Wheat graduated from Grinnell College in 1972 and served in the Missouri General Assembly from 1977 to 1982. When Congressman Richard Walker Bolling chose to retire after the 1982 election, Wheat won the Democratic primary and he went on to win the general election to succeed Bolling.
Wheat was the youngest member of the United States House of Representatives ever to be appointed to the Rules Committee and was also the first African-American to represent a district with a white majority.
After United States Senator John Danforth said he would not run for re-election in the 1994 election, Wheat chose to leave the House and instead run for Danforth's seat. He won the primary, becoming the first black nominated by either major party for a statewide office. Wheat lost the general election to former governor John Ashcroft. Karen McCarthy was elected to succeed him in the House.
After his Senate race, Wheat was chosen as vice president of Public Policy and Government Relations at CARE. He served as deputy campaign manager of President Bill Clinton's re-election campaign in 1996. In 1997, Wheat formed the lobbying group Wheat Government Relations
The Center for Public Integrity reports that Wheat Government Relations represents clients on the issues of: 1) Indian & Native American Affairs ; 2) Federal Budget & Appropriations ; 3) Gaming, Gambling & Casinos
Wheat currently serves on the Board of Directors at CARE. He is married to Yolanda Wheat, vice chair of the Missouri Democratic Party and one of the state's current superdelegates. He has three children.
Remarks at a reception for Senate candidate Alan Wheat in Kansas City, Missouri. (Bill Clinton speech) (Transcript)
Oct 03, 1994; September 24, 1994 Thank you very much, Governor Carnahan, for your leadership on so many fronts, on health care and welfare...
Rep. Wheat of Kansas wins Dem. nomination for U.S. Senate seat. (Representative Alan Wheat wins Democratic nomination) (Brief Article)
Aug 22, 1994; Rep. Alan Wheat of Kansas City, MO, recently defeated his opponent Marsha Murphy and accepted the Democratic Party nomination for...