Updated August 11, 2011
Mitt Romney, Former Governor of Massachusetts
Born: March 12, 1947 (Detroit, MI)
Lives in: Belmont, MA
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Height: 6′; 2″ (1.9 m) tall
Family: Married wife Ann in 1969, 5 sons Taggart, Matthew, Joshua, Benjamin, and Craig
Parents: George Romney and Lenore (Lafount) Romney
Education: Graduated: Brigham Young University (1971) – with highest honors
Master’s of Business Administration from Harvard (1975)
Law Degree from Harvard (1975) – cum laude
Career: Governor of Massachusetts, 2003-2007
Books: Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games (2004)
Below is from Governor Romney’s Facebook page.
“I was born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 12, 1947. After graduating from Cranbrook School, I went to Stanford University. My sophomore year, I transferred to Brigham Young University to pursue my high school sweetheart, Ann … whom I married over 40 years ago and with whom I’ve had five boys – Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig, who in turn married five wonderful women – Jen, Laurie, Jen, Andelyne and Mary – and we now have sixteen beautiful grandchildren.
After graduating with highest honors from BYU in 1971, I wanted to go to business school, but my dad wanted me to go to law school. We ended up reaching a compromise: I did both … by enrolling in a joint program between Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. I graduated cum laude from law school and in the top 5% of my business school class, and then joined the Boston Consulting Group.
In 1978, I moved to Bain and Company, a Boston-based management consulting firm. And, in 1984, I founded Bain Capital, a venture capital firm that has launched hundreds of companies on a successful course, including Staples, Domino’s Pizza, and The Sports Authority. Later, when the 2002 Winter Olympics was facing a financial crisis, I was asked to help turn the Games around in Salt Lake City.
From 2003 to 2007, I had the privilege of serving as the Governor of Massachusetts, where I balanced the budget every year of my administration; strengthened the education system so that young people could compete for well paying jobs in the global economy; and enacted a private, market-based health care reform which ensured that every Massachusetts citizen will have insurance. I enjoyed the experience of running for president in 2008, even though we came up short, and spent the last few years helping elect conservative candidates across the country as honorary chairman of the Free and Strong America PAC. Recently, I announced that I am exploring another presidential bid to become the Republican nominee in 2012 and would be humbled to have your support.”
Biography from Romney for President, Inc.
America faces exceptional challenges. Mitt Romney is an exceptional man with unique qualifications to lead our country through perilous times, restoring our strength at home and abroad.
Mitt was born in Detroit on March 12, 1947. His mother, Lenore, gave up an acting career when she met and married his father, George. Mitt’s father came from humble origins and never graduated from college. He apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter and sold aluminum paint before beginning a career that brought him to the head of American Motors and then the governorship of Michigan.
Mitt married his wife, Ann, in 1969. They first met in elementary school when he was a Cub Scout; he remembers tossing pebbles at her when she rode by on a horse. When they met again years later at a friend’s house, he was smitten. Between them, they have five sons and sixteen grandchildren, who are the center of their lives.
Like any family, the Romneys have faced hardship: Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, and more recently fought a battle with breast cancer. She credits her husband’s unwavering care and devotion to her for helping her through these ordeals.
Mitt is not a career politician. He has spent most of his life in the private sector, giving him intimate knowledge of how our economy works. But he has also been an outstanding public servant. In one chapter of his distinguished career, he reversed the decline of a state mired in recession. In another chapter, he salvaged the 2002 Winter Olympic Games from certain disaster.
When Mitt was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, the state was in severe disarray, its budget was out of balance, spending was soaring, and taxpayers were being required to pay more and more in taxes for diminishing services. The state economy was in a tailspin, with businesses cutting back on investment or even closing and unemployment ticking up. Mitt made hard decisions that brought state spending under control. He restructured and consolidated government programs, paring back where necessary and finding efficiencies throughout.
Facing a state legislature dominated by Democrats, Mitt cast more than 800 vetoes as he brought conservative principles to state government. He cut red tape for small businesses, signed into law job-creating incentives, and fought hard to bring new businesses to the state. He eliminated a $3 billion deficit without borrowing or raising taxes. By 2007, at the end of Mitt’s term, the state had accumulated a $2 billion rainy day fund in its coffers. This stringent fiscal discipline provided an essential backdrop for economic recovery. When Mitt came into office, the state was losing jobs every month. When he left office, the economy was generating new jobs by the thousands.
