received a Mercedes-Benz after her husband contacted a government official regarding a business associate’s criminal case.
Menendez vehemently denied the charges, asserting in an emailed statement that he had been falsely accused of accepting bribes and that he would not be deterred from his work in the Senate. He further claimed that undisclosed forces had consistently attempted to discredit him politically.
However, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called for Menendez’s immediate resignation, citing the seriousness of the allegations and their potential impact on the senator’s ability to serve. Additional calls for resignation came from New Jersey Representatives Andy Kim and Mikie Sherrill, among others.
Following the unsealing of the indictment, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that Menendez would step down as chairman of the Foreign Relations panel “until the matter has been resolved,” without explicitly demanding his resignation.
Read Also:Karen Andrews Biography