John Barrow’s Georgia roots run deep. For more than seven generations, John’s family has farmed, taught, preached, and practiced law all across Georgia.
John grew up learning the importance of serving his community and standing up for what’s right. John’s father, James Barrow, was a decorated World War II veteran, and his mother, Phyllis Barrow, also served in the armed forces during World War II, attaining the rank of Captain. Both were courageous and outspoken leaders in the effort to desegregate the University of Georgia.
John learned about the importance of the rule of law long before he went to law school. John’s father was the judge who presided over the case that desegregated the public schools in Clarke County, a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And John was in the first class to go all the way through the fully integrated Clarke Central High School.
After earning a degree in political science and history from the University of Georgia, John went on to become one of the youngest members of his class at Harvard Law School.
Like generations in his family before him, John was called to public service. He served as a commissioner on the Athens-Clarke County Commission from 1990 to 2004 and as Georgia’s 12th district representative in the U.S. Congress from 2005 to 2015. After leaving Congress, he taught courses at his alma mater, the University of Georgia, and defended our community’s most vulnerable as a pro bono staff attorney at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.
Throughout his time in public service, John has proven to be an independent and effective representative for his fellow Georgians. On the county commission, he never voted for a tax increase. In Congress, he worked with both President Bush and President Obama to open a Veterans Affairs health clinic in Statesboro, and he led a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to increase veterans mileage reimbursements—their first in 30 years. He was central in the fights to deepen the Port of Savannah and bring the Army’s Cyber Command to Fort Gordon in Augusta. When he left Congress, John was widely regarded as the most bipartisan member of the House of Representatives.
John and his wife, Angèle, have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. They attend the First Baptist Church of Athens and divide their time between their home in Atlanta and his great-great-great-grandfather’s home in Athens.