Anh “Joseph” Cao was born on March 13, 1967 in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam. His father, an officer with the South Vietnamese Army, was imprisoned by the Communists.
At the age of eight, Cao escaped to America with two of his siblings. He learned English, thrived in school, and earned a physics degree from Baylor University.
Cao first arrived in New Orleans in 1992. He left to earn a Master’s degree in philosophy from New York’s Fordham University, returning to Loyola University to teach philosophy and ethics. In 2002, he was chosen by Archbishop Alfred Hughes to become a member of the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addressing women’s rights in the Catholic Church, social justice, child abuse, and the Catholic response to Hurricane Katrina.
Cao lost both his home and law office to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. With his wife and two daughters, he moved temporarily to Westwego,a suburb of New Orleans, and began rebuilding.
On December 6, 2008, Cao was elected as Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District Representative making him the first Vietnamese-American elected to United States Congress where he serves on the Committees on Homeland Security, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Oversight and Government Reform.
He currently resides in New Orleans, LA with his wife, Kate, and 2 daughters, Sophia and Betsy.