Who is JD Vance, the Ohio senator and Trump's VP pick?

Vance rose to fame through his book "Hillbilly Elegy."

July 15, 2024, 3:30 PM

J.D. Vance jumped on the national stage eight years ago through his book "Hillbilly Elegy." Now he's former President Donald Trump's running mate.

Trump posted on Truth Social on Monday that he was selecting Vance for the No. 2 job.

Vance was born in Middleton, Ohio, and he served in the Marine Corps. He later attended Ohio State University and eventually graduated from Yale Law School.

He was a corporate lawyer and then worked in the tech industry as a venture capitalist.

In 2016, Vance's released his memoir, "Hillbilly Elegy," which shared his story of growing up in poverty in America's Rust Belt and being surrounded by violence and addiction.

Vance eventually became an emissary between the media and those in the Rust Belt during the 2016 election, discussing the issues important to those who had a similar background to him.

Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, addresses the conservative Turning Point People's Convention, June 16, 2024, at Huntington Place in Detroit.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

During this time, Vance made his disdain for Trump clear, saying he was a "never-Trump guy" in an interview with Charlie Rose in 2016.

In August 2016, he told ABC News that he didn't see Trump "offering many solutions."

However, Vance eventually aligned with the former president, praising his time in office and apologizing for his attacks on him during an interview with Fox News in July 2021. His apology came around the same time Vance entered the race for the open Ohio Senate seat, which became one of the most competitive GOP primaries of the 2022 election cycle.

"I've been very open about the fact that I did say those critical things, and I regret them, and I regret being wrong about the guy," Vance said on Fox News in 2021.

Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, right, points toward Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, March 16, 2024, in Vandalia, Ohio.
Jeff Dean/AP

With a last-minute endorsement from Trump, Vance won the 2022 Ohio Senate primary and went on to win the general election, defeating Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan.

In his role as senator, some of his most notable work has been responding to the East Palestine train derailment in his home state. He has also stayed true to his tough conservative brand, including opposing aid to Ukraine.

Throughout the 2024 election cycle, Vance has been an active surrogate for the former president, participating in campaign events and helping him raise money for his reelection campaign -- most recently participating in fundraisers in Ohio and California.

Ahead of Trump's Monday announcement, Vance remained mum about the vetting process to become Trump's potential running mate.

He told his close friend -- and Trump's son -- Donald Trump Jr. on his podcast in May that if asked to serve as the former president's running mate, he would do whatever he could to help the campaign.

"I've told you, I told everybody, I want to help your dad however I can," Vance said. "And so certainly, if he asked me, I want to help him."

Vance currently lives in Ohio with his wife, Usha and their three children.

Read ABC News' profiles of other top vice presidential hopefuls, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.