Who Is Chuck Grassley's Wife? New Details About Barbara Grassley

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Senator Chuck Grassley has been in the news a lot lately, mostly for being the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee questioning Christine Blasey Ford about her allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Grassley has served as a Senator from Iowa since 1980 and before that, was a member of the United States House of Representatives and the Iowa House of Representatives.

With the retirement of Orrin Hatch, he is now the most senior Republican in the Senate but he’s also a family man with a wife and children. So, just who is Chuck Grassley’s wife and how has she supported her husband’s career in politics over the years? Here are 7 things to know about Barbara Grassley (neé Speicher).

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1. She grew up in Iowa.

Barbara was raised in Fredericksburg, Iowa and attended a one-room rural school. She attended Iowa State University upon graduating from high school, and afterward, she worked as a secretary in a packing company.

2. They married in 1954.

The couple wed in 1954, meaning they’ve been together for over 60 years! She was 22 at the time, and they exchanged vows at The Little Brown Church near Nashua, Iowa.  

3. They have five children.

The Grassleys are parents to five grown kids: Lee, Wendy, Robin, Michele and Jay. They also have nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren!

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4. She left college to raise their kids.

After marrying, she enrolled at the University of Northern Iowa, though she took time off when her husband began his political career and to care for their children. However, she returned to college in 1981 and received a degree in accounting in 1983.

5. She’s a breast cancer survivor.

Earlier this year, Chuck Grassley said in an interview with the American Association for Cancer Research, “My wife Barbara is a breast cancer survivor. Diagnosed 30 years ago, our family was stopped in its tracks when her primary care doctor discovered a lump in each breast during a wellness exam.. She handled the news with the courage, grit and no-nonsense manner I have cherished for the past 63 years of marriage. As Barbara says, ‘When life knocks you down, faith and family keep me marching onward and upward.’ An incision biopsy revealed a malignant tumor in her left breast.”

Grassley had surgery in 1987, which saved her life. She is now a member of the Executive Committee of Congressional Families for Cancer Prevention, and according to her husband, “Barbara credits early detection for saving her life and has made advocacy, education and outreach a personal campaign to help save more lives. That plot twist that made our hearts skip a few beats three decades ago opened another chapter for Barbara and myself. We are committed to help raise awareness regarding early detection, wellness and cancer prevention.”

6. They are members of “The Family.”

The Family is an organization that sets up the National Prayer Breakfast, a yearly event that is held in Washington, D.C.

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7. Their grandson is also in politics.

Pat Grassley is a member of the the Iowa House of Representatives.

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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.