Barney Frank served as a US Congressman from 1981-2013 and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2007-2011. While in Congress, Frank worked to adjust America’s spending priorities to reduce the deficit by providing less funding for the military and protecting funding for quality-of-life needs at home. In particular, he focused on providing aid to local communities and to building and preserving affordable rental housing for low-income people. He was also a leader in the fight against discrimination, championing the interests of the poor, the underprivileged, and the vulnerable, and, consequently, winning reelection 16 times.
As Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank was instrumental in crafting the short-term $700 billion rescue plan in response to the mortgage crisis, and he then worked for the adoption of a sweeping set of financial regulations aimed at preventing a recurrence.
In 1987 he became the first Member of Congress voluntarily acknowledge that he is gay, and in 2012 became the first Member of Congress to marry his same-sex partner, James Ready.
In 2014 a documentary titled “Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank”, Frank gave a rare and intimate peek into his life as a quick-witted, cantankerous, and first openly gay Congressman in the US. On the verge of his retirement, Frank reflects on his 40 years in office and the role his own homosexuality played in his campaigns for social justice. In the documentary, he stands as one of the most sharp-tongued, entertaining, and lionhearted politicians of our time.
In addition, he has written two books: “Speaking Frankly” (1992), a critique of some aspects of the Democrats approach to public policy; and a political memoir “Frank: From the Great Society to Same Sex Marriage” (2015). He has taught at Harvard, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.