10 Things You Didn't Know About Haley Barbour

The Mississippi governor is a possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate.


1. Haley Reeves Barbour was born on October 22, 1947, in Yazoo City, Miss., the youngest of three boys to Jeptha, an attorney, and LeFlore Barbour. His father died of a heart attack when Barbour was 2 years old.

2. Barbour was the valedictorian of his high school class and was voted "Mr. Yazoo High School." He received a scholarship to attend the University of Mississippi.

3. Barbour left Ole Miss during his senior year to work on Republican Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign.

4. He didn't finish college but earned a law degree from Ole Miss in 1973. (At the time, an undergraduate degree was not a requirement for law school.)

5. In 1982, he unsuccessfully challenged longtime Democratic Sen. John Stennis, who won 64 percent to 36 percent.

6. Three years later, Barbour became the director of political affairs for the Reagan White House and later advised George H. W. Bush's presidential campaign.

7. In 1991, Barbour founded what is now the BGR Group, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm.

8. Barbour served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1993-1997. During his tenure, Republicans gained control of the House after being in the minority for four decades.

9. He was first elected governor in 2003 after having raised a record $10.6 million. In 2009, Barbour became chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

10. Barbour and his wife Marsha, whom he married in 1971, live in Yazoo and have two sons and four grandchildren.