Birthdate: Aug. 20, 1935
Birth Place: Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Residence: Lake Jackson, TX
Ron Paul was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Penn., and resides in Lake Jackson, Texas. He earned a bachelor's from Gettysburg College and a medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine.
Paul served in the U.S. Air Force as a flight surgeon and has been an obstetrician and gynecologist practicing near Houston. His congressional website boasts that he has delivered more than 4,000 babies.
He served eight years in the U.S. House as a Republican, from 1977 to 1984, and was the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee in 1988. He was elected again to the House as a Republican in 1996 and made two more runs at the White House in 2008 and 2012.
Paul and his wife, Carol, have five children.
Despite views considered quirky by some _ including advocating a return to the gold standard and abolishing the Internal Revenue Service _Paul has made a mark in his three presidential runs as a strict libertarian who would scale back the role of the federal government in domestic and foreign policy.
For his 2012 presidential campaign, Paul announced that he would retire from Congress to focus on the race for the White House. He remained an active candidate until May, when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney clinched the nomination.
The Texas congressman drew media attention as the only Republican opposed to the Iraq war. In a May 2007 debate, he was chastised by Republican opponents for saying the U.S. troop presence in Saudi Arabia contributed to al-Qaida attacks in the United States on Sept. 11.
Paul, a former obstetrician, has served 12 terms in Congress from a Southeast Texas district along the Gulf Coast south of Houston. He was first elected in 1976 in a special election, but later lost the general election. He won again in 1978, but stepped down in 1984 to return to medical practice. In 1988 he ran for president as a Libertarian.
He launched another congressional campaign in 1996 after a 12-year absence and defeated a Republican incumbent, remaining in office since then. He promoted himself as the taxpayers' best friend during the election campaign that returned him to the House.
Paul's district was one of the most drastically changed Republican areas when the Texas Legislature redrew the congressional boundaries in 2003. The district remained Republican but picked up more Democratic voters.
In 2008, his ability to ply the Internet for contributions helped him drum up interest in his unsuccessful run for the Republican presidential nomination. While his poll numbers were in the single digits, he shattered a one-day campaign fundraising record with $6.2 million in online donations.
Paul has long had an anti-tax, anti-spending message, earning him the nickname "Dr. No." Paul opposes most legislation involving federal spending, expanding government or reducing privacy protections.
He opposed legislation to award medals to Rosa Parks and Pope Paul II because he objected to the use of taxpayer dollars. Paul was one of two Republicans to vote against Defense Department funding for 2008. Paul has also opposed the Patriot Act and the military engagement Afghanistan.
He has promised to shutter five cabinet-level agencies, including education. He has called to end federal student loans and cut all foreign aid, including to U.S. ally Israel. He has introduced legislation to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Reserve, which he said are designed to "deceive and defraud the American people."
Paul's views on immigration are unequivocal. He believes borders must be physically secured and that there should be no amnesty or social services available for illegal immigrants. He would end the right to citizenship of U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants.
Paul calls himself a leading voice for limited government, lower taxes, free markets and anti-abortion issues. Personal responsibility and more power to the states are his hallmarks.
Source: Associated Press