John Albert Kitzhaber (born March 5, 1947) is the 37th Governor of Oregon. He served as the 35th Governor of Oregon from 1995 to 2003, and became the first person to be elected to the office three times when he was re-elected to a non-consecutive third term in 2010. Prior to becoming a politician in Oregon, he was a practicing physician. He graduated from South Eugene High School in 1965, Dartmouth College in 1969, and Oregon Health & Science University with a medical degree in 1973. Kitzhaber practiced medicine from 1973 to 1986 in Roseburg, Oregon as an emergency room physician.
Kitzhaber began his political career in 1979 as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives for one term. In 1980, he was elected to the Oregon State Senate, where he served three terms from 1981 to 1993, and he was the president of the Senate from 1985 until 1993. As Oregon Senate President, he was the chief author of the state's government-funded health care plan, the Oregon Health Plan.
In the general election of November 2, 2010, he narrowly defeated the Republican nominee, former NBA player Chris Dudley. Two days after the balloting, their vote percentages were reported as 49.0% and 48.3%