Born in New York on January 5, 1944, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, and obtained a law degree from the Vinanova University School of Law in 1968. After graduation, he served as an attorney in the Philadelphia District Office of Justice, and was elected as the District Attorney General of Philadelphia twice in 1977 and 1981. In 1987, he lost the election for mayor of Philadelphia, but succeeded in the election for mayor in 1992. In 2000, he was appointed chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In 2002 and 2006, he was twice successfully elected as the governor of Pennsylvania.