Dan Quayle

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Dan Quayle
44th Vice-President of the United States
Term of office
January 20, 1989 - January 20, 1993
Political party Republican
President George H.W. Bush
Preceded by George H.W. Bush
Succeeded by Al Gore
Born February 4, 1947
Indianapolis, Indiana
Age 77
Spouse Marilyn Tucker Quayle

James Danforth "Dan" Quayle (born February 4, 1947) was the Vice President under George H. W. Bush. Prior to being elected Vice President, he was a member of Congress. Quayle is a loyal conservative Republican and advocate for traditional values. Quayle was the first chairman of the National Space Council and the head of the Council on Competitiveness.

Education and family life

Quayle was born in the capital city of Indianapolis, Indiana. He spent most of his formative years as much in Arizona as Indiana, he graduated from Huntington High School in Huntington, Indiana, in 1965. While an undergraduate, Quayle joined Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He graduated from DePauw University in 1969 and received his J.D. from Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis in 1974, and was admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1974 and began his law practice in Huntington. Quayle served in the Indiana National Guard from 1969 until 1975.

In November 1972, Dan Quayle married Marilyn Tucker of Indianapolis. Dan and Marilyn Quayle have three grown children: Tucker, Benjamin, and Corinne. They presently live in Paradise Valley, Arizona where he attended grade school and high school.

Public service

Dan Quayle was elected as a Republican Congressman in 1976, at the age of 29. He was reelected to the Ninety-sixth Congress (January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1981). He was not a candidate in 1980 for re-election to the House of Representatives, but was elected to the United States Senate that year, when he was but 33 years old, and was re-elected in 1986 and served, in total, from January 3, 1981, until January 3, 1989, when he resigned to become Vice President of the United States. In the Senate he was Chairman of the Select Committee to Study the Committee System. Senator Quayle was elected Vice President of the United States in 1988, and with President George Herbert Walker Bush, was inaugurated January 20, 1989. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection as Vice President in 1992.[1]

Private life

Since leaving public office, Dan Quayle has authored three books: Standing Firm, A Vice-Presidential Memoir which was on the New York Times bestseller list for 15 weeks; The American Family: Discovering the Values that Make Us Strong; and Worth Fighting For. He founded and then sold an insurance business in Indiana. For two years he was a distinguished visiting professor of international studies at Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management. Currently, he is Chairman of Cerberus Global Investments, LLC (Cerberus), President of Quayle & Associates, and serves on the boards of directors of IAP Worldewide Services, Inc., K2, Inc and Aozora Bank, Ltd in Tokyo. He makes frequent public appearances and speeches, and writes a nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column.[2][3]


Quayle was relentlessly ridiculed in the press and on such shows as Saturday Night Live as soon as he was announced as the selection to be Bush's running mate. Quayle was ill-prepared to handle such attacks which fed into even stronger attacks against him. His every move became scrutinized. The comic strip Doonesbury parodied him as unready to take office and used the icon of a floating feather. It was implied that he was chosen for his looks and controlled by the older Bush.

Quayle also found himself enmeshed in controversy when it was alleged that his serving stateside in the National Guard during the Vietnam War was due to family connections in order to avoid the draft.[4] There was more controversy over a Vice President serving in the National Guard than there was over the next President (Bill Clinton) avoiding the war altogether.

Perhaps the lowest blow directed at Quayle occurred during his vice presidential debate with Democrat Lloyd Bentsen, Michael Dukakis' running mate. Quayle had already been subjected to being asked the same question three times, an unprecedent move by the moderators who were supposed to be neutral. When they went on to query him on his comparatively short record, he replied that he had as much Congressional experience as John F. Kennedy. Bentsen's operatives had overheard Quayle making the comment during practice, and Bentsen had already forged a reply in case the statement was made in the debate. Unwilling or unable to factually counter Quayle's assertion, Bentsen decided to take the fact that he had known Kennedy for a short while in the late 1940s and massively exaggerate it in order to make a deeply personal attack that sidestepped the issue completely, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." Obviously stung by a sudden personal attack that avoided the issues, Quayle only replied "that comment was uncalled for senator".[5]

Incredibly, the vicious personal attack was not condemned by the press as unprofessional and unbecoming and instead actually became a rallying cry for the Democratic party, but also led to a tactical mistake on the part of the Dukakis-Bentsen ticket. They decided to make a concerted effort to attack Quayle's performance and worthiness instead of focusing on attacking the Presidential candidate George Bush. The Bush-Quayle ticket coasted to victory in November.

As Vice President, he had a much publicized "feud" with Murphy Brown, a then popular TV character played by Candice Bergen. Dan Quayle said that since she had given birth to a child out of wedlock, she was a poor role model for young women. His statements led to a media backlash. Even though Quayle took great care in noting he was not criticizing women who were in that situation through no particular fault of their own, he was besieged with false allegations and smears.

The incorrectly spelled word potatoe on a list handed him by an aide led to a humiliating gaffe.[6] The media played up Quayle's error while ignoring Senator Al Gore's monumentous gaffes as Bill Clinton's running mate in the 1992 election: Gore referred to a zebra changing its "spots" and misquoted the U.S. national motto E pluribus unum as "Out of one, many" (actually it's "Out of many, one").[7]

This treatment of Quayle was looked upon with something of shocked dismay by politicians of the time, who thought they were a refinement in the attack methods honed by the media on Spiro Agnew who served as Richard M. Nixon's first Vice President, and a harbinger of things to come. Many conservatives see the heavy-handed attacks on Clarence Thomas as a continuation of this same press strategy.


  • "We have to do more than just elect a new President if we truly want to change this country."
  • "One word sums up, probably, the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared'."
  • "If Al Gore invented the Internet, I invented spell check."[8]
  • "Next Thursday, July 20, will be an historic day for America, as America celebrates the 20th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buz Lukens' walking on the moon."[9]


  1. U.S. Congress, Official Biography;
  2. http://www.who2.com/danquayle.html
  3. http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1322
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-7gpgXNWYI
  6. http://capitalcentury.com/1992.html
  7. http://www.gargaro.com/algore.html
  9. Young Republicans National Federation Convention--LA Times, 7/16/89