The Life of Tulsi Gabbard

From American Samoa, to Hawaii, to Iraq, and then to Congress — could the White House be next for Tulsi Gabbard? This is her life story.

Veteran, Congresswoman, Presidential candidate

Tulsi Gabbard was born on April 12, 1981 in American Samoa to parents of European and Samoan ancestry. Gabbard moved to Hawaii with her family when she was 2, and during years of homeschooling as a teenager, embraced the Hindu faith. In 2002, at the age of 21 she ran for the Hawaii House of Representatives and became the youngest legislator in state history — and the youngest woman ever elected — to a state legislature. Instead of running for a 2nd term, Gabbard volunteered for the Army National Guard and deployed to Iraq in 2004.

After completing a tour in 2005, she became the first woman ever to graduate from the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy as a distinguished honor graduate. After her 2008 tour in Kuwait, Gabbard returned to Hawaii then served on the Honolulu City Council for 1 year before being elected to the House of Representatives in 2012. In Congress, she has championed veteran’s rights, victims of sexual assault, environmental activism, ending U.S. military involvement overseas. However, she has also been accused of homophobia for her work in her father’s anti-gay rights organization in 1998. My views have changed significantly since then, and my record in Congress over the last 6 years reflects what is in my heart: A strong and ongoing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ+ rights,” said the U.S. Samoan Congresswoman.

She later apologized for this. In 2013, she was elected as vice chair for the Democratic National Committee — but stepped down in 2016 after accusing party leadership of favoritism for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. She later endorsed Sanders. In 2017, she was criticized after revealing she went on a “fact-finding” mission Where she met with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad — who has been accused of using chemical weapons his own citizens. She responded to the controversy on CNN. On February 2, 2019, she launched her 2020 presidential campaign.