U.S. Representative John B. Larson began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1999, and is presently in his eighth term serving the people of Connecticut’s First Congressional District. Larson was born on July 22, 1948 in Hartford, Connecticut. He and his seven brothers and sisters were raised in Mayberry Village, a public housing project in East Hartford by their parents, Raymond and Pauline.
John Larson graduated from East Hartford High School in 1967 and from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in 1971. Larson was later selected by Dr. Edward Zigler, the creator of Head Start, to be a Senior Fellow at the Yale Bush Center for Child Development.
Before entering Congress, Larson was a high school history teacher and athletic coach until he became an owner of Larson & Lysik insurance company. He served on the East Hartford Board of Education and the East Hartford Town Council. In 1982, he was elected to the Connecticut State Senate, beginning a 12-year tenure representing the 3rd Senate District until 1995. Larson served as Senate President Pro Tempore for eight years from 1987 to 1995. The Congressman and his wife Leslie have three children (Carolyn, Laura, and Raymond) and are life-long residents of East Hartford.
As a senior leader in the House Democratic Caucus, John was named chairman of the Task Force on Election Reform, created to develop a legislative agenda for reforms to take big money out of politics and address flaws in the electoral system. In 2005, Larson was named to the influential Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over the nation’s tax code, trade policy, Social Security, and Medicare. Currently he sits on both the Subcommittee on Trade and Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. Larson also co-leads the bipartisan Tax Reform Working Group on Financial Services, where he is working to review current financial services tax law.
In 2013, he was named co-chairman of the Congressional Joint Strike Fighter Caucus, a bipartisan group of members charged with keeping members informed on issues related to the development, testing, and deployment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Congressman Larson formerly served on the Armed Services Committee, Science Committee, and as Ranking Member of the House Administration Committee.
Larson has been a leader in the effort to end U.S. dependence of foreign oil through advancing fuel cell technology produced in the United States that will also grow the economy and improve our environment. During his tenure in Congress, Larson has introduced the Energy Independence Act, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Authorization Act, and the ‘Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Infrastructure for America Act’ to fund and promote fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology. He is also a founder and co-chair of the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Coalition.
Larson has opposed the policies of preemption and unilateralism and the war in Iraq since its inception and has focused his concerns on the threats of terrorism, protecting the homeland, and supporting first responders. However, he has vigorously supported the troops, visited Iraq three times, and succeeded in passing legislation to reimburse family members who purchased body armor for soldiers who had not been adequately equipped by the military. Larson has also fought for appropriate access to behavioral treatment for military families who have children with autism, previously introducing the ‘Caring for Military Kids with Autism Act’ in Congress.
Larson is committed to preserving Social Security and Medicare and securing a true prescription drug benefit for seniors. He has introduced legislation to allow the federal government to directly negotiate lower drug prices for over 40 million Medicare beneficiaries. Among his efforts to promote development in Hartford, Larson successfully led the effort to initiate a feasibility study of the Coltsville section of Hartford as a first step in gaining a National Park designation for the area from the Department of the Interior.