Paul Ryan Biography
Paul Ryan is an American politician who served as the 54th speaker of the United States House of Representatives from October 2015 to January 2019. He was also the vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party 2012, running alongside Mitt Romney and lost.
Ryan graduated from Miami University in 1992. He worked for Republicans in Washington, D.C.
In 1997, he returned to Wisconsin to work at his family’s construction company. He ran for Congress to represent Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district the following year and succeeded, replacing an incumbent Republican who ran for Senate.
Ryan would represent the district for 20 years. From 2011 to 2015, he chaired the House Budget Committee and briefly chaired the House Ways and Means Committee in 2015 prior to being elected Speaker of the House following John Boehner’s retirement.
A self-proclaimed deficit hawk, Ryan was a major proponent of privatizing Social Security in the mid-2000s. His proposals “The Path to Prosperity” and “A Better Way” in the 2010s, advocated for the privatization of Medicare, block granting of Medicaid, repeal of the Affordable Care Act and significant tax cuts.
He had a role in passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as the speaker. His other major piece of legislation, the American Health Care Act of 2017, passed the House but failed in the Senate by a single vote. Ryan’s tenure as Speaker of the House saw a massive increase in government spending and deficits despite unified Republican control of government for most of his tenure.
In the 2018 midterm elections, Ryan declined to run for re-election. Nancy Pelosi succeeded Ryan as Speaker of the House as the Democratic Party took control of the House of Representatives.
Paul Ryan Age
Born on January 29, 1970, Paul Ryan is 53 years as of 2023.
Paul Ryan Net Worth
Ryan has an approximate net worth of $7.8 million with a $223,500 salary.
Family| Wife| Children
In December 2000, Ryan married Janna Christine Little, a tax attorney. Little is a native of Madill, Oklahoma and the granddaughter of Reuel Little. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and George Washington University Law School.
They live in the Courthouse Hill Historic District of Janesville, Wisconsin. The couple has three children: Elizabeth “Liza” Anne, Charles Wilson and Samuel Lowery. Ryan is a member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Janesville.
Ryan born in Janesville, Wisconsin, the youngest of four children of Elizabeth “Betty” Ann who later became an interior designer and Paul Murray Ryan, a lawyer.
He is a fifth-generation Wisconsinite. Ryans father was of Irish ancestry and his mother of German and English descent. Prior to the Civil War, one of Ryan’s paternal ancestors settled in Wisconsin.
His great-grandfather, Patrick William Ryan, founded an earthmoving company in 1884, which later became P. W. Ryan Incorporated Central is the former Ryan and Sons.
Ryan’s grandfather, Stanley M. Ryan, was appointed United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. While filming a segment for the PBS series Finding Your Roots in 2018, Ryan learned that he is 3 percent Ashkenazi Jewish.
Although Ryan’s father was not a lifelong heavy drinker, Ryan later commented that his relationship with his father, had grown distant due to his drinking, stating that “[alcohol] made him more distant, irritable and stressed. Whiskey had washed away some of the best parts of the man I knew.”
Ryan found his 55-year-old father lying dead in bed of a heart attack when he was 16, something Ryan later partially attributed to heavy alcohol consumption. Ryan’s grandmother moved in with the family after the death of his father.
As she had Alzheimer’s, Ryan helped care for her while his mother commuted to college in Madison, Wisconsin.
Ryan received Social Security survivors benefits from the time of his father’s death until his 18th birthday. They were saved for his college education. His mother later married widower Bruce Douglas.
Paul Ryan Education
Ryan after attending St. Mary’s Catholic School in Janesville, he attended Joseph A. Craig High School, where he was elected president of his junior class and thus became prom king.
He was a representative of the the student body on the school board since he was class president.
Ryan took a job working the grill at McDonald’s in his second year. In high school, he did ski, track and varsity soccer teams as well as played basketball in a Catholic recreational league.
He was active in several academic and social clubs including the Model United Nations.
Ryan and his family often went on hiking and skiing trips to the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
From Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Ryan got a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science where he became interested in the writings of Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and Milton Friedman.
He visited the office of libertarian professor Richard Hart to discuss the theories of these economists and of Ayn Rand.
Ryan began an internship in the D.C. office of Wisconsin U.S after Hart introduced him to National Review Senator Bob Kasten and recommended him. He worked with Kasten’s foreign affairs adviser.
At American University, Ryan attended the Washington Semester program. In summers he worked as a salesman for Oscar Mayer and once got to drive the Wienermobile.
Ryan volunteered for the congressional campaign of John Boehner and was a member of the College Republicans. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta social fraternity.
Paul Ryan Early Career
Betty Ryan reportedly urged her son to accept a congressional position as a legislative aide in Senator Kasten’s office, which he did after graduating.
Working on Capitol Hill, in his early years Ryan supplemented his income by working as a waiter, as a fitness trainer, and at other jobs.
