Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Representing Tennessee's Fifth Congressional District, Jim Cooper was born June 19, 1954, in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned a B.A. in history and economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975 as a Morehead Scholar and serving as coeditor of the Daily Tar Heel; a B.A./M.A. in politics and economics as a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University in 1977; and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1980. He is married and has three children. From 1980-82, he was an attorney with Waller, Lansden, Dortch, & Davis in Nashville, Tennessee, until he was elected congressman for the Fourth Congressional District, serving from 1983-95. During that time, he served on the Energy & Commerce and Budget Committees and the Small Business Subcommittee. His special legislative focus was on health care, literacy and other rural concerns, and he played leadership roles in major telecommunications, environmental and consumer legislation.
From 1995-1999, he was managing director at Equitable Securities, a Nashville-based investment bank. From 1999-2002, he was founder and partner of Brentwood Capital Advisors LLC, where he sourced and raised funds for growing regional companies and businesses. Cooper was elected to his second stint in Congress in 2002, serving a more urban and suburban constituency in Nashville, Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Ashland City, Pleasant View, and Pegram. As Fifth District Congressman, he serves on the Armed Services, Budget, and Oversight and Government Reform Committees. In 2007 he was named chairman of the Armed Services Committee's Roles and Missions Panel. Cooper continues to teach as an adjunct professor at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, where he has taught a course on health care policy for ten years.