Rick Perry Fast Facts

Here is a look at the life of US Secretary of Energy 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 and Griffin
    Education: Texas A&M University, B.S., 1972
    Military Service: US Air Force, 1972-1977, Captain
    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 US Air Force flying transport planes.
    1977 - Returns to 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 reelected 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 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.
    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 against Perry. The court agrees with the argument from Perry's legal team that a Texas law concerning "coercion of a public servant" violates Perry's First Amendment freedom of speech rights. The court is allowing a charge related to abuse of power to move forward.
    January 25, 2016 - Perry endorses Ted Cruz.
    February 24, 2016 - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals drops charges against Perry alleging he abused his power while in office.
    August 30, 2016 - Perry is revealed as one of the members of the upcoming 23rd season of reality television dance competition "Dancing with the Stars" on ABC.
    September 27, 2016 - Is eliminated from "Dancing With The Stars."
    November 22, 2016 - Returns to "Dancing With The Stars" for the season finale. Perry dances with Vanilla Ice during a live performance of "Ice Ice Baby."
    December 13, 2016 - President-elect Donald Trump announces he has selected Perry to be his nominee for energy secretary.