Tom grew up in Denver, Colorado. Graduated from the University of Northern Colorado. Tom became a teacher at Drake Junior High School in Arvada. In 1976, prompted by his students, Tancredo ran for the Colorado House of Representatives and served two terms in the State Legislature (1977-1981). Tom was a leading voice in opposition to the policies of Democratic Governor Dick Lamm.
Tom was appointed to the Department of Education by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Tom continued to serve under President George H.W. Bush until 1992. In 1993, Tom became President of the Independence Institute and held the position until 1998.
In 1998, Tom won a tough five-way primary for the 6th Congressional District and then won the general election, becoming only the second person to serve in this position. In Congress, Tom served on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. ‘
Tom Tancredo became an icon in Congress for his outspoken leadership to address illegal immigration and reform America’s
One of Tom’s favorite moments in Congress was the passage of the Sudan Peace Act (H.R. 5531), which he sponsored. The bill passed the House 359-8 and unanimously passed the Senate. President Bush signed the act into law on November 21, 2002.
Tom, concerned that illegal immigration was not a top issue for the Republicans running for President, joined the 2008 Republican Presidential Primary. During the campaign, the American Conservative Union ranked Tom ranked #1 of all Presidential Republican candidates with a lifetime rating of 99 out of 100.
Tom met his wife, Jackie, working together as teachers at Drake Junior High School and they married in 1977. They have two children and five grandchildren. Tom and Jackie attend Cherry Hills Community Church.