Michael Richard Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the 48th vice president of the United States, since 2017. He previously was the 50th governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017 and a member of the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013.
Pence was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, and is the younger brother of U.S. representative Greg Pence. He graduated from Hanover College and earned a law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law before entering private practice. After losing two bids for a congressional seat in 1988 and 1990, he became a conservative radio and television talk show host from 1994 to 1999. Pence was elected to the United States Congress in 2000 and represented Indiana's 2nd congressional district and Indiana's 6th congressional district in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. He served as the chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011. Pence described himself as a "principled conservative" and supporter of the Tea Party movement, stating that he was "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order."
Pence successfully sought the Republican nomination for the 2012 Indiana gubernatorial election when term-limited Mitch Daniels retired. He defeated former Indiana House speaker John R. Gregg in the closest gubernatorial election in 50 years. Upon becoming governor in January 2013, Pence initiated the largest tax cut in Indiana's history and pushed for more funding for education initiatives. Pence signed bills intended to restrict abortions, including one that prohibited abortions if the reason for the procedure was the fetus's race, gender, or disability. After Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), he encountered fierce resistance from moderate members of his party, the business community, and LGBT advocates. The backlash against the RFRA led Pence to amend the bill to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and other criteria.
Pence was inaugurated as vice president of the United States on January 20, 2017. He had withdrawn his gubernatorial reelection campaign in July to become the running mate of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who went on to win the 2016 presidential election. In February 2020, Pence was appointed chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.