- Born Boston, Massachusetts, February 1, 1943.
- Graduate Middleton High School; B.S. University of Wisconsin–Madison; Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD), 1999; Flemming Fellows Leadership Institute, 2002.
- Former military pilot; Wisconsin Air National Guard, 1966–95 (retired Lieutenant Colonel); former real estate property manager.
- Dane County Board of Health, 1998–2004; Board of Health for Madison and Dane County, 2004–07. Dane County Board of Supervisors, 1996–2000.
- Elected to Assembly 1998–2002. Elected to Senate since 2004. Leadership positions: minority caucus chair 2017; minority leader 2011 (through 7/17/12); majority leader 2011 (effective 7/17/12); majority caucus chair 2007.
- Additional appointments, 2017: Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission.