Who is Paul Pelosi?

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Paul Pelosi, the husband of Nancy Pelosi, Democratic speaker of the US House of Representatives, was “violently assaulted” during a home invasion at the couple’s residence in San Francisco, California on the eve of last year’s midterm elections.

Mr Pelosi, 82, was asleep on 28 October when a suspect allegedly broke in and beat him with a hammer.

Prosecutors have charged 42-year-old David DePape with attempted murder, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder, and threats against a public official and their family.

Authorities say that Mr DePape entered the Pelosis’ home by using a hammer to break through a glass door at the rear of the building, before making his way upstairs to the second floor.

Once inside, Mr DePape allegedly found Mr Pelosi sleeping in bed, wearing a loose-fitting pyjama shirt and boxer shorts. He allegedly woke Mr Pelosi up and “confronted him about the whereabouts of Speaker Pelosi” – shouting, according to some reports, “where is Nancy?”

Mr Pelosi managed to call 911 to alert police to the intruder, who allegedly beat him over the head when the officers arrived.

Mr Pelosi spent several six days in hospital recovering with serious head injuries.

He made his first public appearance at the Kennedy Center Honors in New York in December, attended event at the White House when Ms Pelosi stepped down as House Speaker, and enjoyed a night out at New York City restaurant Balthazar with his family.

The attack sparked anger, mockery, lurid conspiracy theories, increased security, warnings of a “heightened threat” from domestic extremists in advance of November’s midterm elections, and fears that the extreme rhetoric of far right groups such as QAnon is increasingly spilling over into violence.

On 25 January, a judge ordered the release of police body cam footage and 911 calls from the night of the attack.

Paul Francis Pelosi Sr was born in San Francisco on 15 April 1940, the youngest of three boys born to wholesale druggist John Pelosi and his wife Corrine.

He attended St Ignatius High School in the Bay Area before graduating from Malvern Preparatory School in Pennsylvania and attending Georgetown University in Washington DC.

It was there that he first met his wife – then Baltimore’s Nancy D’Alesandro, the only daughter of long-time city mayor and Maryland congressman Thomas D'Alesandro Jr – whom he married in September 1963 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in her hometown.

The couple went on to have five children – Nancy Corinne, Christine, Paul Jr, Jacqueline and Alexandra – and nine grandchildren.

Mr Pelosi subsequently earned an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University and became a stockbroker.

He owns and operates Financial Leasing Services Inc, a San Francisco-based real estate and venture capital investment and consulting firm and previously owned the Sacramento Mountain Lions football team.

Mr Pelosi had already experienced something of a turbulent year, having been arrested for drink-driving in Napa County in May.

He pleaded guilty to the charges he faced in August and was handed down a five-day jail sentence, three years probation and a $6,800 fine, a melodrama of considerable interest to America’s conservative media ecosystem.

US president Joe Biden and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer are among the many who have condemned the attack on Mr Pelosi, wishing him a speedy recovery and passing on their sympathies to the speaker, who has understandably asked for privacy.