Begich, is a Roman Catholic. He was born in Anchorage, the fourth child of six born to Nick and Pegge Begich. His paternal grandfather John Begich immigrated to the United States from Croatia in 1911. Although he took continuing education classes at University of Alaska in Anchorage, Begich will be the only U.S. Senator without a college degree.
One news report narrates the following exchange during the campaign.
SOLDOTNA, Alaska -- U.S. Senate candidate and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich appeared at a forum ...put on by the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce.
The forum got pretty heated at times, especially when fellow candidate Libertarian Bob Bird brought up Begich's religious views.
"The pope and the bishop have said Catholics that support abortion rights should not present themselves for communion," said Bob Bird, a candidate for U.S. Senate. "I'm going to simply say this: If you are not a Catholic Mark, I can respect that, but I heard you had a baptism in the family at St. Patrick's Cathedral. So I'm going to simply ask you, are you a Catholic, and the next thing I'm going to answer is would you present yourself for communion?"
Begich searched for a polite way to respond.
"First off, I'm a Catholic and I take communion," Begich said. "But let me say one other thing Bob. That the baptism you're talking about is my child's, and for you to do that and now bring that into this campaign is the lowest I've ever seen in any campaign."