Last Updated on September 22, 2023
John Karl Fetterman is an American politician and a member of the Democratic Party who’s the current junior United States senator from Pennsylvania. He has served in that role since 2023.
Fetterman has had an illustrious career in politics since his graduation from Harvard University. He has worked in various prestigious roles prior to his current assignment, including as the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania (2006 – 2019) and as Pennsylvania’s 34th lieutenant governor (2019 – 2023).
John Fetterman Quick Facts
|Full Name:||John Karl Fetterman|
|Popular Name:||John Fetterman|
|Birth Date:||August 15, 1969|
|Parents:||Karl Fetterman and Susan Fetterman|
|Birth Place:||West Reading, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Education:||York Central High School, Albright College, and the University of Connecticut (UConn)|
|Marital Status:||Married to Brazilian-American activist and philanthropist Gisele Barreto Almeida (since 2008)|
|Children:||Grace Fetterman, Karl Fetterman, and August Fetterman|
|Net Worth:||USD 800,000 (as at September 1, 2023)|
|Source of Wealth:||Salary from Political Offices Held and Other Ventures|
|Height:||6′ 8″ (2.06 m)|
|Weight:||In kilograms: 122 kg; In pounds: 270 lbs.|
Early Life and Career Information
John Karl Fetterman was born on August 15, 1969, in West Reading, Pennsylvania, United States, to Karl Fetterman and Susan Fetterman. His parents were both aged 19 at the time of his birth.
John has a younger brother named Gregg. After his birth, Fetterman moved with his parents to York, Pennsylvania, where his father worked at an insurance firm.
John Fetterman attended York Central High School. He played football as a linesman during his time at York Central.
After graduating from high school, Fetterman pursued finance at Albright College. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from Albright in 1991 and went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut (UConn) two years later.
Career Beginnings and Harvard Education
After graduating from UConn, John Fetterman launched his professional career working for Chubb as a risk-management underwriter. He also volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America around the same period.
In 1995, Fetterman joined AmeriCorpos. Part of his assignment during his stint at AmeriCorps was being dispatched to teach students in the Pittsburgh’s Braddock suburb, who were pursuing their GEDs.
Fetterman later attended Harvard University’s Harvard Kennedy School. He received a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard in 1999.
Politics and Public Service Career
John Fetterman successfully vied for the Mayor of Braddock in 2005. He beat the incumbent, Pauline Abdullah, by a single vote at the Democratic primary. He later won the general elections easily as he had no Republican challenger. Fetterman served in his mayoral capacity until 2019.
In 2018, John Fetterman ran for the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. He overcame stiff competition, including from the incumbent Mike Staff, to win the Democratic primary with 38% of the vote. He later defeated Republican’s Jeff Bartos and served as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor from 2019 to 2023.
In 2021, Fetterman announced his intention to vie for the junior United States senator from Pennsylvania. He won the Democratic nomination with 58.7% of the vote against his main challenger, U.S. representative Conor Lamb, who managed a paltry 26.3%.
After winning at the primary, Fetterman faced off with renowned celebrity television doctor Mehmet Oz, more popularly known as Dr. Oz. The duo waged bitter television and social media campaigns in a bid to sell their agenda to the public.
Fetterman eventually beat Oz with 51% in one of the most hotly contested elections in the position’s history. He was subsequently sworn into the Senate in January 2023 and resigned from his previous role as Lieutenant Governor.
John Fetterman’s Net Worth
As at September 1, 2023, John Fetterman had a net worth of $800,000. His total assets, according to his May 2021 financial disclosure, stood between $717,000 and $1.58 million. Figures from the same disclosure revealed that between $450,000 and $1 million of Fetterman’s assets were in his children’s trusts and bank accounts.
How does Fetterman’s wealth compare to Dr. Oz’s.
John Fetterman may have succeeded in waging a successful political campaign against Dr. Oz. However, his wealth pales in comparison to that of the renowned Turkish-American cardiothoracic surgeon, who has a net worth of $200 million.
According to Dr. Oz’s financial disclosure, which was submitted during the senatorial race for Pennsylvania, the television doctor had assets valued between $104 and $422 million. That includes a $50 million vacation home owned by Oz and his wife in Palm Beach, Florida.
On the bright side, John Fetterman’s meager net worth is the price he has had to pay for his long career in the public service. John did not pursue any income-generating ventures while working as mayor. That was a selfless act of service by any standard, considering that the position attracted a monthly salary of $150. The salary proved unsustainable even for Fetterman himself, as his 2015 financial disclosure states that he received financial support from his parents to the tune of $54,000.
Fetterman currently earns $217,610 annually as Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. He continues to shy away from undertaking profitable ventures and chooses to dedicate his work to discharging his office’s mandate.
John Fetterman married Brazilian-American activist Gisele Barreto Almeida in 2008. The couple has three children, daughter Grace Fetterman and sons Karl Fetterman and August Fetterman. They also live with two rescue dogs – Artie and Levi – in a converted Chevy car dealership.
Unlike his predecessors, Fetterman decided not to live in the State House, which is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania.
The Fetterman dogs are celebrities in their own right. The canines have their own Twitter account, which has since racked up over 25,000 followers.
Fetterman is also famous for his casual dress code. He prefers to step out in a sweatshirt and shorts, and a single suit.
Many have interpreted Fetterman’s dress code and decision to not live in the State House as rather populist. However, he maintains that they’re all personal choices and weren’t made to endear himself to the public.
Lessons from John Fetterman
1. Follow your own path
John Fetterman’s parents were conservative Republicans. But when it was his time to venture into politics, John chose to identify with the Democratic Party.
2. Everything happens for a reason
Fetterman lost his best friend in a car accident while attending the University of Connecticut. The incident was heartbreaking enough. But according to John, it spurred his interest in public service. It’s after his friend’s death that he joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America as a volunteer.
3. Quitters never win
John Fetterman joins the list of politicians who lost a few elections before finding their winning ways. He unsuccessfully vied for the 2016 U.S. Senate elections before winning the race in 2023.
Famous Quotes by John Fetterman
• From my perspective, we must create an equitable path forward to energy independence, not only from foreign countries, but also independence from fossil fuels.
• Climate change is real, and we need to work on a comprehensive approach. We eliminated sulfur dioxide in the air, and got rid of acid rain. We got rid of lead in gasoline. You can achieve these things when the private and public sectors work together.
• One of the things I believe in most strongly is the power of a second chance.
• The fact that somebody that looks as unfortunate as I do sometimes would be an American taste god by the Bible of American taste, you know, I didn’t see that coming!
• You’re guaranteed to have outcomes you like and outcomes you don’t like in a democracy.
John Fetterman has enjoyed a fairly illustrious political career since graduating from college. The Democratic politician owes his success in the political arena mainly to his progressive policies.
Fetterman has continually championed better healthcare, cannabis legalization, and reforms in the criminal justice system. Although his net worth is a paltry $800,000, Fetterman has achieved far more in social spheres.