Paul Ryan Fast Facts

Updated 9:53 AM EST, Tue January 19, 2021

Here’s a look at the life of former House Speaker Paul Ryan.


Birth date: January 29, 1970

Birth place: Janesville, Wisconsin

Birth name: Paul Davis Ryan

Father: Paul M. Ryan, an attorney

Mother: Elizabeth “Betty” (Hutter) Ryan Douglas

Marriage: Janna (Little) Ryan (December 2, 2000-present)

Children: Liza, Charlie, Sam

Education: Miami University (Ohio), B.A., 1992

Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Facts

Ryan’s father died of a heart attack when Ryan was 16.

Double-majored in economics and political science at Miami University (Ohio).

Ryan is a fitness buff and enjoys bow hunting.


1992 - Legislative aide to Senator Robert Kasten of Wisconsin.

1993-1995 - Staff assistant and speechwriter for the Empower America think tank, which was co-founded by Rep. Jack Kemp (R-NY).

1995-1997 - Legislative director for Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas.

November 3, 1998 - Is elected to the US House of Representatives for the 1st District of Wisconsin. Ryan is reelected in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.

2011-2014 - Chairman of the House Budget Committee.

March 29, 2012 - Ryan’s 2013 budget proposal is passed by the Republican controlled House, 228-191. The budget plan is later defeated in the Senate, 57-40.

August 11, 2012 - Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney announces Ryan as his choice for vice presidential running mate.

August 17, 2012 - Released tax documents show that Ryan and his wife earned $323,416 in 2011 and paid an effective tax rate of 20%.

November 6, 2012 - The Romney-Ryan ticket is defeated in the general election by the Obama-Biden ticket, but Ryan wins an eighth term representing Wisconsin’s 1st District.

October 8, 2013 - The Wall Street Journal publishes an op-ed by Ryan in the midst of the 16-day government shutdown, in which Ryan discusses the challenges of reaching a budget agreement.

December 2013 - Ryan and Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray strike a budget deal that avoids a shutdown until 2015. It passes the House 332-94 and the Senate 64-36 and is signed by President Barack Obama.

July 24, 2014 - Ryan releases a 73-page plan to fight poverty, called “Expanding Opportunity in America.”

January 6, 2015-October 29, 2015 - Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means.

October 22, 2015 - Officially announces he is running for House speaker.

October 28, 2015 - House Republicans nominate Ryan for speaker of the House.

October 29, 2015 - Becomes the 54th speaker of the US House of Representatives.

April 12, 2016 - Ending speculation that he could be drafted as the Republican presidential nominee during the party’s summer convention in Cleveland, Ryan declares, “I do not want, nor will I accept the nomination…Count me out.”

November 8, 2016 - Ryan wins reelection to the House, defeating Democrat Ryan Solen 65% to 32%.

January 3, 2017 - Ryan is reelected as the speaker of the US House of Representatives.

December 22, 2017 - President Donald Trump signs into law an overhaul of the US tax code, an issue the speaker has long supported.

April 11, 2018 - Announces he is not seeking reelection.

January 3, 2019 - Retires from Congress.

March 2019 - Appointed to the board of Fox Corporation and serves as chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

April 15, 2019 - The University of Notre Dame announces that Ryan will be a guest lecturer for political science and economics during the 2019-2020 academic year.

October 28, 2019 - Ryan announces the launch of the American Idea Foundation, a nonprofit organization aimed at fighting poverty.