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This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.
|Name:||Francis J. Underwood|
|Alias(es):||Little John (as V.P.)|
|Date of birth:||November 5, 1959|
|Birthplace:||Gaffney, Cherokee County, South Carolina, United States|
|Residence(s):||1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW,|
United States of America
1609 Fair St. NW,
United States of America
|Education:||The Sentinel, Harvard University|
|Affiliation:||United States House of Representatives (1991–2013)|
|Profession:||House Majority Whip (2005–2013)|
Vice President of the United States (2013–2014)
President of the United States (2014–present)
|Father:||Calvin T. Underwood|
Claire Underwood (Sep. 3, 1987 - Jan. 19, 2016) (separated)
Tim Corbet (1976-1980)
Zoe Barnes (2013)
Edward Meechum (2014)
|Children:||with Claire Underwood:|
Unborn child (aborted)
|Played by:||Kevin Spacey|
|Seasons:||1, 2, 3|
|First episode:||"Chapter 1"|
|Appears in:||3 seasons, 39 episodes|
Francis Joseph “Frank” Underwood (born November 5, 1959) (D-SC) is the 46th and current President of the United States, assuming office after the resignation of President Garrett Walker, and formerly acted as the majority whip for the United States House of Representatives, serving South Carolina's 5th district. Along with Doug Stamper (Francis' chief of staff), his wife Claire Underwood, and publicist Seth Grayson he gradually began to get revenge for being snubbed as Secretary of State by President Walker and eventually manipulated his way to becoming Vice President and after a time, the President of the United States.
Frank's father was a peach farmer in Gaffney, South Carolina, who died of heart attack at the age of 43. (Chapter 3) Underwood has stated that he and his father had nothing in common whatsoever, and upon his father's death, he felt neither regret nor remorse. He also speaks about his fathers cowardice and weak personality.
Raised in impoverished circumstances, he found his hometown suffocating at the time. (Chapter 3)
Frank attended military college at "The Sentinel ," based on The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He began attending the academy "just after Jimmy Carter had been elected president" (1976). In his senior year, his grades suffered when he volunteered for a U.S. Senate campaign in the fall 1980 and was nearly expelled from the military college. Despite his poor grades, Underwood was accepted and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1984. It is shown that he might have had a romantic relationship while in military college with another cadet, Tim Corbet. (Chapter 8). The incident and others put Frank's sexuality into question.
On September 3, 1987, Frank married Claire. It could be inferred that Frank met Claire while attending law school at Harvard due to the incomplete pamphlet shown for the Underwood Library opening ceremony stating "Harvard Law School... in 1984, where he met...". (Chapter 8) Although Claire was interested in having children, Frank soon decided that it would be cruel to bring a child into a world of pain.
Claire's became pregnant during Frank's early campaigning years, but the child was aborted to help further Frank's political career. In 2014, Claire declares in a TV interview that she had the abortion because she was impregnated from being raped by her boyfriend early in college, a man who later became a decorated general; this, however, is a lie, as the rape did not result in a pregnancy.
South Carolina State LegislatureEdit
Frank was first elected to public office in 1984 at the age of 25 as a member for the South Carolina State Senate, as one of the youngest state legislators in state history. He was re-elected in 1988 before successfully running for Congress.
Representative Election Edit
Frank was first elected as U.S. Representative from South Carolina's 5th congressional district in 1990 and was sworn into office in January of 1991. He has since served for 12 terms, winning re-election for his 12th term in 2012.. Frank steadily rose to higher power within congress, eventually becoming the House Majority Whip for the Democratic Party in 2005. (Chapter 1)
Secretary of State passoverEdit
While beginning to announce his ideas to White House Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez for when he becomes Secretary of State, Vasquez informs Frank that President Walker had passed him up for the position, breaking a promise that he had made to Frank and angering him.This led to him attempting to bring down the nominee for Secretary of State, Michael Kern, a dumb and incompetent politician, and replacing him with a person he deemed a worthier candidate, Catherine Durant, a tougher, smarter candidate. (Chapter 1)
Replacement Secretary Edit
Frank then begins his overture by orchestrating a fall from grace by his replacement. By using Peter Russo to manipulate a drug addicted editor of the Secretary nomination's former college newspaper, the Secretary nominee is then pelted by media for a piece he allegedly authored regarding the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. This subsequent negative media attention leads the President to select someone else, a personal friend of Frank's, Catherine Durant, a senator from Missouri.