In the November 1992 election, Kasten lost to Democrat Russ Feingold and a few months Ryan became a speechwriter for Empower America (now FreedomWorks), a conservative advocacy group founded by Jack Kemp, Jeane Kirkpatrick and William Bennett.
Ryan later worked as a speechwriter for Kemp, the Republican vice presidential candidate in the 1996 United States presidential election. Paul has said he had a “huge influence” after Kemp became his mentor.
Ryan became the legislative director for then-U.S in 1995. Congressman Sam Brownback of Kansas. At Wisconsin, where he returned, he worked for a year as a marketing consultant for the construction company Ryan Incorporated Central, owned by his relatives.
Paul Ryan Career
In 1998, Ryan was first elected to the House winning the 1st District seat of Republican Mark Neumann, a two-term incumbent who had vacated his seat to make an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate.
Ryan won being the first in the Republican primary over 29-year-old pianist Michael J. Logan and the general election against Democrat Lydia Spottswood. Thus he was the second-youngest member of the House.
He defeated Democrat John Heckenlively and Libertarian Joseph Kexel in the 2010 general election. Ryan was allowed to run concurrently for vice president under Wisconsin election law and for Congress and was not allowed to remove his name from the Congressional ballot after being nominated for the vice presidency in 2012.
He faced Democratic nominee Rob Zerban. As of July 25, 2012, Ryan had over $5.4 million in his congressional campaign account, more than any other House member.
He was reelected with 55 percent of his district’s vote and 44 percent of the vote in his hometown, Janesville.
Ryan was challenged again by Zerban in the 2014 House election but won with 63 percent of his district’s vote.
Ryan faced businessman Paul Nehlen, in the 2016 Republican primary election, who had been endorsed by Sarah Palin.
Trump publicly thanked him on Twitter because of Nehlen’s support for Trump and later told The Washington Post that Nehlen was “running a very good campaign”, even though he did not endorse him.
Trump endorsed Ryan’s re-election after pressure from fellow Republican leaders on August 5, 2016. In the August 9, 2016 primary election, Ryan overwhelmingly defeated Nehlen, taking over 84 percent of the vote. Ryan faced Democrat Ryan Solen and won with 65 percent of his district’s vote in the November general election.
Speaker of the House (2015-2019)
John Boehner formally announced to House Republicans his intention to resign from the speakership and the House on September 25, 2015.
Kevin McCarthy was among those interested in the post, who had wide support among Republicans, including Boehner and Ryan, who was set to officially nominate him, was considered the presumptive favorite.
Although his candidacy was opposed by conservative House Republicans of the Freedom Caucus and when it became clear that caucus members would not support his candidacy, McCarthy withdrew his name from consideration on October 8.
It turned out that many Republicans turned to Ryan as a compromise candidate. Boehner pushed the plea, and reportedly told Ryan that he was the only person who could unite the House Republicans at a time of turmoil.
Ryan released a statement that said, “While I am grateful for the encouragement I’ve received, I will not be a candidate.”
The next day however, close aides of Ryan’s confirmed that Ryan had re-evaluated the situation, and was considering the possibility of a run.
Ryan confirmed that he would seek the speaker ship after receiving the endorsements of two factions of House Republicans, including the conservative Freedom Caucus on October 22.
After confirming his bid for the speakership, Ryan stated, that he never thought he would be speaker but he would now be the unifying figure.
Ryan was elected Speaker on October 29, receiving 236 votes, an absolute majority of the 435-member chamber. Nancy Pelosi a Democrat received 184 votes, with 12 more going to others.
After the vote Ryan was sworn in by John Conyers, the dean of the House, becoming, at age 45, the youngest person elected as speaker since James G. Blaine (age 39) in 1869. Later, lobbyist John David Hoppe became Ryans Chief of Staff.
Awards and honors
2004, 2010 – Guardian of Small Business Award, National Federation of Independent Business
2008 – Defending the American Dream Award, Americans for Prosperity, Wisconsin chapter
2009 – Manufacturing Legislative Excellence Award, National Association of Manufacturers
2009 – Honorary Degree, Miami University
2010 – Legislator of the Year Award, International Franchise Association
2011 – Statesmanship Award, Claremont Institute
2011 – Fiscy Award for responsible financial stewardship and fiscal discipline in government.
2011 – Leadership Award, Jack Kemp Foundation
2011 – Freedom and Prosperity Award, Mason Contractors Association of America
2012 – Chair, Honorary Board of the Archery Trade Association
2014 – Alexander Hamilton Award, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
2018 – US DoD Distinguished Public Service Award BAR.svg Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service
Ryan joined the board of directors of Fox Corporation, the owner of Fox News Channel and the Fox broadcast network in March 2019.
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Traced my ancestry with ‘Finding Your Roots’ on @PBS. Spoiler alert: I’m Irish ☘️