Former Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Comey, a Republican, born to a large Irish American family in Yonkers, NY, has been confirmed by the Senate as the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Comey who is a towering six foot eight tall was born to an Irish Catholic family in Yonkers, New York and shortly after moved to Allendale, New Jersey, where he spent his formative years. He is the second of four children, his father worked at corporate real estate and his mother was a homemaker and computer consultant, according to his profile in New York Magazine.

President Obama said about Comey, “In the face of ever-changing threats, he has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to defending America's security and ideals alike.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt also said, "James Comey proved that his reputation for unwavering integrity and professionalism is well-deserved," AP reported.

This Irish Catholic, Comey (52), will replace Robert Mueller, who led the bureau since before the 9/11 attacks on New York.

Comey served as deputy US attorney general for President George W. Bush, a Republican, from 2003 to 2005.

In 2004 he refused to certify aspects of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program, which according to Reuters, earned him a reputation of being willing to buck authority. At the time he was acting attorney general while then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was unwell. Comey’s refusal to sign saw the White House going to hospital to get Ashcroft’s signature. Comey said Ashcroft also refused.

These actions won Comey the support of Democrats who opposed Bush’s domestic surveillance program.

In 2005 he left the Justice Department and until 2010 he served as the general counsel to the aerospace company Lockheed Martin.

Earlier in July Comey testified in Senate that he believed “the use of waterboarding, or near drowning, as an interrogation technique was torture and thus illegal.” Comey had previously made these views known during the Bush administration.

The FBI employs almost 36,000 people, including 13,785 special agents. These agents investigate cases ranging from domestic and international terrorism to civil rights violations, drug cases, white collar crime and public corruption.