Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-1995
Robert Underwood was born in Tamuning, Guam on July 13, 1948, and attended public schools in Guam and California. In 1969 he graduated from California State University at Los Angeles and in 1971 he received an M.A. degree from California State University. He also received a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California. From 1972 to 1976 he began a career as a high school teacher, school administrator, and curriculum writer for the Guam public schools. From 1976 to 1982, he had a notable career at the University of Guam as instructor and director of the Bilingual Bicultural Training Program from 1976 to 1981, assistant professor from 1981 to 1983, dean of the College of Education from 1988 to 1990, and academic vice president from 1990 to 1992. From 1983 to 1988, he was director of Bilingual Education Assistance for Micronesia.
He also served as Chair of the Chamorro Language Commission and was a member of the Guam Review Board for Historic Preservation. He was one of the founding members of the Guam Council for Humanities, and also was active in the political status task force established by the Government of Guam.
In 1992 Underwood was elected Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives and was reelected in 1994. He served on the Armed Services, Natural Resources, and Education and Labor Committees in the 103rd Congress.