Mark Bartholomew Sellner, born 1946 to Thomas and Elsie Sellner in Brookline, Massachusetts. He attended St. Joseph's School a parochial school for junior high and high school that was four miles away from his house. After high-school he feared the draft despite being accepted to college and so he entered into the Coast Guard Reserves serving from 1964 until 1967. In 1968 he began attending the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he got his undergraduate degree in history; he then attended Boston College between 1972 and 1974 where he got his law degree.
He was admitted to the BAR in early 1975 and became a criminal attorney but became sickened by his job by 1978 when he quit law to become a high-school history teacher. In 1981 he successfully ran for the school board where he spurred and oversaw a massive overhaul in the school district with the buying of new text books, the remodeling of classrooms, and the cracking down on qualifications for hiring teachers. In 1984 he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives where he served two terms.
He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1988 for Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District which contained his hometown of Brookline.
In his freshman year he became a back-bencher for the House Appropriations Committee eventually becoming the Ranking Member in 2000. He also was the Ranking Member of the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee, and a member of the Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security subcommittee.
Sellner served as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 1990 until 1992, and again from 1995 to 1997.
In 2006 he was elected to become Speaker of the House of Representatives after defeating the front-runner Tim Fields from Texas' 29th District and Jim Marino of Ohio's 17th District, he then became Speaker in 2007.
He is known as a more moderate Democrat that supports school vouchers (because of his years as a teacher at a public school, and his time as a student at a private school), tort reform, and is against lobbying reform (however this is mostly due to the fact that he does not think the House will not allow it to pass). He believes that gay rights are a state issues, and is also Pro-Life except in the cases of Rape or Incest.
He has been married to his wife Elizabeth "Betty" since February of 1977, they have one child a son Maxwell "Max" Sellner, born in 1978. Sellner has inherited considerable wealth from his grandfather Bartholomew "Barron" Sellner who owned stock in Big Oil, as well as a plethora of real-estate all around New England.
- 1968-1972: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- 1972-1975: Boston College
- Admitted to the BAR in 1975
- Defense Attorney from 1975 until 1978
- High-school history teacher from 1978 until 1985
- School board member from 1981 until 1984
- 1985-1989: Massachusetts House of Representatives
- 1989-present: US House of Representatives
- 2007- : Speaker of the House