Facts about Gov. Rick Perry

Posted Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
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Background on Gov. Rick Perry:

Age: 61

Wife: Married Anita Thigpen in 1982

Children: Griffin and Sydney

Religion: Methodist

Occupation: Texas' 47th governor, a job that pays $150,000 a year. His current four-year term ends in January 2015.

Online: Twitter: @GovernorPerry

Facebook: facebook.com/GovernorPerry

Growing up

James Richard Perry was born March 4, 1950, to Joseph Ray Perry, a World War II tail gunner turned cotton farmer and rancher, and Amelia Holt Perry, a bookkeeper. Known as "Ricky," he grew up in a house that in the West Texas town of Paint Creek, about 200 miles west of Fort Worth. He has an older sister, Milla.

His father, a Democrat, was a Haskell County commissioner. His family regularly attended their Methodist church.

While Perry attended Paint Creek Elementary School, he met his future wife, Anita Thigpen, at a piano recital. He was an Eagle Scout and quarterback of Paint Creek High School's six-man football team before graduating in 1968.

He went to Texas A&M University in College Station to study animal science. His mom made a lot of his clothes at the time, he once said, and was still making his underwear when he entered A&M. He became a member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets and served as a junior and senior yell leader. During at least one summer, he sold Bibles door to door.

After graduating in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in animal science, Perry joined the Air Force. He flew C-130 tactical airlifts in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

After reaching the rank of captain, he returned home in 1977 to work in the cotton fields.

Statewide election results

Governor

2010: Perry won the GOP primary with 51.14 percent of the vote and the general election with 54.97 percent.

2006: Perry won the GOP primary with 84.23 percent and the general election with 39.02 percent.

2002: Perry was unopposed in the GOP primary and won the general election with 57.80 percent.

Lieutenant governor

1998: Perry was unopposed in the GOP primary and won the general election with 50.04 percent.

Agriculture commissioner

1994: Perry was unopposed in the GOP primary and won the general election with 61.92 percent.

1990: In his first statewide run, Perry got 47.2 percent of the vote in the GOP primary, then beat Richard McIver in a runoff with 68.8 percent. In the general election, Perry drew 49.1 percent of the vote to unseat Democrat Jim Hightower.

Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610

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