Official portrait, 1989
|44th Vice President of the United States|
January 20, 1989 - January 20, 1993
|President||George H. W. Bush|
|George H. W. Bush|
|United States Senator|
January 3, 1981 - January 3, 1989
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Indiana's 4th district
January 3, 1977 - January 3, 1981
James Danforth Quayle
February 4, 1947
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
|Children||3, including Ben|
|Relatives||James C. Quayle (father)|
|Education||DePauw University (BA)|
Indiana University, Indianapolis (JD)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1969-1975|
|Unit||Indiana Army National Guard|
James Danforth Quayle (born February 4, 1947) is an American politician and lawyer who served as the 44th vice president of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Quayle was also a U.S. representative from 1977 to 1981 and a U.S. senator from 1981 to 1989 from the state of Indiana.
A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Quayle spent most of his childhood in Paradise Valley, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. He married Marilyn Tucker in 1972 and obtained his J.D. degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1974. Quayle practiced law in Huntington, Indiana with his wife before his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1976. In 1980 Quayle was elected to the U.S. Senate.
In 1988, Vice President and Republican presidential nominee George H. W. Bush chose Quayle as his running mate. Quayle's vice presidential debate against Democratic candidate Lloyd Bentsen was notable for the "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" incident. The Bush/Quayle ticket won the 1988 election over the Democratic ticket of Michael Dukakis and Bentsen, and Quayle became vice president in January 1989. As vice president, he made official visits to 47 countries and was appointed chairman of the National Space Council. He secured re-nomination for vice president in 1992, but Democrat Bill Clinton and his running mate, Al Gore, defeated the Bush/Quayle ticket.
In 1994 Quayle published his memoir, Standing Firm. He declined to run for President in 1996 because he was suffering from phlebitis. Quayle sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 but later withdrew from the campaign and supported the eventual winner, George W. Bush. He joined Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, in 1999.
Quayle was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Martha Corinne (née Pulliam) and James Cline Quayle. He has sometimes been incorrectly referred to as James Danforth Quayle III. In his memoir he points out that his birth name was simply James Danforth Quayle. The name Quayle originates from the Isle of Man, where his great-grandfather was born.
His maternal grandfather, Eugene C. Pulliam, was a wealthy and influential publishing magnate who founded Central Newspapers, Inc., and owned over a dozen major newspapers, such as The Arizona Republic and The Indianapolis Star. James C. Quayle moved his family to Arizona in 1955 to run a branch of the family's publishing empire.
After spending much of his youth in Arizona, Quayle returned to his native Indiana and graduated from Huntington North High School in Huntington in 1965. He then matriculated at DePauw University, where he received his B.A. degree in political science in 1969, was a 3-year letterman for the University Golf Team (1967-69) and a member of the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon (Psi Phi chapter). After graduating, Quayle joined the Indiana National Guard and served from 1969 to 1975, reaching the rank of sergeant. While serving in the Guard, he earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in 1974 at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He met his future wife, Marilyn, who was taking night classes at the same law school at the time.
Quayle became an investigator for the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General in July 1971. Later that year he became an administrative assistant to Governor Edgar Whitcomb. From 1973 to 1974 he was the Director of the Inheritance Tax Division of the Indiana Department of Revenue. Upon graduating from law school, Quayle worked as associate publisher of his family's newspaper, the Huntington Herald-Press.
In 1976 Quayle was elected to the House of Representatives from Indiana's 4th congressional district, defeating eight-term incumbent Democrat J. Edward Roush by a 55%-to-45% margin. He was reelected in 1978, 64% to 34%.
In 1980, at age 33, Quayle became the youngest person ever elected to the Senate from the state of Indiana, defeating three-term incumbent Democrat Birch Bayh with 54% of the vote. Making Indiana political history again, Quayle was reelected to the Senate in 1986 with the largest margin ever achieved to that date by a candidate in a statewide Indiana race, taking 61% of the vote against his Democratic opponent, Jill Long.
In November 1978 Congressman Leo Ryan of California invited Quayle to accompany him on a delegation to investigate unsafe conditions at the Jonestown settlement in Guyana, but Quayle was unable to participate. The decision likely saved Quayle's life, because Ryan and his entourage were subsequently murdered at the airstrip in Jonestown as the party tried to escape the massacre.
In 1986 Quayle was criticized for championing the cause of Daniel Anthony Manion, a candidate for a federal appellate judgeship, who was in law school one year above Quayle. The American Bar Association had evaluated Manion as "qualified/unqualified", its lower passing grade. Manion was nominated for the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals by President Ronald Reagan on February 21, 1986, and confirmed by the Senate on June 26, 1986.
