The Honorable Joseph R. Pitts

The Honorable Joseph R. Pitts is serving his eighth term in the US Congress, representing the Sixteenth Congressional District of Pennsylvania, having previously served for 24 years in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives.

Rep. Pitts was born in Kentucky in a family of strong Christian faith. His father was an Army chaplain during World War II, serving in the South Pacific. After the war, the elder Pitts returned to the Philippines with his wife and children to serve as a missionary in a war-ravaged country. It was there, where he saw the after-affects of war, that Joe Pitts developed a heart for human rights and commitment to a strong defense.

He served five and a half years in the Air Force, with three tours in Vietnam. He completed 116 combat missions, earned an Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, and was promoted to captain by the time he left the service. Today Rep. Pitts is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5467 in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Rep. Pitts is a family-oriented and independent-minded conservative who believes strong families are the key to America’s prosperity.  Upon being elected to Congress, he established a reputation as an effective and honest legislator. Over the years, he became a leader in the causes of farmland and open space preservation, fiscal restraint, and traditional values.  In addition, he has supported all the causes that Christian groups generally support.  He is strongly pro-life, and initiates or signs onto bills that represent Christian world-life viewpoints.

Rep. Pitts is an active participant in the Congressional Prayer Caucus. He was elected to chair the Values Action Team, a new organization dedicated to building cooperation between traditional values-oriented Members and similarly-minded citizen groups.

While serving as the vice-chairman of the International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Human Rights, he became widely recognized as a principled, respected voice on international human rights issues such as religious freedom, trafficking in persons, HIV/AIDS relief, and foreign aid.  As a member of the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, he is currently working to create jobs, make health care more affordable, and ensure that food, drugs, and medical devices are safe.

Rep. Pitts has been married to Ginny for over 50 years.  They have three grown children and four grandchildren.

The D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship is proud to confer its highest honor, the Distinguished Christian Statesman Award, upon this steadfast Member of Congress.