NPR logo Former Gov. Mitt Romney (MA)

Former Gov. Mitt Romney (MA)

Mitt Romney
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Mitt Romney Biographical Box

Mitt Romney is no stranger to success, having done very well for himself in both business and politics. His resume includes a single term as the Republican governor of Massachusetts. Before that, he was co-founder of a profitable private-equity investment firm.

But Romney's life also includes other details that create a rich biography for a presidential hopeful. His late father, George, also excelled in business and politics, moving from the chairmanship of a Detroit auto company to the governor's mansion in Michigan in the 1960s. The elder Romney made his own run for the White House in 1968.

Mitt Romney was born in 1947 in Detroit. His Mormon religion has prompted some debate over whether that will play a role for voters considering his candidacy. Some evangelical Christians, a core voting group in the Republican Party, consider Mormonism to be a cult.

Romney and his wife, Anne, who was his high school sweetheart, have five grown sons, all of whom are active in the campaign.

Romney's close ties to the state of Utah, home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led to his hiring as the head of the troubled Salt Lake City Winter Olympics of 2002. Prior to his appointment, the Games had been plagued by a bribery scandal. Romney is widely credited with restoring their credibility.

Romney's campaign has done well in raising money, but he has also been quick to tap into his own personal wealth to finance his bid. That has made him a formidable contender.

More problematic are questions about his political convictions. As governor, Romney supported gay rights and was in favor of abortion rights. Today, however, he professes to be opposed to abortion and has spoken out strongly against same-sex marriage and civil unions for gay couples.