Son of a mailman and postal worker, John R. Kasich was born May 15, 1952. He grew up in McKees Rock , Pennsylvania playing an active role in his high school and local church.
After high school John Kasich attended Ohio State University majoring in political science. As a freshman he persuaded the university president to hand carry a letter to a meeting he was attending with the then president of the United States Richard Nixon. Nixon, struck by the letter from the university freshman, issued an invitation to the White House and John Kasich spent ten minutes in the Oval Office chatting with Nixon.
Upon completion of studies at OSU John landed a job in the Ohio Senate as an aide to a Republican Senator. At age 26 after working behind the scenes John ran for the Ohio Senate. Successfully beating the incumbent he served for one term. At age 30 after winning election he entered the U.S. House of Representatives representing Ohio 's 12 th District.
From 1983 until 2001 John represented Ohio 's 12 th District in Congress. Assigned to the Armed Services Committee, he attracted notice as he began to scrutinize spending by the Defense Department and declared his opposition to the B-52 bomber. He served on the Armed Services Committee during his entire tenure in Congress and traveled to Kuwait , Russia and Bosnia as well as other countries.
In 1989 he was assigned to serve as a minority member of the House Budget Committee. John began to prepare and offer for consideration his own budget proposals. His alternative budgets began to garner support among his peers. In 1993 the budget he jointly sponsored with Democrat Tim Penny from Minnesota missed passage in the House by only six votes.
When the Republicans took control of the House in the midterm elections of 1994 John Kasich was appointed chairman of the House Budget Committee, bypassing more senior members. As chairman John was the architect of the balanced budget agreement of 1997. He also chaired the House-Senate committee that wrote the 1996 Welfare Reform Bill.
John Kasich was named by Newsweek as one of its “100 People for the 21 st Century” in April 1998. Always promoting the power of the individual to make a difference, he chose 20 individuals to write about in his book “Courage is Contagious” published in October 1998. His prose about these individuals' impact on others was described in USA Today as “full of thundering passion…inspirational testimony to any reader.”
In 1999 John Kasich explored a run for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination. In July of 1999 he threw his support to candidate George W. Bush. Deciding to take his life in new directions he chose not to run for re-election in 2000 and instead turned to careers in business and the media.
In 2010 John R. Kasich defeated incumbent Ted Strickland in a race for governor of Ohio and took office in January 2011.