Josh Lyman – The West Wing
Played by Bradley Whitford
Joshua Lyman is the longtime White House Deputy Chief of Staff in the administration of President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet. He was born in Connecticut, the son of a high-powered attorney in a New York law firm. A graduate of Harvard and Yale, he left another promising campaign to join the Bartlet team after hearing the future president speak, noting the man’s honesty, candor, and integrity. He is generally credited with helping to craft Bartlet into a candidate that the public, and other politicians, came to take very seriously.
Josh is extremely intelligent, witty and self assured — almost to the point of cockiness — but also boyish and charming. Though legitimately idealistic like many his colleagues, he earns his reputation as aggressive through tactics that some might view as less-than-savory, including intimidation, threats and even blackmail (so, basically, politics). But it’s all in service to an administration, President, and policies in which he strongly believes.
His family history is marked by struggle and some tragedy. Josh’s grandfather was held in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, before dying of cancer during Bartlet’s campaign. His older sister, Joanie, died in a house fire trying to get a very young Josh to safety, a chilling childhood event that still haunts him to this day.