Governor Edward G. Rendell
Edward G. Rendell was inaugurated as Pennsylvania’s 45th Governor on January 21, 2003. As Governor, Rendell serves as Chief Executive of the nation’s 6th most populous state and oversees a $25.4 billion budget.
In Governor Rendell’s first term, Pennsylvania has rebounded sharply from the recession of the early 2000s. He has made unprecedented investments to revitalize communities across the commonwealth, improve education and expand the access to affordable prescription drugs for older Pennsylvanians.
Today, these investments are paying dividends.
There are more Pennsylvanians working than ever before, with 120,000 more people at work now than when Governor Rendell took office in January 2003. Pennsylvania now ranks 15th in the nation for job growth, up from 41st just four years ago. And, our unemployment rate has fallen over a full point and continues to be below the national average.
Under Governor Rendell, student achievement is on the rise at every grade level and in every subject. Pennsylvania’s public schools now have the resources to invest in proven education initiatives like pre-kindergarten, full-day kindergarten and tutoring. Almost 100 school districts are investing in class-size reduction in kindergarten through 3rd grade to benefit nearly 20,000 children.
In his first year in office, Governor Rendell crafted a plan to increase the number of older Pennsylvanians to get the affordable prescription drugs they need through Pennsylvania’s PACE and PACENET programs. By this summer, more than 315,000 Pennsylvania seniors will be served – up 44 percent.
Governor Rendell has done all of this while being a careful steward of the commonwealth’s finances. When he became Governor, the commonwealth faced a projected budget deficit of $2.4 billion. As one of his first acts, Governor Rendell cut government spending to close that deficit and implemented programs and policies to apply business principles of productivity and cost-savings to the operation of state government. By the end of 2006, through developing new business practices and focusing on innovation and efficiency throughout the government, the cost of government has been cut by $1 billion.
From 1992 through 1999, Governor Rendell served as the 121st Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. Among his many accomplishments as Mayor, Mr. Rendell eliminated a $250 million deficit; balanced the City's budget and generated five consecutive budget surpluses; reduced business and wage taxes for four consecutive years; implemented new revenue-generating initiatives, and dramatically improved services to the City's neighborhoods. The New York Times called the Philadelphia renaissance under Rendell “the most stunning turnaround in recent urban history.” Before serving as Mayor, Mr. Rendell was elected District Attorney of the City of Philadelphia for two terms from 1978 through 1985.
The Governor, who served as General Chair of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 Presidential election, has always been active in the community through a variety of memberships on boards and also teaches government and politics courses at the University of Pennsylvania. An Army veteran, the Governor is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1965) and Villanova Law School (J.D. 1968). He was born on January 5, 1944.
The Governor and his wife, First Lady Marjorie O. Rendell, a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, have one son, Jesse. They celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on July 10, 2006.