U.S. Senator and former governor Joe Manchin was born in Fairmont on August 24, 1947. Growing up in the Marion County town of Farmington, he worked in his family’s grocery and furniture stores. He later returned to Farmington to run Manchin’s Carpet Center and eventually his own energy-brokering firm.
In the 1980s, the lifelong Democrat served a term in the House of Delegates and began a 14-year stint in the state Senate, where he promoted welfare, health care, and Medicaid reforms. A staunch Catholic, he opposed abortion rights, putting him at odds with many Democrats.