John Hardy Isakson was born December 28, 1944, in Atlanta, to Edwin Andrew and Julia Isakson.
2. Before politics
Isakson graduated from the University of Georgia in 1966 and served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966 until 1972. In 1967, he opened the first Cobb County office of Northside Realty, an Atlanta-area real estate firm his father helped to establish. He was company president for 22 years.
» PHOTOS: Johnny Isakson through the years.
He and his wife, Dianne, married in 1968 and have three children — John, Julie and Kevin — and eight grandchildren. They live in Marietta and attend Mount Zion United Methodist Church, where Isakson previously taught sixth-grade Sunday school for 30
According to his bio, Isakson "holds the distinction of being the only Georgian ever to have been elected to the state House, state Senate, U.S. House and U.S. Senate. In addition, in 2016 he became the first Georgia Republican ever to be elected to a third term in the U.S. Senate."
» Isakson timeline
In 2015, Isakson was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He has suffered several falls since the diagnosis, including this past July, when he broke four ribs. During his retirement announcement Wednesday, he revealed he'd undergone surgery to remove a growth on his kidney.
» How will U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson's replacement be chosen?