Kay's Biography

A leader in national defense and global security, Kay Granger serves and fights for the 12th congressional district of Texas. Elected to her 11th term in 2016 by an overwhelming margin, Kay has earned her reputation in Congress as a hard-working, tough and principled leader on the issues that matter most to the people she serves. Her legislative prowess and ability to get things done, widely respected by both policy makers and influencers in Washington alike, led to her recognition by CQ’s Roll Call as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Congress.

The first and only Republican woman to represent Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives, Granger currently serves as Chairwoman of the powerful Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which handles over 50 percent of all Appropriations Committee funding. As Chairwoman, Kay is committed to rebuilding America’s military and taking care of our service members and their families. Her top priority is to address the readiness crisis in our military and reverse the harmful, arbitrary budget cuts to our nation’s defense. In these dangerous times, Kay understands that for our country to be safe, we must be strong.

Granger has received numerous honors for her leadership on national defense issues. Most recently, she accepted the 2016 Henry M. Scoop Jackson Distinguished Service Award presented by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs for her unwavering commitment throughout her career for a robust military capability for the U.S. and its allies. Granger was also awarded the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award and the Department of the Army’s Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service. These honors are the top recognitions given to civilians by the secretary of the Navy and secretary of the Army.

To promote global security, Kay served as Chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee. In this role, she oversaw State Department and security programs abroad where she insisted on transparency and accountability including in the probe on the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi. She has also been a champion for the Israeli missile defense systems, which help protect the State of Israel from constant threats it faces from adversaries in the region. Her staunch support of Israel and strengthening the U.S.–Israel relationship led her to be recognized for her role in helping get the 10-year, $38 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries completed in 2016.   

During the 2014 national security and humanitarian crisis resulting from the influx of more than 58,000 displaced children at the U.S.-Mexico border, Granger was selected to chair the task force to address the challenges created by the crisis. Granger was also the first to call for oversight hearings to respond to the Ebola outbreak in the United States and was instrumental in creating a bipartisan Congressional task force to combat the global rise of anti-Semitism.

Kay has also been recognized for her humanitarian efforts, being named the U.S. Agency for International Development’s 2014 Champion in the Global Fight Against Tuberculosis and receiving Malaria No More’s Malaria Vision Award in 2015. In attacking the immoral practice of human trafficking, she has provided greater stability in volatile parts of the world while disrupting recruitment efforts and funding sources for terrorist organizations.

Her work to end the poaching of black rhinos and elephants in the wild led the World Wildlife Fund to award her the title of Conservation Champion. Granger’s work in this area sharply reduced the sale of rhino horns, which terrorists and other criminals sell to fund their activities worldwide. For her efforts, she was honored as a Conservation Hero by Conservation International in 2014.

In recognition of her achievements, Kay was elected to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame and the Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame. Additional honors she has received include the National Federation of Independent Business’ Champion of Small Business Award; the Texas Association of Business’ Bob Bolen Champion of Free Enterprise Lifetime Achievement Award; as well as Texas Wesleyan University’s Law Sone Medal.

Born in Greenville, Texas and raised in Fort Worth, Kay never intended to become involved in politics. Majoring in education, Kay graduated from Texas Wesleyan University and became a high school journalism and English teacher. In 1978, she opened and successfully operated her own insurance agency before becoming involved in the political process because of some local issues impacting her community.

Kay’s public service began as a member of the Fort Worth Zoning Commission, and she was then elected as the first female Mayor of Fort Worth in 1991. Under Kay’s strong leadership, Fort Worth’s economy grew; crime was reduced by 49 percent; and the city was recognized with a coveted All-America City Award in 1993. 

Kay – a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution – returns home to the district every weekend to meet with constituents in person and talk with them about what is going on in Washington. Kay attends the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth and is the mother of three children and grandmother of five. She is an avid and accomplished painter, and enjoys being with her family during spare time.