Rick Perry Fast Facts
CNN — Here is a look at the life of Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Personal: Birth date: March 4, 1950
Birth place: Paint Creek, Texas
Birth name: James Richard Perry
Father: Joseph Ray Perry, a farmer
Mother: Amelia (Holt) Perry
Marriage: Anita (Thigpen) Perry (November 6, 1982 -present)
Children: Sydney, 1986; Griffin, 1983
Education: Texas A & M University, B.S., 1972
Military Service: U.S. Air Force, 1972-1977
Other Facts: Is an Eagle Scout.
Met his wife, Anita, while in elementary school.
Is the longest serving governor in Texas history.
Timeline: 1972-1977 - Serves in the U.S. Air Force flying transport planes.
1977 - Returns to Prairie Creek, Texas, to live and work on his father's farm.
1978 - Forms JR Perry Farms with his father.
1985 - 1990 - Member of the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat from the 64th District.
1989 - Switches to the Republican Party.
1991-1998 - Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture.
1999-2000 - Lieutenant governor of Texas.
December 21, 2000 - Perry is sworn in as governor after George W. Bush resigns to become president of the United States.
November 5, 2002 - Perry is elected to a 4-year term.
November 7, 2006 - Is re-elected as governor.
2008 - Perry's book "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For" is published.
November 2, 2010 - Perry is re-elected for a third term in office.
August 13, 2011 - Declares his candidacy for president during a speech in South Carolina.
January 19, 2012 - Suspends his presidential campaign and endorses Newt Gingrich.