Mother: Sonya (Copeland) Carson, domestic worker
Marriage: Lacena "Candy" (Rustin) Carson (July 1975-present)
Children: Murray, Benjamin Jr., Rhoeyce
Education: Yale University, B.A. in Psychology, 1973; University of Michigan School of Medicine, M.D., 1977
Religion: Seventh Day Adventist
When Carson became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins at age 33, he became the youngest to head a major division in the hospital's history.
His parents separated when he was eight, after it was revealed his father was a bigamist.
He and his brother were raised by their mother.
Carson admits that he had a violent temper in his youth, and says one of the defining moments of his life occurred when he was 14. Carson attempted to stab a schoolmate, but luckily the boy's belt buckle blocked the knife. After praying for three hours, Carson "came to an understanding that to lash out at people is not a sign of strength, it was a sign of weakness."
Known for offering provocative commentary on a wide range of issues, including comparing the modern American government to Nazi Germany in a March 2014 interview with Breitbart, and at the 2013 Values Voters Summit, saying that Obamacare is "the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery."
1977-1978 - Intern in general surgery at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
1978-1982 - Completes his neurosurgery residency at Johns Hopkins.
1982-1983 - Chief neurosurgery resident at Johns Hopkins.
1983-1984 - Senior registrar in neurosurgery at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Australia.
1984-2013 - Director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
Primary neurosurgeon on team that performs the first successful surgery to separate conjoined twins
connected at the back of the head (occipital craniopagus twins).
1990 - Carson's best-selling autobiography, "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story," is released.
With his wife, founds the Carson Scholars Fund,
which facilitates leisure reading for children and funds college scholarships for students with strong academics and humanitarian achievement.
1997 - Primary neurosurgeon on the team that performs the first fully successful surgery to separate Type 2 vertical craniopagus twins (joined at the top of the head and facing opposite directions), where both twins survive and are neurologically normal.
2002 - Co-founds the Benevolent Endowment Network (BEN) Fund, which provides financial support for the medical expenses of pediatric neurosurgery patients.
August 2002 - Undergoes surgery for prostate cancer. He is later declared cancer-free.
Named by President George W. Bush
to the President's Council on Bioethics.
June 19, 2008 -
Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom
from President George W. Bush.
February 7, 2009 - Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Carson in the made-for-television movie, "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story."
February 7, 2013 - Gains national attention after he criticizes Democratic policies on taxes and healthcare during his keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast.
July 1, 2013 - Retires from Johns Hopkins as director of pediatric neurosurgery, professor and co-director of the Craniofacial Center.
October 2013-November 2014 - Contributor for Fox News.
November 2014 -
Officially switches his party affiliation from registered Independent to Republican, a move he later acknowledges was spurred on by a possible presidential run.
March 4, 2015 -
On CNN's "New Day," Carson asserts that homosexuality is a choice because people "go into prison straight -- and when they come out, they're gay." He later apologizes for his comments but says that the science is still murky on the issue.
May 4, 2015 -
Formally announces his candidacy for president in his hometown of Detroit.
March 2, 2016 -
After a disappointing finish on Super Tuesday, Carson announces he doesn't "see a political path forward"
in the Republican presidential nomination process, and will not attend the upcoming GOP presidential debate in Detroit.
March 4, 2016 -
In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference gathering in National Harbor, Maryland, Carson officially ends his presidential campaign and reveals his next move:
becoming the national chairman of My Faith Votes, a group focused on getting out the Christian vote in November.
November 15, 2016 -
Carson declines an offer from President-elect Donald Trump to join his cabinet as Secretary of Health and Human Services. A close Carson adviser tells CNN Carson declined the position in part because running a federal agency would be "a lot to ask" of a "neophyte" like Carson who has never before worked in government.
December 5, 2016 -
The Trump transition team announces Carson will be nominated
as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
March 2, 2017 - Carson is confirmed as HUD Secretary with a 58-41 vote in the Senate.