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Richard Joseph "Dick" Durbin is the senior United States Senator from Illinois, in office since 1997. He has been the Senate Majority Whip, the second highest position in the Democratic Party leadership in the Senate, since 2007. He was born in East St. Louis, Illinois, he graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Georgetown University Law Center. Working in state legal counsel throughout the 1970s, he made an unsuccessful run for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 1978. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, representing the Springfield-based 20th congressional district. In 1996 he won election to the U.S. Senate by an unexpected 15-point margin. He has served as Senate Democratic Whip since 2005, and assumed his current title when the Democratic Party obtained a majority in 2007. (via Freebase)