The son of a physician and an educator, William H. Frist of Tennessee earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University before graduating from Harvard Medical School with honors in 1978. After working for 16 years as a surgeon, specializing in heart and lung transplants, Frist was elected to the United States Senate in 1994, becoming the first practicing physician to serve in that body since 1928. While in the Senate, he continued annual medical missions to impoverished countries. In 2000 Senator Frist became chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Two years later, the Senate Republican Conference elected Frist to be their party’s floor leader. As majority leader, he championed legislation to fight HIV/AIDS globally, modernize Medicare to include prescription drug coverage for seniors, reduce taxes, and achieve K-12 education reform. Majority Leader Frist retired in 2007.