Scott Brown: 5 essential facts
"I'm Scott Brown, I'm from Wrentham, I drive a truck," said Massachusetts' new senator in his victory speech. "I know who I am, and I know who I serve." (Watch Scott Brown's victory speech.) Not everyone knows who Brown is, though. Here are five essential facts about the Republican state legislator — and real estate lawyer and former model — who astounded the nation by winning Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, taking the Republicans to a pivotal 41 votes:
He's a conservative state senator: Despite running for U.S. Senate as an "independent voice," Brown is considered a staunch conservative in the State Senate, where he's voted overwhelmingly with GOP leadership since being elected in 2004. But he breaks with many of his national GOP colleagues in supporting abortion rights.
He will vote against the Democratic health-care bill: Brown explicitly ran as the 41st vote in the Senate against Obama's national health care overhaul. He will upend the Democrats' filibuster-proof 60-seat majority, emperiling the bill's future. However, he supported the landmark 2006 health care reform passed in Massachusetts under then-Gov. Mitt Romney (R).
He's in the National Guard: Brown joined the National Guard at age 19, because he was impressed with their cleanup efforts after a massive blizzard. He joined the Guard's Judge Advocate General's corps in 1994, and now — with the rank of lieutenant colonel — is the Guard's top defense lawyer in New England. He's never been deployed.
He posed nude for Cosmo: In a break from Tufts University, Brown moved to New York in 1982 to pursue a modeling career. That year, Cosmopolitan named him "America's Sexiest Man," and he posed nude for the magazine — his strategically placed arm makes the photo safe-for-work.
His daughter was on "American Idol": Brown has two daughters: Arianna, 19, and Ayla, 21. Ayla was a 2007 semifinalist on "American Idol." Their mother (and Brown's wife), Gail Huff, was also an actress; she is now a TV newscaster in Boston.
He comes from a broken home: Brown was born in Wakefield, Mass., in 1959, and his parents divorced while he was still a baby; each one subsequently remarried three times. He grew up at various relatives' homes, and had what he describes as a rough childhood, complete with run-ins with the law.