Childhood & Early Life
Paul Davis Ryan was born on January 29, 1970, in Janesville, Wisconsin to Elizabeth Ann and Paul Ryan Sr. He is the youngest son of the four children in his family. His mother was an interior designer while his father worked as an attorney. He has a sister and two older brothers. His father passed away, due to a heart attack, when Ryan was just 16 years old.
He completed his schooling from Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville where and was a part of the school's ski, track, basketball, and varsity soccer teams. He then enrolled with the Miami University in Ohio and graduated with a degree in economics and political science in 1992.
After acquiring a college degree, Ryan went on to work as a marketing consultant for the Wisconsin construction company. A couple of years later, he made his foray into politics by working as a legislative aide for the U.S. Senator Bob Kasten, on his mother’s insistence.
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Initially, while working on Capitol Hill, Paul Ryan supported himself by taking up several part-time jobs.
In November 1992, Kasten lost the election to Democrat Russ Feingold after which Ryan started working as a speechwriter for the advocacy group, Empower America (now FreedomWorks). Later, he started writing speeches for Jack Kemp, founder of Empower America and the Republican vice presidential candidate in the 1996 United States presidential elections, and even trained under him.
In 1995, he was appointed as the legislative director for the Congressman Sam Brownback of Kansas.
Paul Ryan was 28 years old when was became the member of U.S. House of Representatives, representing Wisconsin's Congressional District 1 in 1998. He took up the role of Chairman of the House Budget Committee in 2011 and maintained the position until 2015. During his tenure, his major work was to help negotiate the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 with Democratic Senator Patty Murphy.
On August 11, 2012, Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for the Presidential elections, declared Paul Ryan as the running mate for Vice President.
Romney’s loss to Barack Obama may have dampened Ryan’s dream of becoming the Vice President but he was still popular in the state of Wisconsin where he won the re-election to the House in 2014 by a majority of 63 percent votes against the Democratic opponent, Rob Zerban.
In January 2015, Paul Ryan took on the responsibility of chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Later, he was asked to become the Republican Party’s candidate for the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives following John Boehner’s resignation. He initially declined the proposal but then took it up after certain demands of his were duly met by the party.
On October 22, 2015, Paul Ryan officially declared that he would run for House Speaker after receiving majority support from within the Republican Party. On October 29, 2015, Ryan was elected the 54th speaker of the House. He is the youngest speaker to ever be elected; he was 45 at the time he was elected.
When Donald Trump was declared as the presumptive Republican nominee for the President of the U.S. in May 2016, Ryan initially supported him stating that he felt Trump’s agenda could help the people of America. However, later he voiced his opinions against many of Trump’s agendas and plans which caused tension between the two.
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Trump initially refused to endorse Paul Ryan in his primary race for his congressional seat. However, he later gave his support after his Vice Presidential running mate Mike Pence endorsed Ryan.
After Trump’s video, in which he disgraced women, surfaced on October 7, 2016, Ryan disallowed him from campaigning the next day but did not withdraw his support.
On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States and Ryan was re-elected to the Congress.
When the House of Republicans proposed the American Health Care Act, a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Paul Ryan delivered a 30-minute presentation explaining the changes and the benefits of the new Bill. The proposal, however, did not receive enough votes from the Republicans and had to be eventually withdrawn on March 24, 2017.
Ryan then played a major role in passing the tax reform plan. Under the Bill, corporate tax rate was reduced from 35 percent to 20 percent, number of individual tax brackets was lowered to four from seven and a two-fold hike in standard deduction. After meeting several glitches, the $1.5 trillion tax Bill was finally passed on December 20, 2017.
In April 2018, speculations were rife that the Republicans shall likely lose control over the House after the midterm elections. In such a time, Paul Ryan announced his retirement from active politics. He declared that he will not stand for re-election after the end of his term in January 2019.