The son of U. S. Representative John Henry Kyl and Arlene (née Griffith) Kyl, Kyl was born and raised in Nebraska and lived for some time in Iowa. He received his bachelor's degree and law degree from the University of Arizona. He worked in Phoenix, Arizona as an attorney and lobbyist before winning election to the United States House of Representatives, where he served from 1987 to 1995. He was elected to the U. S. Senate in 1994 and continued to be re-elected by comfortable margins until his retirement in January 2013. In 2006, he was recognized by Time magazine as one of America's Ten Best Senators. Kyl was ranked by National Journal in 2007 as the fourth-most conservative U. S. Senator. He has been a fixture of Republican policy leadership posts, chairing the Republican Policy Committee (2003–2007) and the Republican Conference (2007). In December 2007, he became Senate Minority Whip. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010 for his persuasive role in the Senate.