Bill Frist Fast Facts
Here is a look at the life of Bill Frist, heart and lung transplant surgeon and former Senate majority leader.
Birth date: February 22, 1952
Birth place: Nashville, Tennessee
Birth name: William Harrison Frist
Father: Thomas Frist Sr., physician
Mother: Dorothy (Cate) Frist
Marriages: Tracy (Roberts) Frist (2015-present); Karyn (McLaughlin) Frist (1981-December 2012, divorced)
Children: with Karyn (McLaughlin) Frist: Bryan Edward, 1987; Jonathan McLaughlin, 1985; William Harrison Jr., 1983
Education: Princeton University, A.B. in health policy, 1974; Harvard Medical School, M.D., 1978
Board certified in both general and thoracic surgery.
Has performed more than 200 heart and lung transplant procedures.
Serves as co-chair on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Health Project.
Currently holds the position of adjunct professor of surgery at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine. Frist is also a clinical professor of surgery at Meharry Medical College.
While in the US Senate, chaired the Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety and the Subcommittee on African Affairs. Also served on the Budget; Foreign Relations; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees.
1986-1993 – Staff surgeon at the Nashville Veterans Administration Hospital and assistant professor of surgery at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine.
1986-1993 – Founder and director of the multi-organ transplantation program at Vanderbilt University, the Vanderbilt Transplant Center.
1991-2001 – Charter Trustee of Princeton University.
November 8, 1994 – Elected to first term in the Senate.
1995-2007 – US Senator from Tennessee (R).
1995 – Performs CPR and successfully stabilizes the heart rate of Reverend Graeme Sieber, who had a heart attack in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
July 24, 1998 – Resuscitates Russell E. Weston Jr., a paranoid schizophrenic accused of killing two guards during a shooting at the US Capitol.
1999 – Named Republican deputy whip of the Senate.
2000 – Head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and is the US Senate liaison to the George W. Bush for President Committee.
November 7, 2000 – Wins reelection with 65% of the vote.
2001 – One of two congressional representatives to the United Nations General Assembly.
December 23, 2002 – Elected Senate majority leader after Trent Lott steps down.
2003-2007 – Serves as Senate majority leader.
March 2003 – Announces he will not run for reelection in 2006.
February 2, 2004 – A powdery substance later identified as ricin is found in Frist’s mailroom in the Dirksen Senate office building. Federal authorities later say they found no indication of international terrorism in the discovery and that a criminal investigation is under way.
2004-present – Founds and serves as chairman of the non-profit Hope Through Healing Hands.
July 29, 2005 – Announces that he plans to support legislation opposed by President George W. Bush that would expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Bush later vetoes the bill.
September 12, 2007 – Nominated by Bush to the board of an international aid program that seeks democracy and openness in underdeveloped countries.
November 2007-present – Partner in private equity firm Cressey & Company.
February 18, 2009 – Launches the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), a citizen-led, grassroots initiative aimed at reforming K-12 education in Tennessee. Frist says he hopes to ensure that “every child graduates from high school prepared for college or a career.”
February 12, 2015 – Along with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Frist co-authors an op-ed in the New York Times calling on Congress to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which has a September deadline.
June 16, 2016 – Founds NashvilleHealth, a non-profit community health initiative launched in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
February 6, 2018 – Pens an op-ed in Forbes Magazine announcing the launch of his non-profit “United States of Care,” that will identify, advance and assist ideas and policies to help secure affordable health care for every American.