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Darrell E. Issa's Remarkable Journey

November 1953

Born in Cleveland, the son of a GM salesman.

February 1980

Issa and brother William are arrested by San Jose (Calif.) police on a felony auto theft charge. They plead not guilty; the prosecutor asks for dismissal for lack of evidence. The brothers were previously indicted in 1972 for allegedly stealing a Maserati in Cleveland. That case was also dropped.

February 1982

Issa starts Directed Electronics (DEIX), the maker of Viper car alarms. The company becomes the nation's largest maker of car security systems.

November 2000

Issa is elected to the House, representing San Diego County. Now in his fifth term, he is the wealthiest member of Congress with an estimated net worth of $250 million.

May 2003

Issa finances a recall of then-Governor Gray Davis, but his hopes to run for the office are dashed when Arnold Schwarzenegger enters the race.

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