In 1999, the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics was on the verge of collapse. Thanks to his reputation as a superb manager, Mitt was asked to take over. The event had been bogged down in a bid-rigging scandal, sponsors were fleeing, and the budget was bleeding red ink. The attacks of September 11, 2001, just months before the start date, created a security nightmare. Some were contemplating scaling back the competition or even moving it out of the country.
Mitt set to work. In a remarkably short period, he revamped the organization’s leadership, trimmed the budget, and restored public confidence. He oversaw an unprecedented security mobilization to assure the safety of the athletes and millions of international visitors, staging one of the most successful games ever held on U.S. soil.
Mitt’s impressive skills did not come out of nowhere. He began his career in business.
After graduating from Brigham Young University in 1971, he earned dual degrees from Harvard Law and Harvard Business School. After working as a business consultant for several years, Mitt founded the investment firm Bain Capital in 1984. Under his leadership, Bain Capital helped to launch or rebuild hundreds of companies, including household names such as Staples, Domino’s Pizza, and The Sports Authority. As Bain Capital was growing in prominence, Mitt returned to his old consulting firm, Bain & Company, as CEO. In a time of financial turmoil at the company, he led a successful turnaround.
Biography from Americans for Mitt
Governor Mitt Romney has been an effective leader in both the business and public service worlds. With the 2002 Winter Olympics mired in controversy and facing serious financial crisis, Romney was asked to become President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Although the challenge seemed daunting, he was compelled to assume the task by both the urging of his wife and the memory of his late father, George Romney, who was a successful businessman, three-term Michigan Governor and tireless advocate of volunteerism.
In his three years in Salt Lake, Romney erased a $379 million operating deficit, organized 23,000 volunteers, galvanized community spirit, oversaw an unprecedented security mobilization to ensure public safety and led one of the most successful Olympics in our nation’s history.
Prior to his service at the Olympics, Romney had a distinguished career in business. From 1978 to 1984, he was a Vice President at Bain and Company, the Boston-based management consulting firm. In 1984, Romney founded Bain Capital, a highly successful investment company that founded, acquired or invested in hundreds of companies,
including Staples, Brookstone and Domino’s Pizza. In 1990, he took a two-year leave of absence from Bain Capital to lead a highly successful turnaround of Bain and Company as its interim CEO during a period of financial turmoil.
Romney received his BA with highest honors from Brigham Young University in 1971. In 1975, he was awarded an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar, and a JD cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Governor Mitt Romney was elected to his first term on November 5, 2002.
Since his election, Governor Mitt Romney has been a strong voice for reforming state government, imposing fiscal discipline and improving education.
Romney has launched a major overhaul of Massachusetts state government, working to eliminate waste and patronage and to make outdated bureaucracies more efficient. Working with the Legislature, he has brought the state’s fiscal house in order, turning a $3 billion budget deficit into a $700 million surplus without raising taxes or borrowing.
Romney has made education a top priority. He put in place the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program, which gives top achieving students four years of free tuition at any of the state’s colleges or universities. Romney also proposed and signed into law a program to jumpstart the construction or renovation of more than 400 schools across the state and invested additional funds in after school programs in the lowest performing school districts. In addition, he has been a proponent of charter schools, leading the effort to increase the number of these innovative public schools.
Governor Romney and his wife Ann have been married for 36 years. They have five sons, five daughters-in-law, and eight grandchildren.
Do you know where you still on the political spectrum? See “Political Beliefs, Where Are You” to find out where you stand.
Update February 22, 2012
- *Michele Bachmann, Congresswoman from Minnesota
- *Herman Cain, CEO of Godfather’s Pizza
- Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House
- *Jon Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador to China
- **Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico
- *Thaddeus McCotter, U.S. Representative from Michigan
- Ron Paul, U.S. Representative from Texas
- *Rick Perry, Governor of Texas
- Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana
- Mitt Romney, Former Governor of Massachusetts
- Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
* Candidate has suspended campaign or dropped out of race
** Candidate has changed political party but is still candidate of POTUS