On August 16, 1988, at the Republican convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, George H. W. Bush chose Quayle to be his running mate in the 1988 United States presidential election. The choice immediately became controversial. Outgoing President Ronald Reagan praised Quayle for his "energy and enthusiasm". Press coverage of the convention was dominated by questions about "the three Quayle problems". The questions involved his military service, a golf trip to Florida with Paula Parkinson, and whether he had enough experience to be vice president. Quayle seemed at times rattled and at other times uncertain or evasive as he tried to handle the questions. Delegates to the convention generally blamed television and newspapers for the focus on Quayle's problems, but Bush's staff said they thought Quayle had mishandled the questions about his military record, leaving questions dangling. Although Bush was trailing by up to 15 points in public opinion polls taken before the convention, in August the Bush/Quayle ticket took the lead, which it did not relinquish for the rest of the campaign.
In the October 1988 vice-presidential debate, Quayle debated Democratic candidate Lloyd Bentsen. When the subject of the debate turned to Quayle's relatively limited experience in public life, he compared the length of his congressional service (12 years) with that of late President John F. Kennedy (14 years), as Kennedy had less experience than his rivals during the 1960 presidential nomination. It was a factual comparison, although Quayle's advisers cautioned beforehand that it could be used against him. Bentsen's response--"Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy"--subsequently became a part of the political lexicon. During the debate, Quayle's strategy was to criticize Dukakis as too liberal.
The Bush/Quayle ticket won the November election by a 53-46 percent margin, sweeping 40 states and capturing 426 electoral votes. Quayle did not cast any tie-breaking votes in his role as President of the Senate, becoming only the second vice-president (after Charles W. Fairbanks) not to do so while serving a complete term.
During his vice presidency, Quayle made official trips to 47 countries. Bush named Quayle head of the Council on Competitiveness and the first chairman of the National Space Council. As head of the NSC he called for greater efforts to protect Earth against the danger of potential asteroid impacts.
After a briefing by Lt. General Daniel O. Graham, (USA Ret.), Max Hunter, and Jerry Pournelle, Quayle sponsored the development of an experimental Single Stage to Orbit X-Program, which resulted in the building of the McDonnell Douglas DC-X which was flown and tested at White Sands.
Quayle has since described the vice presidency as "an awkward office. You're president of the Senate. You're not even officially part of the executive branch--you're part of the legislative branch. You're paid by the Senate, not by the executive branch. And it's the president's agenda. It's not your agenda. You're going to disagree from time to time, but you salute and carry out the orders the best you can".
On May 19, 1992, Quayle gave a speech titled Reflections on Urban America to the Commonwealth Club of California on the subject of the Los Angeles riots. In the speech he blamed the violence on a decay of moral values and family structure in American society. In an aside, he cited the single mother title character in the television program Murphy Brown as an example of how popular culture contributes to this "poverty of values", saying, "It doesn't help matters when prime-time TV has Murphy Brown--a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid, professional woman--mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another 'lifestyle choice'."
The "Murphy Brown speech" became one of the most memorable incidents of the 1992 campaign. Long after the outcry had ended, the comment continued to have an effect on U.S. politics. Stephanie Coontz, a professor of family history and the author of several books and essays about the history of marriage, says that this brief remark by Quayle about Murphy Brown "kicked off more than a decade of outcries against the 'collapse of the family'". In 2002, Candice Bergen, the actress who played Brown, said "I never have really said much about the whole episode, which was endless, but his speech was a perfectly intelligent speech about fathers not being dispensable and nobody agreed with that more than I did." Others interpreted it differently; singer Tanya Tucker was widely quoted as saying "Who the hell is Dan Quayle to come after single mothers?"
Throughout his time as vice president, Quayle was widely ridiculed in the media and many in the general public, both in the U.S. and overseas, as an intellectual lightweight and an incompetent individual. Contributing greatly to the perception of Quayle's incompetence was his tendency to make public statements that were either impossible ("I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future"), self-contradictory ("I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy, but that could change"), self-contradictory and confused ("The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. ... No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history"), or just confused (such as the comments he made in a May 1989 address to the United Negro College Fund. Commenting on the United Negro College Fund's slogan--which is "a mind is a terrible thing to waste"--Quayle said, "You take the UNCF model that what a waste it is to lose one's mind or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is").
Shortly after Bush announced the Space Exploration Initiative, which included a manned landing on Mars, Quayle was asked his thoughts on sending humans to Mars. In his response, he made a series of scientifically incorrect statements: "Mars is essentially in the same orbit [as Earth]....Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."
On June 15, 1992, Quayle altered 12-year-old student William Figueroa's correct spelling of "potato" to "potatoe" at the Muñoz Rivera Elementary School spelling bee in Trenton, New Jersey. He was the subject of widespread ridicule for his error. According to The New York Times and Quayle's memoirs, he was relying on cards provided by the school, which Quayle says included the misspelling. Quayle said he was uncomfortable with the version he gave, but did so because he decided to trust the school's incorrect written materials instead of his own judgment.
