Frank Pallone, Jr., was born on October 30, 1951, in Long Branch, New Jersey, where he grew up and where he still resides. The son of a policeman, Pallone attended the local public schools and earned an academic scholarship to Middlebury College. After graduating cum laude from Middlebury in 1973, Pallone received his master's degree in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He earned his law degree at Rutgers University in 1978, and has been admitted to the bar in four states: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.
Pallone began his political career in his home city of Long Branch, getting elected to the City Council in 1982 and winning re-election four years later. In 1983, Pallone was elected to the state Senate, representing the Monmouth County coastline. He was re elected in 1987. During his tenure in the state Legislature, Pallone distinguished himself as an advocate for environmental issues and senior citizen concerns, and made a major priority of providing constituent services.
On November 8, 1988, at the age of 37, Frank Pallone, Jr., was elected to the House of Representatives from New Jersey’s former Third District, encompassing parts of Monmouth and Ocean counties. In March 1992, a new Congressional district map for New Jersey was adopted. Portions of the former Third District were merged with parts of two other districts to create the Sixth Congressional District, taking in large portions of Middlesex and Monmouth counties. Pallone was first elected to the Sixth District seat in November 1992.
On January 6, Frank Pallone, Jr. was officially sworn in for his 11th full term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pallone represents New Jersey’s Sixth Congressional District, which covers most of Middlesex County, as well as the Bayshore and oceanfront areas of Monmouth County, the township of Plainfield in Union County and Franklin in Somerset County.
In the 111th Congress, Pallone continues to serve as a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to energy, environment, health care, commerce and telecommunications.
Pallone chairs the Committee's powerful Subcommittee on Health, which has sole jurisdiction over Medicaid, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and shares jurisdiction of Medicare with the Ways and Means Committee. The Health Subcommittee oversees public health, biomedical programs, food and drug safety, mental health and research, hospital construction and all health care homeland security-related concerns.
As Health Subcommittee Chairman during the 110th Congress, Pallone was the lead author of a new law that dramatically improves drug safety by strengthening FDA's ability to monitor the safety of drugs after they are on the market. He also pushed legislation through his Subcommittee that eventually became law requiring insurance companies to treat mental health benefits the same as medical and surgical benefits.
Pallone also serves on the Committee's Energy & Environment Subcommittee and the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over fisheries, oceans and other coastal issues, and serves on the Committee's Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee.
Pallone holds an important leadership position within the House Democratic Caucus. As the Communications Chair of the Democratic Policy Committee, the New Jersey congressman plays an active role in developing and implementing the Democratic Party’s message. In this capacity,
Pallone coordinates the party’s message on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Throughout his tenure in Congress, Pallone’s legislative accomplishments have been geared to the protection and restoration of environmental resources and the expansion of health care to the uninsured. Pallone is recognized as a leader on such issues as expanding health care access and affordability, protecting the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, ensuring food safety, strengthening the federal Superfund program to clean up toxic waste sites, and strengthening the nation’s clean water laws.
Pallone married the former Sarah Hospodor in 1992. They have three children, daughters Rose Marie and Celeste Teresa, and a son, Frank Andrew.