Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Mitt Romney: presidential candidate bio series
Romney is a former CEO of Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, and the co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm. After his business career and serving as the CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics, Romney was elected as the 70th Massachusetts Governor in 2002. Romney served one term and did not seek re-election in 2006; his term expired.
Romney is the son of former Michigan Governor and 1968 presidential candidate George W. Romney, and 1970 Michigan U.S. Senatorial candidate Lenore Romney. He was named "Willard" after hotel magnate J. Willard Marriott, his father's best friend. Mitt, his middle name, comes from his father's cousin Milton Romney, who played quarterback for the Chicago Bears from 1925 to 1929. Mitt Romney has three older siblings: Lynn Romney Keenan; Jane Romney Robinson; and G. Scott Romney. He has been involved in politics from an early age, having joined his father in civil rights marches.
Romney graduated from the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1965. After attending Stanford University for two quarters, Romney served in France for 30 months as a missionary for the LDS Church.
After his mission service, Romney attended Brigham Young University, where he graduated as valedictorian, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude in 1971.
In 1975, Romney graduated from a joint Juris Doctor / Master of Business Administration program coordinated between Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He graduated cum laude from the law school and was named a Baker Scholar for graduating in the top five percent of his business school class.
After graduation, Romney remained in Massachusetts and went to work for the Boston Consulting Group, where he had interned during the summer of 1974. From 1978 to 1984, Romney was a vice president of Bain & Company, Inc., another management consulting firm based in Boston. In 1984, Romney left Bain & Company to co-found a spin-off private equity investment firm, Bain Capital.
During the 14 years he headed the company, Bain Capital's average annual internal rate of return on realized investments was 113 percent, making money primarily through leveraged buyouts. He invested in or bought many well-known companies such as Staples, Brookstone, Domino's, Sealy Corporation and Sports Authority.
In 1990, Romney was asked to return to Bain & Company, which was facing financial collapse. As CEO, Romney managed an effort to restructure the firm's employee stock-ownership plan, real-estate deals and bank loans, while increasing fiscal transparency. Within a year, he had led Bain & Company through a highly successful turnaround and returned the firm to profitability without layoffs or partner defections.
Romney left Bain Capital in 1998 to head the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee. He and his wife have a net worth of between 190 and 250 million USD.
Mitt Romney is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), which makes him a Mormon. His great-great-grandfather, Parley P. Pratt, was among the first leaders in the Latter Day Saint movement in the early 19th century. Mitt's wife Ann converted to the LDS church before they were married in 1969. In addition to his missionary work in France, Romney has served as a part-time lay minister, called a bishop, and has also been a stake president in his church. As part of his religious upbringing, Romney abstains from alcohol and smoking.
Religion has played a major role in the 2008 presidential campaign, with polls indicating that a quarter of Republican voters are "less likely" to vote for a presidential candidate who is a Latter-day Saint.
Soon after his return from missionary work in France, Romney married high school girlfriend Ann Davies on March 21, 1969. They have five sons--Tagg, (b. 1970), Matt (b. 1971), Josh (b. 1975), Ben (b. 1978) and Craig (b. 1981)-- and eleven grandchildren.