In the 1992 election, Bush and Quayle were challenged in their bid for reelection by the Democratic ticket of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and Tennessee Senator Al Gore and the independent ticket of Texas businessman Ross Perot and retired Vice Admiral James Stockdale.
As Bush lagged in the polls in the weeks preceding the August 1992 Republican National Convention, some Republican strategists (led by Secretary of State James Baker) viewed Quayle as a liability to the ticket and pushed for his replacement. Quayle ultimately survived the challenge and secured renomination.
During the 1992 presidential campaign, Quayle told the news media that he believed homosexuality was a choice, and "the wrong choice."
Quayle faced off against Gore and Stockdale in the vice presidential debate on October 13, 1992. He attempted to avoid the one-sided outcome of his debate with Bentsen four years earlier by staying on the offensive. Quayle criticized Gore's book Earth in the Balance with specific page references, though his claims were subsequently criticized by the liberal group FAIR for inaccuracy. In Quayle's closing argument, he sharply asked voters, "Do you really believe Bill Clinton will tell the truth?" and "Do you trust Bill Clinton to be your president?" Gore and Stockdale talked more about the policies and philosophies they espoused. Republican loyalists were largely relieved and pleased with Quayle's performance, and his camp attempted to portray it as an upset triumph against a veteran debater, but post-debate polls were mixed on whether Gore or Quayle had won. It ultimately proved to be a minor factor in the election, which Bush and Quayle subsequently lost.
Quayle authored a 1994 memoir, Standing Firm, which became a bestseller. His second book, The American Family: Discovering the Values That Make Us Strong, was published in 1996 and a third book, Worth Fighting For, was published in 1999.
Quayle considered but decided against running for Governor of Indiana in 1996. He decided against running for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, citing health problems related to phlebitis. Quayle moved to Arizona in 1996.
Quayle announced, during an appearance on Larry King Live, his intention to run for president in 2000. In April 1999, Quayle officially announced his candidacy for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, attacking front-runner George W. Bush by saying "we do not want another candidate who needs on-the-job training". In the first contest among the Republican candidates, the Ames Straw Poll of August 1999, he finished eighth. He withdrew from the race the following month and supported Bush. Quayle, then working as an investment banker in Phoenix, was mentioned as a candidate for Governor of Arizona prior to the 2002 election, but eventually declined to run.
In a February 2010 interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, Quayle announced that his son Ben would be a candidate for the U.S. Congress, running for a seat representing Arizona's 3rd congressional district. Ben won the election. In his first bid for reelection, due to redistricting, he faced off against fellow Republican Congressman David Schweikert in a primary and narrowly lost.
For the United States presidential election in 2016 Quayle endorsed Jeb Bush. After Bush failed to win the nomination, Quayle ultimately endorsed Donald Trump; he was later seen visiting with Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan prior to Trump's inauguration.
Quayle is an Honorary Trustee Emeritus of the Hudson Institute and is president of Quayle and Associates. He has also been a member of the Board of Directors of Heckmann Corporation, a water-sector company, since the company's inception and serves as Chairman of the company's Compensation and Nominating & Governance Committees. Quayle is a director of Aozora Bank, based in Tokyo, Japan. He has also been on the board of directors of other companies, including K2 Sports, AmTran Inc., Central Newspapers Inc., BTC Inc. and Carvana Co.
In 1999 Quayle joined Cerberus Capital Management, a multibillion-dollar private-equity firm, where he serves as chairman of the company's Global Investments division. As chairman of the international advisory board of Cerberus Capital Management, he recruited former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, who would have been installed as chairman if Cerberus had successfully acquired Air Canada.
In early 2014, Quayle traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland, in an attempt to speed approval for a deal in which Cerberus acquired nearly £1.3 billion in Northern Ireland loans from the Republic of Ireland's National Asset Management Agency. The Irish government is investigating the deal, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York are investigating Quayle's involvement as a potentially "very serious" misuse of the vice president's office. As of December 2018, Quayle serves as Chairman of Global Investments at Cerberus.
Quayle lives with his wife, Marilyn Quayle, in Paradise Valley, Arizona. They married in November 1972 and have three children: Tucker, Benjamin, and Corinne. Benjamin Quayle served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013, representing Arizona's 3rd congressional district.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 4th congressional district
January 3, 1977 - January 3, 1981
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Indiana
George H. W. Bush
| Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States
| United States Senator (Class 3) from Indiana
January 3, 1981 - January 3, 1989
Served alongside: Richard Lugar
George H. W. Bush
| Vice President of the United States
January 20, 1989 - January 20, 1993
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Former Vice President
| Order of Precedence of the United States
Former Vice President
as Former Vice President