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James Matthes "Jim" Talent was born and grew up in a middle-class family in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. His paternal grand-parents were Jewish immigrants from the former Russian Empire, who came to the US soon after the Russian revolution of 1917, and his maternal grand-parents were German settlers, who arrived in Missouri in 1830s.
 
His father Oscar was the first in the long family line to graduate from a school, and Harvard Law School at that! 
 
After finishing high school in St. Louis, Jim Talent went on to graduate from Washington University (and as the best undergraduate student in the history of the Political Science course of the university!), and then from University of Chicago Law School in 1981. 
Afterwards, he worked as a law clerk in a federal appeals court and as an adjunct professor, teaching law at Washington University.
 
Despite having Jewish roots and members of the extended family coming from various religious backgrounds, Talent had not been religious at all, until one day he heard a Christian broadcast on his car radio... As the family lore tells, he was shaken and had to pull over to think, and afterwards became a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church in America.
 
In the same year he married Brenda Lee Lyons, who brought him three children: Katy, Chrissy, and Michael. 
 
His political career started in 1984, when he was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, where he would serve for four terms, including two terms as a minority leader.
 
Talent was regarded as a typical "compassionate conservative", receiving a life score of 93 out of 100 from the American Conservative Union. For example, he supported federal legislation that would ban embryonic stem cell research, the increase of minimum wages, the ban on abortions, the increase in spending on counter-terrorism and protection measures against WDM, and the limiting of awards in medical liability lawsuits. Also, he served as the head of the Board on Small Business.
 
In 2002 he was elected to the US Senate during a special election, adhering steadily to his political and personal values.  Talent sought re-election in the 2006 Senate election, but lost and - despite being touted as a favorite - decided to not enter the race for Governor of Missouri in 2008 at all, but to go back to law practice and operating his Mercury lobbying company in Washington.
He married Brenda Lee Lyons in 1984, who brought him three children: Katy, Chrissy, and Michael. 
 
Talent earned a reputation of a staunch conservative and was vocal on many an important issue of American policy.
 
Sources: 
 "TALENT, James Matthes – Biographical Information". Bioguide.congress.gov
Haislmaier, Edmund F. "Jim Talent". Heritage.org

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