A rising star in the Republican Party, Marco Rubio scored an impressive victory when he scored a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2009. He is one of four children born to Cuban immigrants. Both of his parents worked hard to support the family. His father spent many years as a bartender and his mother held a number of service industry and retail jobs. For Rubio, he became interested in public service early on. He has told the press, "I gained an interest in politics and history from my uncle, who would read books and newspapers out loud to us."
Born in Miami, Rubio spent part of his childhood in Las Vegas, Nevada. The family, however, returned to Florida in the 1980s. A stellar athlete, Rubio was a top football player at South Miami High School. He graduated in 1989 and earned a football scholarship to Tarkio College in Missouri. Rubio left the school after a year and eventually enrolled at the University of Florida. After completing his bachelor's degree there in 1993, he earned a law degree from the University of Miami in 1996.