Barbara Grassley is the longtime wife of U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley –the current Senator from Iowa.
Barbara’s husband holds the current record for the longest streak of not missing a vote in the United States Senate.
Senator Grassley was named the hardest working member of Congress. He holds a meeting in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties every year, while maintaining the best voting record in Washington.
Chuck –born Charles Ernest Grassley on September 17, 1933 –was elected to Iowa Legislature in 1958; and to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974. He was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980.
Prior to his career in politics, Chuck farmed and worked in factories in Iowa, first as a sheet metal shearer and as an assembly line worker.
Chuck and wife Barbara Grassley have been married for 64 years and together they are the proud parents of five adult children, Jay Grassley, Robin Grassley, Lee Grassley, Wendy Grassley and Michele Grassley.
Barbara Grassley was born Barbara Speicher on October 21, 1932; she attended one-room rural schools in Chickasaw County. She graduated from New Hampton High School in 1950.
She got a job as a secretary at Rath Packing Company, Waterloo, Iowa. She began University in 1954 but interrupted her studies to raise her family. She and Chuck wedded on August 22, 1954. Barbara Grassley eventually earned her degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1983.
In 1987 the wife and mom of five was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent surgery and one of her breasts was removed. She is 31-year breast cancer survivor and still gets a yearly mammogram.
Barbara who has been supportive of her husband’s career, is herself a member of the Executive Committee of Congressional Families for Cancer Prevention. In addition, she participates in The Congressional Club and Senate Spouses activities.