Peter Russo for Governor Edit
Taking the young representative under his wing, Frank Underwood´s seemingly grooms Peter Russo for Governor of Pennsylvania. He asks Russo to give him one month of sobriety, not for Frank, but himself. While it does appear that Frank truly wishes for Peter Russo to succeed, he knows his true plan will not come to fruition if he actually wins. Frank and the campaign team decide to portray him as a phoenix, in some respects; an alcoholic who was once at the very bottom of his life, now risen from the ashes, via his children's and God's love. He pretends to be open with his past addictions and problems, by telling only a small portion of his secrets. However, this does not work and voters slowly start turning away and losing interest.
Peter eventually manages to gain trust and respect in his state, first by partnering with his old friend with the unions, then by putting the Vice President in his place when he, the beloved former Governor of Pennsylvania, starts meddling. However, he eventually relapses due to Doug Stamper 's influence in the reappearance of the former call girl, Rachel Posner, Russo was previously associated with. Russo also had a short affair with an unnamed male prostitute that was hinted to be under aged. The morning after Peter relapses, he ruins a morning radio show where he is clearly drunk. With the election thus slipping from Russo's grasp (as Frank knew would occur and planned for), Frank quickly takes control of the situation and plants the seed that the Vice President take back the governorship of the state. Underwood then murders Russo, planting it as a suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning when he realizes Russo can no longer be controlled and is not afraid of him anymore.
Vice Presidential Attempt Edit
After Frank secures an open spot in the Pennsylvania Governorship race (by killing Peter Russo), he begins to influence the Vice President to run. Previously, he had gotten Jim Matthews to campaign with Peter Russo, where he (the Vice President) was reintroduced to the love and adulation of a constituency that loved him. This had reminded the Vice President of his glory days as a politician, the glory days that had not continued in his Vice Presidency. Knowing that he was unhappy, and very eager to feel important once more, as well as having freed up a space for Governor, Frank suggests the Vice President as Governor. The President and V.P. heartily agree, a decision further amounted to, because of an evident dislike for one another. Frank ensures they are both aware of this mutual dislike, by mentioning their comments told in confidence to him, to the other.
As the V.P. campaigns for the certain victory, Frank and White House Chief of Staff, Linda Vasquez, create a fake list of Vice Presidential nominees.The nominees are incompetent and definitely not appropriate. This leads the President to become desperate and be ready to say yes to anything. They cross off every name, as they attempt to build up to Frank becoming the Vice President.
After being vetted by billionaire business magnate Raymond Tusk, a confidant and old friend of the President, Walker officially offered Frank the Vice Presidency, which Frank quickly and heartily accepted. Meanwhile, Frank's phone, left at home, rang as Doug attempted to inform him of Zoe's betrayal.
Frank eventually had a few discussions with Zoe, before meeting with her in a subway station. After having her erase their digital history together, she began to question and probe the death of Peter Russo. With her becoming too close to discovering his scheme, Frank threw her in front of an oncoming train, killing her.
As Vice President, Frank first set out to sever the close ties and drive a wedge between President Walker and Raymond Tusk. He did this by back channeling with China regarding the building of a Port Jefferson Bridge and successfully lobbied the President to go against Tusk's interests in the project.
Tusk started guiding his money to the Republicans and Frank ordered Seth Grayson to assist a reporter in revealing Xander Feng's connections to the money. The ensuing investigation led to Tusk's implication of President Walker and Walker's resignation. Frank ensured that Jackie Sharp whipped up enough votes for impeachment in the house by having Claire rework the Military Sexual Assault bill and he convinced Michael Kern to help him whip votes in the Senate by hinting at an eventual nomination as Secretary of the Treasury.
With connection to China exposed, President Walker was trapped and resigned his presidency. Frank was promptly sworn in as President. His first act is to renounce the asylum of Xander Feng, resulting in his deportation back to China and almost certain execution.
Frank stepped into the Oval Office for the first time as President and knocked his ring twice on the desk, his trademark.
Congressional leadership has expressed their distaste for President Underwood.
In Season 3, Underwood ran for the Democratic nomination against Heather Dunbar and Jackie Sharp, albeit him announcing that he would not run for re-election earlier in the season. Season 3 finishes before the Democratic nominee is chosen, with Frank beating Heather by a slim majority in Iowa. It is implied that Frank will go on to win the nomination.
