Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, 64, is making his second bid for president and began the race as the presumed front-runner.
Romney grew up in Michigan, where his father served as governor in the 1960s. A Mormon, Romney graduated from Brigham
Young University in Provo, Utah, and was a missionary in France from 1966 to 1968. He later earned degrees from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.
After Harvard, Romney stayed in the Boston area, where he was vice president of management consultant Bain & Co. and later founded private-equity firm Bain Capital LLC in 1984. While at Bain, Romney built a reputation for investing in companies such as Staples Inc., Domino’s Pizza Inc. and The Sports Authority. In 1990, he returned to Bain & Co. when it was on the verge of bankruptcy to oversee a restructuring that helped save the firm.
Romney was tapped in 1999 to head a struggling U.S. Olympic Committee in advance of the 2002 games. Romney helped the committee erase a $379 million deficit and the Salt Lake City,Utah, games were deemed a success.
Elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney served one term and didn’t seek a second. While in office, he enacted a health-care law in 2006 that requires individuals to purchase insurance coverage. The Obama administration maintains the Massachusetts law served as a framework for the health-care overhaul that Congress passed in 2010 and Republicans have vowed to repeal.
In 2007, Romney launched a presidential primary campaign. After failing to gain traction in early primary states, he withdrew and the Republican Party nomination went to Arizona Senator John McCain.
Romney met his wife, Ann, in elementary school when he was a Cub Scout. The Romneys have five sons and 16 grandchildren.
U.S. Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho, an Appropriations subcommittee chairman and ally of House Speaker John Boehner, survived a Republican primary challenge that pitted the business community that backed him against the Tea Party.