From his involvement as a Teen Age Republican in high school to his current work in Congress, Joe Wilson has led a life dedicated to public service.
Addison (Joe) Graves Wilson was born on July 31, 1947, in Charleston, South Carolina. After graduating from the High School of Charleston in 1962, he received his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and completed his law degree at the University of South Carolina. A real estate attorney by trade, Joe was a founding partner of the West Columbia law firm Kirkland, Wilson, Moore, Taylor & Thomas.
His career in public service officially began when he served on the staffs of South Carolina legends Senator Strom Thurmond and Congressman Floyd Spence. As part of the visionary Ronald Reagan administration, Joe was Deputy General Counsel to the United States Department of Energy Secretary and former South Carolina Governor, Jim Edwards.
Throughout his life, Joe has had a tremendous passion to serve his country as a member of the United States Armed Forces. After serving in the United States Army Reserves from 1972-1975, he also served in the South Carolina Army National Guard. In the summer of 2003, Joe retired as a Colonel, having served as a Staff Judge Advocate assigned to the 218th Mechanized Infantry Brigade. At the time, he was the only active Guard member serving in Congress.
Before being elected to the United States Congress in 2001, Joe served 17 years, with perfect attendance, in the South Carolina State Senate where he was elected Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, the first Republican Chairman since Reconstruction.
Today, Joe serves as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he is the Ranking Member of the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism Subcommittee, and a member of the Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and Environment Subcommittee. Additionally, Joe serves on the House Armed Services Committee where he is a member of the Subcommittees on Readiness and Strategic Forces. Since the 111th Congress, he has been appointed to the highly influential Republican Policy Committee. He also serves as Chair of the Bulgaria Caucus and the French Caucus, Co-Chair for the Slovak Caucus, and on the Afghanistan Caucus, the Kurdistan Caucus, and the Americans Abroad Caucus.
While serving the Second Congressional District of South Carolina, Joe is committed to promoting peace through a strong national defense, decreasing taxes for all Americans, and limiting the size and spending of the federal government.
Joe is married to Roxanne, who continues to offer him strength and support in his every endeavor. They are parents of four sons, all of whom have served in the U.S. military, and are proud grandparents of four boys and four girls. Alan, his oldest son, is a Lt. Colonel in the South Carolina Army National Guard who proudly served for a year in Iraq and was recently re-elected as the Attorney General for South Carolina; Addison is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a physician who did a tour of duty in Iraq; Julian was a Captain in the South Carolina Army National Guard who served on a peacekeeping tour in Egypt; and Hunter is a First Lieutenant in the South Carolina Army National Guard who did a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Their four sons are all Eagle Scouts.