Eric Ivan Cantor (pronounced /ˈkæntɚ/; born June 6, 1963) is the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 7th congressional district, serving since 2001. A member of the Republican Party, he became House Majority Leader when the 112th Congress convened on January 3, 2011. He previously served as House Minority Whip from 2009 to 2011.
His district includes most of the northern and western sections of Richmond, along with most of Richmond's western suburbs and portions of the Shenandoah Valley. Cantor is the only Jewish Republican currently serving in Congress.
Cantor, the second of three children, was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Mary Lee (née Hudes), a schoolteacher, and Eddie Cantor, who owned a real estate firm. His paternal family immigrated from Eastern Europe in the early 1900s and his maternal grandfather was born in Romania. His father was the state treasurer for Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign. Cantor was raised in Conservative Judaism. He graduated from the Collegiate School in 1981. He enrolled at George Washington University (GW) in 1981, and as a freshman he worked as an intern for House Republican Tom Bliley of Virginia and was Bliley's driver in the 1982 campaign. Cantor was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity while at GW and received his Bachelor of Arts in 1985 He earned a Juris Doctor degree from William & Mary Law School in 1988, and received a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from Columbia University in 1989.