|U.S. Senator from Illinois|
From: November 29, 2010 – Present
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
|Former U.S. Representative from Illinois's 10th District|
From: January 3, 2001 – November 29, 2010
|Spouse(s)||Kimberly Vertolli (2001-2009)(divorced)|
|Religion||United Church of Christ|
Mark Steven Kirk (born September 15, 1959) is the junior United States Senator from Illinois, having won the Senate seat once held by President Obama. A Republican, previously he represented Illinois's 10th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In the House, Kirk was a member of the Appropriations Committee. Previously he was a Naval Reserve intelligence officer and served during conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, and Bosnia. Kirk has voted with a majority of his Republican colleagues 86% of the time during the current Congress. A moderate Republican, he received a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America and an 82% rating from the League of Conservation Voters.  Kirk describes himself as someone who works to advance a suburban agenda that is pro-defense, pro-personal responsibility, pro-environment, and pro-science. He was one of only eight House Republicans who voted for the cap and trade climate legislation. Kirk voted against the 2009 economic stimulus package.
Kirk suffered a stroke on January 21, 2012, affecting the physical movement on his left side but not affecting his cognitive skills. He spent months in rehabilitation, and returned home in May 2012, but as of June, has not yet returned to the Senate. One perk Kirk receives as a senator is unlimited sick leave.
- Mark Kirk details stroke recovery in video Madison, Lucy, May 8, 2012, cbsnews.com, retrieved June 29, 2012.
- A Senate Perk: Unlimited Sick Leave Ford, Quinn, April 2012, chicagomag.com, retrieved June 29, 2012