Congressman Lamar Smith was born in San Antonio, and is a sixth generation Texan. He majored in American Studies at Yale University and graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law in 1975. While at SMU, he edited The Advocate, which won an American Bar Association award for “best law school newspaper.”
Congressman Smith has represented the 21st District, with its 700,000 residents, since 1987. The district stretches from San Antonio to Austin and includes many Hill Country counties.
Congressman Smith became Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee in January 2013 and continues to serve on the Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees. In the last Congress, he chaired the Judiciary Committee, which approved more bills that were enacted into law than any other Committee. These included the America Invents Act, the first significant change to our patent system in more than 60 years, the PATRIOT Act reauthorization, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments and the Child Protection Act, which reduces internet child pornography.
In 2011, Congressman Smith was named “Policymaker of the Year” by Politico for his work on the America Invents Act. He was one of two House members to receive this honor. Congressman Smith is also a former Chairman of the Ethics Committee, making him the only current member who has chaired three permanent Committees.
Before his election to the United States House of Representatives, he practiced law, managed a family ranch and began his public service as a Texas state representative and Bexar County commissioner.
Congressman Smith and his wife, Beth, have an adult daughter and son.