Rick Perry Bio
  • Name: Rick Perry
  • Birthday (Date of Birth): March 4, 1950
  • Place of Birth: Paint Creek, Texas
  • State: Texas
  • Position: Governor
  • Also Worked As:
  • College:
  • Took Office in: 2000
  • Party Affiliation: Republican
  • Biography: Rick Perry was born in Paint Creek, about 60 miles (97 km) north of Abilene in West Texas, to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and the former Amelia June Holt. His father, a Democrat, was a long-time Haskell County commissioner and school board member. Perry graduated from Paint Creek High School in 1968. As a child, Perry was in the Boy Scouts (BSA) and earned the rank of Eagle Scout; his son, Griffin, would also later become an Eagle Scout. The BSA honored Perry with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
    Perry attended Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and one of A&M's five yell leaders (a popular Texas A&M tradition analogous to male cheerleaders). He graduated in 1972 with a degree in animal science. While at Texas A&M University Perry successfully completed a static line parachute jump at Ags Over Texas (a United States Parachute Association dropzone), the dropzone that was then in operation at Coulter Field (KCFD) in Bryan, Texas, just north of Texas A&M (in College Station, Texas).
    Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the United States Air Force, completed pilot training and flew C-130 tactical airlift in the United States, the Middle East, and Europe until 1977. He left the Air Force with the rank of captain, returned to Texas and went into business farming cotton with his father.
    In 1982, Perry married Anita Thigpen, his childhood sweetheart whom he had known since elementary school. They have two children, Griffin and Sydney. Anita Perry attended West Texas State University and earned a degree in nursing. She has spearheaded a number of health-related initiatives such as the Anita Thigpen Perry Endowment at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, which focuses on nutrition, cardiovascular disease, health education, and early childhood programming.
    Perry has said that his interest in politics probably began in November 1961, when his father took him to the funeral of Sam Rayburn, who during his long public career served as speaker of the Texas House and the U.S. House of Representatives. Dignitaries from all over the nation came to the small town of Bonham, the seat of Fannin County, for the service.

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