This politician also happens to be the first African-American to have served as the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. Michael Steele, along with Jennette Bradley, hold the distinction of being the highest ranked elected Republicans among the black community in the United States.
Born in Prince George's County, Maryland, Michael Steele was adopted as an infant by Maebelle and William Steele. After the death of William, Maebelle tied the knot with John Turner. Michael, along with his sister Monica Turner, spent his childhood in a racially dominated neighborhood of Petworth in Washington, D.C. As a child, Michael attended 'Archbishop Carroll', a Roman Catholic school in Washington, D.C. In school, he took keen interest in drama production and was actively involved in staging plays. His immense popularity led him to be elected as the Student Council President in his senior year. His hard work won him a scholarship to John Hopkins University. Although he struggled here academically, he earned a Bachelor's degree in 'international relations'.
After completing his graduation, Steele joined the 'Order of St. Augustine', where he spent 3 years as a seminarian, in preparation of becoming a priest. At the 'Augustinian Friars Seminary' in Pennsylvania, he shared his knowledge on senior economics with freshmen. He decided to leave the seminary before taking his vows. Following his stint at the seminary, he took a degree in law from Georgetown University. He used his knowledge on financial investments and worked with underwriters. He also worked for Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, a law firm, before forming a legal consulting firm, the 'Steele Group'.
Growth in Politics
Although he was raised in the family of Democrats, Steele grew up to join the Republican party. After joining the party, subsequently, he founded the 'Republican Leadership Council' in 1993. In the year 1995, he was titled as 'Republican Man of the Year' for the state of Maryland. He actively took part in several political campaigns, and was a delegate in the 'Republican National Convention' held in Philadelphia, in 2000. Even though the state of Maryland was traditionally a Democrat stronghold, the 2002 general elections went in favor of the Republicans. Michael Steele became Lieutenant Governor of Maryland in January 2003.
Steele's popularity grew steadily over the years. He gained national prominence for his abilities as a public speaker, and had a cult-following among African-Americans. On October 25, 2005, Steele made a formal announcement about running for the U.S. Senate, which he lost to Benjamin L. Cardin on November 7, 2006. In the month of February, 2007, Michael Steele took up the seat of chairman of GOPAC, a Republican training organization, that helps and funds national and state campaigns. In 2008, Steele successfully ran for the Chairmanship of Republican National Committee, and went on to serve as its chairman until January 2011.
Allegations On Misuse Of Funds
During plea negotiations with federal prosecutors, Alan B. Fabian, a former finance chairman claimed, Steele had used the campaign money of the 2006 U.S. Senate to help his sister's company that ceased to exist. On February 7, 2009, Michael Steele(,) through a spokesperson(,) announced that the payments to his sister were made keeping the federal laws of the state in mind.
Known for his humble nature, Michael Steele remains rooted to the political scene. True to his Christian faith, he leads a spiritual life, taking part in the activities at St Marys Catholic Church, and attending Sunday services with his wife and children.