Ben Carson Fast Facts

(CNN)Here is a look at the life of Ben Carson, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, a retired neurosurgeon and a former 2016 presidential candidate.

Birth date:
September 18, 1951
Birth place: Detroit, Michigan
Birth name: Benjamin Solomon Carson
    Father: Robert Carson, auto factory worker
    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
    Other Facts:
    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.
    1987 - 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.
    1994 - 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.
    2004 - 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.