Behind the ScenesEdit
|"Chapter 1"||"Chapter 2"||"Chapter 3"||"Chapter 4"||"Chapter 5"|
|"Chapter 6"||"Chapter 7"||"Chapter 8"||"Chapter 9"||"Chapter 10"|
|"Chapter 11"||"Chapter 12"||"Chapter 13"|
|"Chapter 14"||"Chapter 15"||"Chapter 16"||"Chapter 17"||"Chapter 18"|
|"Chapter 19"||"Chapter 20"||"Chapter 21"||"Chapter 22"||"Chapter 23"|
|"Chapter 24"||"Chapter 25"||"Chapter 26"|
|"Chapter 27"||"Chapter 28"||"Chapter 29"||"Chapter 30"||"Chapter 31"|
|"Chapter 32"||"Chapter 33"||"Chapter 34"||"Chapter 35"||"Chapter 36"|
|"Chapter 37"||"Chapter 38"||"Chapter 39"|
Frank is a patient, cold, duplicitous, cunning, and ruthless politician that knows exactly how to take what he wants. Almost machine-like in his approach, he is known to be "extremely effective at what he sets his mind to" according to the likes of Raymond Tusk. Displayed as a power-hungry man with the skills and the resources to match, his quest for power and vengeance leads him to break old alliances and trample on and destroy those that stand in his way. We later learn that he is even willing to kill those who become a threat, as shown through his murder of Peter Russo after he threatened to expose Frank along with himself and Zoe Barnes when she realises that Frank murdered Russo. He is a more than capable political maneuverer and can act warm, jolly and caring to people to gain their trust. He has no qualms of killing people or ruining their lives and careers if it serves his goals.
Despite these traits, Frank can be warm and gentle to those he truly cares about, particularly to Claire Underwood and to a lesser extent Zoe Barnes. He protects and and takes care of those around him such as Doug and Steve and Edward Meechum, his bodyguards.
With fellow schemers and politicians who understand his game, he has a definite respect for, such as Catherine Durant or Raymond Tusk. However, they can very easily become his enemies if they interfere with his plans. With others who are oblivious to his intentions or less intelligent, he adopts a different facade, acting more caring and generous than he really is to mask his true personality.
- "There are two kinds of pain. The sort of pain that makes you strong, or useless pain. The sort of pain that's only suffering. I have no patience for useless things. Moments like this require someone who will act. Who will do the unpleasant thing, the necassary thing. There, no more pain."
- "The nature of promises, Linda, is that they remain immune to changing circumstances."
- (about Claire Underwood) "I love that woman. I love her more than sharks love blood."
- (about Michael Kern) "I almost pity him. He didn't choose to be put on my platter. When I carve him up and toss him to the dogs, only then will he confront that brutal, inescapable truth:" My God, all I ever amounted to was chitlins.""
- "That's how you devour a whale, Doug--one bite at a time."
- "Power is a lot like real estate. It's all about location, location, location. The closer to the source, the higher your property value."
- "We're in the same boat now Ms. Barnes. Take care not to tip us over, I can only save one of us from drowning."
- "If you don't like how the table is set, turn over the table."
- "Forward, that is the battle-cry. Leave ideology to the arm-chair generals, it does me no good."
- "I have zero tolerance for betrayal which they will soon indelibly learn."
- "I must not lose my resolve. I will march forward even if I have to do so alone."
- "It only takes ten seconds to crush a man's ambitions."
- "I pray to myself, for myself."
- "For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy. There is but one rule: Hunt or be hunted"
- If we didn't do the things we shouldn't do we'd never feel good about doing the things we should.
- Underwood is named probably after the actual first Democratic party Whip in the House of Representatives: Oscar Underwood. John Kern created the first Whip in the Senate.
- Check UK USA similarities for the changes from the his British counterpart.
- Frank has met all of the main characters, except Janine and Lucas.
- Frank saw Lucas outside Zoe's apartment, but they never interacted.
- He was aware of Janine.
- The Sentinel is a fictional stand-in version of The Citadel.
|Party political offices|
|House Majority Whip|
January 3, 2005 – November 10, 2013
| Succeeded by|
|President of the United States|
October 30, 2014 – present
| Succeeded by|
|Vice President of the United States|
November 10, 2013 – October 30, 2014
| Succeeded by|