Sen. Pete V. Domenici was born May 7, 1932 in Albuquerque, N.M. He is one of five children, and the only son of Italian immigrants. Growing up, he worked in his father’s wholesale grocery business. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Albuquerque in 1950 and earned an education degree from the University of New Mexico in 1954. That year he also pitched for the Albuquerque Dukes – a farm club for the old Brooklyn Dodgers. The following year, Domenici left baseball to become a math teacher at Garfield Junior High in Albuquerque.
In 1958 Domenici earned a law degree from the University of Denver and returned to Albuquerque to enter private law practice. He married the former Nancy Burk that same year. The Domenicis have eight children: two sons and six daughters. Domenici was elected to the Albuquerque City Commission in 1966. He was elected commission chairman (then equivalent to mayor) in 1967.
In 1972 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first Republican senator from New Mexico in 38 years. Domenici retired from the Senate in 2008 as the longest-serving senator in New Mexico history and one of the top 15 longest-serving senators in U.S. history.
During his tenure in the Senate, Domenici was deeply involved with a number of issues, including energy and natural resources, behavioral health and budgetary matters.
His book, “A Brighter Tomorrow: Fulfilling the Promise of Nuclear Energy,” was published in 2004.
Today, Domenici serves the Bipartisan Policy Center as a senior fellow and co-chair of their Debt Reduction Task Force. Domenici also serves as an adviser to the NMSU Domenici Institute.