Guest Author - Linda Sue Grimes
Willard Mitt Romney was born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 12, 1947 to George Romney, former governor of Michigan, and Lenore Romney, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1970. He has two sisters, Lynn and Jane, and one brother, G. Scott.
After graduating from Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Romney studied for two quarters at Stanford University; then, he spent the next three years as an LDS missionary in France. After his missionary work, he attended Brigham Young University, from which he graduated in 1971, summa cum laude. He completed an MBA at Harvard Business School, as well as a JD from Harvard Law School.
In 1968, Romney married Ann Davies, whom he had met in high school. They are both Mormons and have five children. They maintain homes in Utah and New Hampshire as well as Massachusetts.
After receiving his law/business degree, Romney took a position at the Boston Consulting Group. Then he served as vice president of Bain & Company, also a consulting position. After serving at Bain & Company, he co-founded Bain Capital, an investment firm that became very successful. After returning to Bain & Company, he again served with Bain Capital.
His years with Bain Capital saw more a 100% increase in the company’s rate of investments. This company founded and invested in such firms as Staples, Brookstone, Domino’s Pizza, and the Sealy Corporation.
In 1998, he left Bain Capital to serve as head of the organizing committee for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games. His business acumen has resulted in his net worth topping $500 million. He donated a million dollars to the Olympics. And annually contributes at least a half-million dollars to charity.
In 1994, Romney ran for the U. S. Senate against long-time senator, Ted Kennedy. In the beginning, he challenged Kennedy in the polls receiving 42% to Kennedy’s 44%; then Kennedy began a smear campaign, blasting Romney’s religion with the claim that the Mormon Church oppressed women and blacks.
Also, because Romney had a stellar business background with Bain Capital and had created jobs, Kennedy was able to find disgruntled union employees who disputed Romney’s record. The smear tactics worked, and Romney lost to Kennedy, but Kennedy’s winning margin was the smallest of his nine-senate runs.
On January 2, 2003, Mitt Romney was sworn in to office as the 70th governor of Massachusetts. He faced a $3 billion deficit, but without raising taxes, managed to bring down the deficit and generate a balanced budget every year he was governor. He eliminated wasteful government spending and shrunk the government while supporting economic reforms that stimulated growth in the state.
Romney added close to 60,000 jobs and lowered the unemployment rate. His economic plans drew many companies to Massachusetts while other companies expanded. Before his became governor, the state was losing companies every month.
Romney improved Massachusetts’ education by starting the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program, which offers a four-year scholarship to the top 25% of Massachusetts graduating high school seniors. He also supported reforms that encouraged math and science education, new programs for failing schools, and he encouraged intensive English language instruction for students whose first language is not English.
In 2006, he signed into law a market-based reform system to insure every Massachusetts citizen health care insurance, without being government directed and without additional taxation.
In February 2007, Mitt Romney announced that he will seek the nomination of the Republican Party for president in 2008. Emphasizing his experience as governor, he offers himself as an alternative to the other candidates with less governing experience.
For more information on Governor Mitt Romney:
Governor Mitt Romney's Presidential Announcement