Biography

John Boozman is Arkansas’s senior U.S. Senator and the dean of the state’s Congressional delegation.  

A fifth-generation Arkansan, John was raised in Fort Smith and graduated from Northside High School. He went on to play football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks while completing his pre-optometry requirements. He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year co-founding a family business with his brother that would ultimately become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas.

Decades of experience as a successful healthcare provider and a small business owner guide John’s approach to governing. He is committed to advocating for economic policies that help Arkansas’s small businesses continue to grow and add jobs to our state’s economy. And since agriculture accounts for nearly one-quarter of Arkansas’s economic activity, John has been a consistent champion for our state’s farmers, ranchers and loggers and was instrumental in the fight for an equitable farm bill. 

As the son of an Air Force Master Sergeant, John learned at an early age about the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, as well as the unique challenges military families face. He brings these values with him to Washington where he is committed to enhancing the quality of life for both our veterans and their families. As a member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, John has authored provisions to bolster care and services for women veterans, modernize educational benefits under the GI Bill and better reach and provide mental health care and resources to former service members.

John will serve as the Ranking Member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry during the 117thCongress. This position enables him to play a key role in influencing policy that relates to the agriculture economy, nutrition programs and quality of life in rural America. 

John will also continue to serve on the Committee on Appropriations, which is responsible for allocating federal funds, and the Committee on the Environment and Public Works, where much of the nation’s infrastructure policy is developed.   

Along with these committees, John serves on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, commonly referred to as the Helsinki Commission. He serves on the Congressional Study Group on Europe (CSGE), a bipartisan organization dedicated to frank and candid dialogue between American lawmakers and their peers in European capitals and Brussels, and has been appointed the Vice Chairman of the Senate Delegation to the British-American Interparliamentary Group during the 117th Congress. 

In addition, John also serves as one of six Congressional Regents on the Smithsonian Institute's Board of Regents which governs and administers the organization.

First elected to the Senate in 2010, John was sworn in for a second term on January 3, 2017. Prior to serving in the Senate, he represented the people of the Third District of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Active in his community, John has served on the Rogers School Board, the Benton County Fair Board, established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock and worked as a volunteer optometrist at an area clinic that provides medical services to low-income families. He successfully raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, as well as in bull testing at Oklahoma State University.

John, is married to the former Cathy Marley and they currently reside in Rogers. The couple has three daughters and four grandchildren.