William Harrison Frist (born February 22, 1952) is an American physician, businessman, and politician. He began his career as a heart and lung transplant surgeon. He later served two terms as a Republican United States Senator representing Tennessee. He was the Senate Majority Leader from 2003 to 2007.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Frist studied health care policy at Princeton University and interned for Congressman Joe L. Evins. Rather than going directly into politics, Frist earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School, becoming a surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital and several other hospitals. In 1994, he defeated incumbent Democratic Senator Jim Sasser, and pledged to only serve two terms.
After serving as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Frist succeeded Tom Daschle as the Senate Majority Leader. Frist helped pass several parts of President George W. Bush’s domestic agenda, including the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 and PEPFAR. He was also a strong proponent of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and a prominent advocate of tort reform. Frist left the Senate in 2007, honoring his commitment to serve no more than two terms. Since leaving Congress, he has remained active in public life and has taught at several universities.