Rick Perry Fast Facts

Here is a look at the life of 2016 presidential candidate and former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

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; Griffin

    Education: Texas A&M University, B.S., 1972

    Military Service: U.S. Air Force, 1972-1977

    Religion: Methodist

    Other Facts:
    Is an Eagle Scout.

    Met his wife, Anita, in elementary school.

    Is the longest serving governor in Texas history.

    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.

    1985-1991 - Member of the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat from the 64th District.

    1989 - Switches to the Republican Party.

    1991-1999 - 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 four-year term.

    November 7, 2006 - Is re-elected 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 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.

    July 8, 2013 - Announces that he will not run for re-election as Texas governor in 2014.

    August 15, 2014 - A grand jury indicts Rick Perry on charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of his official capacity. He allegedly threatened to veto funding for a statewide public integrity unit run by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg unless she resigned following her arrest on a drunk driving charge. She stayed in office, and he later vetoed the funding.

    August 19, 2014 - Perry voluntarily appears at the Travis County Court house to be booked and fingerprinted and to have his mug shot taken. He pleads not guilty to charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of official capacity. The next day he makes the first of six campaign style stops across New Hampshire.

    November 18, 2014 - A state district judge in Texas denies a defense motion to have two felony charges dismissed against Perry.

    January 15, 2015 - Steps down as governor.

    June 4, 2015 - Announces he is running for president at a rally in Addison, Texas.

    July 24, 2015 - A Texas appeals court dismisses one of two criminal charges Perry. The court agrees with the argument from Perry's legal team that a Texas law concerning "coercion of a public servant" violated Perry's First Amendment freedom of speech rights. It is, however, allowing a charge related to abuse of power, to move forward.

    September 11, 2015 - Suspends his campaign for the presidency.