(60.) WILLARD MITT ROMNEY (1947- )
Republican Romney/Paul Ryan
Defeated by Democrat Barack H. Obama/Joe Biden, 2012
Willard "Mitt" Romney was born March 12, 1947, and was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. By the time he graduated from Brigham Young in 1971, Romney had already helped in the political campaigns of his father and mother. In 1975, he earned a joint Juris Doctor and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard.
Romney secured a position at Bain & Company in 1977 and assisted in leading the company out of financial crisis as its Chief Executive Officer. Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm, was co-founded by Romney in 1984 and became one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
In 1994, Romney attempted to upset longtime incumbent, Ted Kennedy as the Republican candidate for a Massachusetts' Senate seat. Years later, he served as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics and this led to his political life re-emerging. Massachusetts elected Romney as Governor in 2002 and he enacted into law health care reform legislation that provided almost universal health insurance for that state. He also cut Massachusetts' estimated deficit of $1.2 billion while in office. Romney set his sights on a Republican nomination for the 2008 U.S. presidential election, but lost the nomination to Senator John McCain. By winning enough primaries and caucuses in 2012, Romney and his Vice Presidential selection, Paul Ryan, were nominated for the ballot for the general election. Their plat form was to lead America by creating jobs and strengthening the economy with special attention on military strategy and foreign policy.