After graduating from East Saint Louis High School, he earned a Bachelor of Science from Tennessee State University and later a law degree from the University of Miami.
The 57th District, located in the Metro East region includes all or parts of Freeburg, Belleville, East Saint Louis, O"Fallon, Madison, Fairview Heights, Shiloh and Scott Air Force Base. Senator Clayborne was born and raised in East Saint Louis. He went on to serve as an assistant state’s attorney in Saint Clair County as well as a child support prosecutor, a supervisor in the Saint Clair County Juvenile Abuse and Neglect Division, a supervisor in Felony Probation Revocations and a felony prosecutor.
He also was one of 50 attorneys selected nationwide to participate in the Federal Bureau of Investigation"s National Law Institute in Quantico, Virginia.
He later chose to enter private practice
In 1995, Clayborne was appointed to complete the term of longtime Senator Kenneth Hall and was later elected in his own right in 1996. In 2009, he became the Senate Majority Leader after finishing second to John Cullerton in the race for Senate President.
Clayborne is the current chair of the Assignments Committee as well as the committees on Energy, Executive Appointments, Insurance, Public Pensions & State Investments and the subcommittees on Governmental Operations and Constitutional Amendments. Clayborne also served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
He is currently the second highest-ranking member of the, serving as the Senate Majority Leader since 2009.
Married Staci Clayborne. 4 children.