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Rick Perry 2016: 7 Highlights from Pre-Politics Life of GOP Presidential Hopeful

Image: Rick Perry 2016: 7 Highlights from Pre-Politics Life of GOP Presidential Hopeful
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By    |   Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 06:26 PM

Today, Rick Perry is known as the longest-serving governor of Texas and a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016. However, the lengthy career in public service of this fifth-generation Texan didn’t start with politics. Military service and farm work came first.

As the Air Force veteran eyes a presidential run, here are seven highlights from Perry’s life before he was first elected to office in 1984.

1. Perry’s family has deep roots in Texas, with ancestors who settled there from England five generations ago, when the United States had just 13 colonies. His parents were ranchers in the tiny and somewhat remote West Texas town of Paint Creek when Perry was born in 1950.

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2. Though Perry’s father was involved in local politics, Perry first became interested in the field when his dad took him to the funeral for famed Texas lawmaker Sam Rayburn in 1961. That also sparked Perry’s early affiliation with the Democratic Party, until he later joined the Republican Party in 1989.

3. Perry was a Boy Scout growing up. He earned the highest rank of Eagle Scout, later earning a Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

4. After high school, Perry attended Texas A&M University. Scandal would later erupt after Perry’s college records were made public, revealing he’d largely earned below-average grades. Perry was successful in the Corps of Cadets, though, and earned his degree in animal sciences in 1972.

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5.
Perry joined the U.S. Air Force after graduation, serving from 1972 to 1977. He trained as a pilot and flew C-130 cargo planes on relief missions around the world, including to Europe, Africa, and Guatemala. He did not see any combat. He left the Air Force shortly before turning 27, with the rank of captain.

6. After leaving the Air Force, Perry returned home to Paint Creek to farm cotton and wheat and raise cattle with his father. He remained a farmer until he entered politics.

7. In 1982, two years before Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, he married Anita Thigpen. The pair met during a piano recital in elementary school, and went on to have two children of their own. He became a grandfather for the first time in 2013.

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Today, Rick Perry is known as the longest-serving governor of Texas and a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016. However, the lengthy career in public service of this fifth-generation Texan didn’t start with politics. Military service and farm work came first.
rick perry, 2016, pre-politics, highlights
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2015-26-27
Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 06:26 PM
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