Tom Vilsack

official photo of Tom Vilsack, 2009, by Bob Nichols

Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Date of Birth: December 13, 1950

Ethnicity: publicly unknown

Tom Vilsack, full name Thomas James Vilsack, is an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he has served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, since February 24, 2021, and, previously, from January 20, 2009 to January 13, 2017. He has also been Mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, from 1987 to 1992, and Governor of Iowa, from January 15, 1999 to January 12, 2007.

He was a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 2008.

Tom was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was adopted by Dorothy R. “Dolly” (Mohn) and William Johnston “Bud” Vilsack. His full name is Thomas James Vilsack. William was the son of Carl Gregory Vilsack and Mary Alice Johnston, who were born in Pennsylvania. Dorothy was the daughter of Earl John Mohn, who was born in Pennsylvania, and Dorothy Mae Cooke, who was born in Kansas.

Bud Vilsack’s grandfather was Leopold Vilsack, a famous brewer and banker. Leopold and his wife, Dorothea/Dorothy A. Blank, were also the great-great-grandparents of singer Katy Perry. This makes Tom and Katy second cousins, once removed.

The surname Vilsack is German.

Not much appears to be publicly available about Tom’s biological parents.

Tom was raised in a Catholic household. He is married to literacy advocate and politician Christie Vilsack, with whom he has two children.

Sources: Genealogies of Tom Vilsack –

Tom’s adoptive father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Tom’s adoptive mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

3 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    He was adopted. They are not cousins.

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