Akin was born in New York City, but was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from the John Burroughs School and went on to attend Worcestor Polytechnic Institute. He received a Bachelor's Degree in engineering there in 1971. He became an engineer officer for the National Guard of the U.S. Army and then in the Army reserves until 1980. After that he worked a a salesman at IBM and later managing his families' steel business. He also earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1984 from Covenant Theological Seminary, though he never served in a ministry. Akin was elected to the Missouri State Assembly in 1988 and was re-elected until 2000, in which he ran for the House of Representatives. He served in the House of Representatives from 2001 until currently. He ran for the Senate in 2012, but lost due to controversial comments he made about legitamite rape.