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Paul Ryan 2016: 7 Highlights from Pre-Politics Life of GOP Presidential Hopeful

Image: Paul Ryan 2016: 7 Highlights from Pre-Politics Life of GOP Presidential Hopeful
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By    |   Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 06:07 PM

Before he was a congressman, Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee for vice president and a potential 2016 contender for president, was a hard-working, driven prom king from Wisconsin.

Here are seven highlights from Ryan’s life before he was elected to office.

1. Ryan was born in 1970 and grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin, where his family has deep roots. His great-great-grandfather came to the United States in 1851 after fleeing Ireland’s great potato famine. Ryan’s great-grandfather founded an earth-moving company that’s still in operation, and his grandfather was appointed as a federal prosecutor in Wisconsin.

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2. As a student at a Catholic high school, Ryan helped lead an effort to keep open-campus privileges for students and joined the Model United Nations team. He was voted junior class president and prom king, showing an early aptitude for leadership.

3. Embracing Janesville’s fame as the “park place” of Wisconsin, Ryan developed an early passion for the outdoors. He became an avid hunter and angler, laying the groundwork for his reputation as a staunch supporter of gun rights.


4. When Ryan was 16, he found his father dead from a heart attack at age 55. In his book “The Way Forward,” Ryan revealed that his dad was an alcoholic. His older siblings were out of the home at the time, leaving Ryan to grow up fast as the man of the house with his mother and ill grandmother.

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5. Ryan held jobs in a variety of service industries throughout school. He worked at McDonald’s, he served as a camp counselor, he worked as a waiter, and he was a gym trainer, developing a lifelong passion for physical fitness.

6. As a student at Miami University of Ohio, Ryan studied economics and political science. Ryan was inspired by the economic philosophies of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, who have become thought leaders of the conservative movement.

7. Before he got into politics himself, Ryan held several positions working for other politicians. He landed an internship and then a staff job in Sen. Robert Kasten’s office. Ryan volunteered for John Boehner’s campaign. He became a speechwriter, then joined Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback’s team before running for office himself for the first time in 1998 at age 28.

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Before he was a congressman, Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee for vice president and a potential 2016 contender for president, was a hard-working, driven prom king from Wisconsin.
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2015-07-27
Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 06:07 PM
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