James Danforth Quayle, a U.S. representative, senator, and vice president, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. Quayle served in the Indiana National Guard from 1969 to 1975, established a law practice in his home state, and worked as associate publisher for his family's newspaper, the Huntington Herald-Press. His political career began at the age of 29, when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served from 1977 to 1981, then was elected to the U.S. Senate. Quayle's early success in the Senate in sponsoring the Quayle-Kennedy bill, which created the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982, won him wide praise. He was appointed to chair a special committee to examine procedural issues in the Senate; the Quayle Committee recommended various changes in appointments to committees and reviewed floor procedures. While none of the suggested changes were adopted, Quayle's reform efforts did not go unnoticed by the Republican Party.
Quayle easily won reelection to a second Senate term and was chosen by Vice President George Bush to run with him on the 1988 Republican presidential ticket. Quayle resigned his Senate seat in January 1989 to become the 44th vice president. During his tenure, he chaired the White House Council on Competitiveness and the National Space Council. Following the Bush-Quayle ticket's unsuccessful 1992 reelection bid, Quayle returned to Indiana to spend time with his family. He published a memoir, Standing Firm, in 1994 and briefly sought his party's presidential nomination. In September 2000, Vice President Quayle returned to the U.S. Senate to address his former colleagues and other guests in the historic Old Senate Chamber as part of the Senate Leader's Lecture Series. This series gave former Senate leaders the chance to share their insights about the Senate's recent history as well as long-term practices. Quayle remembered his Senate years with fondness and concluded by noting the importance of preserving the Senate as “the heart and the balance of a democratic republic.”