Richard Joseph "Dick" Durbin (born November 21, 1944) is the senior United States Senator from Illinois and the Senate Majority Whip, the second highest position in the Democratic Party leadership in the Senate.
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 1970s, he made an unsuccessful run for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 1978. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, representing the Springfield-based 20th congressional district. In 1996 he won election to the U.S. Senate by an unexpected 15-point margin. He has served as Senate Democratic Whip since 2005, and assumed his current title when the Democratic Party obtained a majority in 2007. As a member of the Democratic leadership, he has a record as one of the most liberal members of Congress.
Durbin was born in East St. Louis, Illinois to an Irish-American father, William Durbin, and a Lithuanian-born mother, Ann Kutkin (Lithuanian: Ona Kutkaitė). He graduated from Assumption High School in East St. Louis in 1962. During his high school years he worked at a meatpacking plant. He earned a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1966. He was an intern in the office of Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois during his senior year in college. Durbin earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1969 and was admitted to the Illinois bar later that year.