The rock star of the fiscal conservatism movement began life in a middle-class family in the blue-collar town of Janesville, Wisconsin. His idyllic childhood was shattered at the age of 16 when his attorney father suffered a fatal heart attack, and young Paul was forced to work part time to supplement the family’s income.
The bright and hardworking young man did not let this hinder him though, and worked his way up to college, graduating from Miami University in 1982 with a double major in political science and economics.
Under the mentoring of the late Jack Kemp, the former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the one-time fitness instructor slowly climbed his way up the echelons of national politics.
In 2011, Ryan became the highest-ranking GOP Congressional legislator on the economy after being elected as chair of the House Budget Committee, and in the process, establishing himself as one of the party’s leader. The following year, Rep. Ryan was selected by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney as his running mate for the 2012 presidential election. Despite Gov. Romney’s subsequent defeat at the hands of President Barack Obama, Rep. Ryan emerged from the encounter none the worse for wear, barring a few small wrinkles.
Nothing is certain in politics, except this one thing: the blue-eyed Irish-German Wisconsinite will run in 2016, and it would take someone and something special to deny him the party’s nomination.