Family: Wife Gayle, 3 children, 7 grandchildren
What was your profession prior to getting into politics? Businessman/family-owned business
What was the first thing that attracted you to your wife? Gayle was a very good dancer. I was immediately drawn to that.
What do you like to do for fun (if there were no restrictions on your activities)? Fishing, hunting, walking, riding motorcycles, flying airplanes and spending time with family.
Do you have any pet peeves? One thing that bothers me is when people fail to see the best in themselves.
What is THE most important life lesson your parents taught you? The value of hard work, finding something that you are truly passionate about and helping the people around you reach their goals.
What is the best piece of advice you ever got? When you believe in someone, you stand behind them until their back hurts.
What is the most unique or strangest incident you’ve encountered since becoming Governor? How did you handle it? By far, the most difficult incidents that I have encountered have been our mining tragedies. These very emotional situations have allowed me to witness firsthand the power and resilience of the human spirit, and our states citizens’ ability to pull together in difficult times.
What one person that you’ve met made you the most nervous/anxious prior to meeting him/her? I was anxious to meet The Queen. This experience was very methodical. It is important that people follow a very particular protocol upon meeting her. Through all of the preparation, I discovered that she is a very delightful and pleasant person.
If you could have dinner with one person who is deceased, who would that be and what would you ask them? There are so many more questions that I would truly like to ask our late great Senator Robert C. Byrd. I would also give anything to hug my dear grandmother, Mama Kay, again.
What one person do you respect and admire most and why? My grandfather, Papa Joe, for his relentless work ethic and his unconditional love.
What one charitable organization do you respect and admire most and why? Every charitable organization is special in its own way. They each do so much good for citizens and allow people to live a better quality of life.
What is the one thing that people misunderstand about you the most? Some think that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. In reality, as a small child, I lived in a two-bedroom garage apartment in Farmington, W.Va. with my brothers and sisters. I thought it was the greatest place in the world, and I still do.