20:26 EST, 11 August 2012
20:59 EST, 11 August 2012
Despite being named as Mitt Romney’s choice as the Republican candidate for vice-president, Paul Ryan’s public profile has been relatively low-key up until today.
But now that he will be potentially a heartbeat away from the presidency, the 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman’s background will come under great scrutiny from all corners of the media.
Facts will emerge such as his senior year classmates recognition of him as the Biggest ‘brown noser’ and his turn as Clark Gable in his high school’s 1988 ‘Gone with the Wind’ themed prom at which he was voted king.
Paul Ryan at Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville, Wisconsin. At the time of this photograph he was vice-president of the class
Born into a Catholic family in Janesville in 1970, where he still lives, Ryan’s life changed forever the day, aged 16, that he found his father dead in bed from a heart attack.
The youngest child of Elizabeth and Paul Ryan, the future vice-presidential candidate is said to be motivated and haunted by the fact that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all died from heart attacks before the age of 60.
‘The death of my father had an enormous impact on accelerating his development,’ his brother, Tobin Ryan, 47, told The New York Times.
Elected president of his junior class at Joseph A. Craig High School, Ryan attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he first encountered William Hart, who began to shape Ryan’s libertarian views on economics.
Prom King Paul Ryan oversaw a prom with the theme, ‘Gone With The Wind.’ Music was provided by ‘The Stereo Typers.’
Paul Ryan (centre in both pictures) was also an avid skiier. Here he is with the ski club.
Paul Ryan was not voted the ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ he was voted ‘Biggest ‘Brown Noser’
In interviews given following Ryan’s pick by Romney, Hart recalled that Ryan was already a conservative when he arrived at college and stood out for his intellectual vigor.
Hart said that he introduced Ryan to the philosopher Ayn Rand, who clarified for Ryan the battle between individualism and collectivism.
In 2003, Ryan told the Weekly Standard that he handed out Rand’s works to his interns, but since then has attempted to distance himself from Rand’s atheism.
During his time in Washington D.C. Ryan moonlighted on Capitol Hill as a waiter at the Tortilla Coast restaurant and as a fitness trainer at Washington Sport and Health Club.
One of Ryan’s summer jobs in college was as an Oscar Mayer salesman in Minnesota, peddling turkey bacon and a new line called ‘Lunchables’ to supermarkets.
Paul Ryan (centre) sports a massive 80′s hairstyle. Here he is posing with his varsity soccer team
Paul Ryan (back centre) was also involved in The Letterman Club which bridged athletics with the scholarly pursuits and (right, back centre) he stands with his student council colleagues
Ryan worked as a marketing consultant for his family’s construction business before being elected to Congress.
The company — Ryan Incorporated Central — began as an earth-moving business created by his great-grandfather in 1884.
The staunch Catholic got his political break working as a speechwriter for the Empower America research center under Representative Jack Kemp, a New York Republican and former NFL quarterback.
Ryan states that Kemp was his mentor and was devastated by his death three years ago.
‘I learned economics working for Jack Kemp,’ Ryan said in 1999.
Paul Ryan is also an accomplished hunter and enjoys using bow and rifle to hunt
In addition to his deer hunting Paul Ryan is also interested in turkey hunting too
A high achiever, Ryan was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 at the age of 28 and has held that position for the past 14-years.
In April of 2000, Ryan proposed to his girlfriend Janna Little, a native of Oklahoma at one of his favourite fishing spots in Big St. Germain Lake in Wisconsin.
The two were married later that year in Oklahoma City and now live in Janesville with their three children, Liza, Charlie and Sam.
The family attend the St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Wisoncsin every Sunday that they are able to.
His star rapidly rose and in 2006 he became the top Republican on the Budget Committee in Washington.
His contemporary, Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson said that Ryan’s command of fiscal details immediately impressed other House Republicans.
Paul Ryan with his wife Janna and their three children, Liza, Charlie and Sam
‘Paul is a likable guy, said Simpson, who’s also on the Budget Committee, to the Kansas City Star.
‘He doesn’t belittle those who disagree with him. I’ve never seen him be harsh.’
Because of the deaths of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Ryan is a fitness fanatic who performs an intense cross-country training routine known as P90X before he starts his day.
He has made almost 40 ascents of Colorado’s Fourteeners (14,000-foot peaks) and is an avid deer hunter and is a catfish noodler.
The Led Zeppelin fan voted for the Iraq invasion, the TARP bailout and the Detroit automaker bailout.
Dedicated to his work, when he is in Washington D.C. he either sleeps in his Capitol Hill office or at his sister-in-law’s house in Bethseda, Maryland.
Choice: Mitt Romney has confirmed conservative Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his pick for vice president
Cheers: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L)
introduces his Vice Presidential running mate, Wisconsin Congressman
Paul Ryan (R), at a naval museum
Future: In the campaign to come, Republicans
will present economic solutions ‘that are bold, specific and
achievable,’ Romney said as he presented his political partner to
However, Ryan’s ascent to political stardom began when he published what he termed the ‘Roadmap for America’s Future’ in 2010.
Based in cutting Federal spending, reducing the deficit and freeing private enterprise up, the ‘Roadmap’ also contains controversial proposals to overhaul programs such as Medicare, which dates back to Lyndon Johnson.
The elevation of Ryan to the Romney ticket will surely focus the election on the economy.
Insider: Romney praised Ryan’s prowess in
Washington, saying that ‘There are people that may disagree with Paul
Ryan, but I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t respect his character and
However, despite Ryan’s stardom in Washington he faces a battle to convince the electorate of who he is and what he stands for.
‘I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs and factory towns. Over the years I have seen and heard a lot from families, from those running small businesses and from people who are in need. But what I have heard lately troubles me the most,’ said Ryan today.
‘There is something different in their voice and in their words. What I hear from them are diminished dreams, lowered expectations, uncertain futures.’