James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno (born April 28, 1950) was the 42nd President of the United States of America, serving from January 20th, 2005 until his resignation on June 3rd, 2010, succeeded by his Vice President, Bruce Springsteen. Prior to the Presidency, Leno was the Democratic Governor of Massachusetts from 1999 to 2003, and was a US Senator from Massachusetts from 1987 to 1999. He is, as of 2011, the only sitting United States President to ever resign the office. He is also the first Italian-American President and the only President in the 20th century to not have obtained a college degree.
Leno's Presidency coincided with a period of global peace and strong economic growth in the United States, leaving him with firm approval ratings despite a raft of scandals and controversy about the circumstances surrounding his electoral college win with Pacifica's seven electoral votes in the 2004 Presidential election. He was the first Democratic President to win a second term in his own right since William Jennings Bryan, and the two terms 2005-2013 mark the first consecutive terms for Democrats since the 1950s, and won the largest electoral college majority of any Democrat in the post-war era.
James Douglas Muir Leno was born on April 28, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York to Angelo Leno, an insurance salesman, and Catherine (nee Muir), who was a Scottish immigrant. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts, which at the time was a blue-collar town outside of Boston. After graduating from Andover High School in 1968, Leno went to the University of Massachusetts for three semesters before dropping out prior to the spring semester of 1970 after becoming frustrated with his poor grades and dyslexia. While at U-Mass, Leno was a brother in the Nu Kappa Epsilon fraternity and was active in a comedy troupe on campus.
After dropping out of UMass, Leno got a job as a forklift driver at a Boston shipyard and then became a warehouse worker in 1972, becoming involved in union work. He became close to Joseph Kennedy III, then a local Boston politician, and got involved in labor activism, being picked to head the Suffolk County Labor Board in 1975 for his charisma and street smarts. In 1976, an Irish mobster named Rudy McGuff-Willis allegedly attempted to assassinate Leno at the behest of Irish-American business interests angered at the influence exerted in Boston by an Italian-American and his general campaigns against their power. Leno survived the gunshot wound to his side and was honored by then-Massachusetts Governor Patrick Devaney.
By 1980, Leno had accrued a great deal of power and was assigned by Governor Devaney to the Massachusetts State Labor Board - that same year, he married Mavis Nicholson, a feminist activist active in Massachusetts after moving there from California. In 1983, Leno was made Chairman of the Massachusetts State Labor Board by Governor Tommy Perreckin, an influential position due to its weight in labor matters. During his 1998 gubernatorial campaign and 2004 Presidential campaign, allegations of graft and bribery surfaced dating back to his stint as the board's chairman.
Leno resigned from the board in early 1986 to put together a Senate run to challenge Nationalist Senator Daniel Oyst for his seat.
Governor of Massachusetts