10 Things You Didn't Know About Ron Paul
Compiled by the U.S. News & World Report library staff
1. Ronald Ernest Paul was born on Aug. 20, 1935, in Pittsburgh. His father was a dairy farmer.
2. Paul graduated with a bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College in 1957 and with a medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine in 1961.
3. He served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and in the Air National Guard until 1968. That year he moved to Texas to take over another doctor's medical practice.
4. Paul greatly admires Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), an Austrian economist who advocated laissez-faire, free market policies. A photo of the economist decorates his office wall. Paul became interested in politics in 1971 when President Nixon removed the country from the gold standard and set wage price controls disappointing actions to Paul (and presumably von Mises).
5. Paul was elected to the House of Representatives in a special election in April 1976 to replace resigning Rep. Robert R. Casey. He was not re-elected later that year but did win his bid in 1978. He held office until early 1985, when he returned to his medical practice.
6. Paul ran for president in 1988 as a candidate for the Libertarian party. He received over 400,000 votes (or 0.47 percent), finishing third behind George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis.
7. Returning to the GOP, Paul won office again in 1996 to represent his Texas district in the House. He has been re-elected five times. He reportedly would like to be listed as both a Republican and a Libertarian, if Texas law allowed. And maybe also as a member of the Constitutional Party.
8. Paul received the nickname "Dr. No" in Congress for repeatedly casting "nay" votes, even on legislation with almost unanimous support from his Republican colleagues. Explaining why he opposes legislation that expands government power, funds federal spending, or reduces privacy: "I interpret through the eyes of the Constitution. If we don't have direct authorization, I don't vote for it, even if there are good intentions." In 2006, the Washington Post wrote: "He says, if his fellow Republicans are 'very desperate,' he may allow himself to be talked into changing a 'no' vote to 'present.' "
9. During his medical career specializing in obstetrics/gynecology, he delivered more than 4,000 babies. He refused to accept payment by Medicare or Medicaid, preferring to not charge patients or to work out a cash payment.
10. Paul is married to Carol Wells. They have five children and 17 grandchildren. He supported his children during their undergraduate and medical school yearsnot letting them accept federal student loans. It is also said he plans to refuse his congressional pension.
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