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Lamar Smith was born on November 19, 1947 in San Antonio, Texas. In 1969, Smith received his Bachelor's degree in American Studies from Yale University. In 1975, he earned his law degree from Southern Methodists University. Smith was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1981-1982. He was part of the Bexar County Commissioners Court from 1983-1985. Lamar Smith was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1986 and currently serves as the Ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.