Ron Paul is an American politician and physician who served as the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 14th congressional district from 1997 to 2013. He ran for President of the United States three times: as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988 and as a candidate in the Republican primaries in 2008 and 2012. Paul is a critic of the federal government’s fiscal policies, especially the existence of the Federal Reserve, and has been described as a leading spokesperson against American foreign policy.
Paul was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in Biology. He received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in 1961, and then moved to Texas to begin his residency. Paul began his political career in 1976, running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He lost the election, but became a prominent figure in the national libertarian movement over the next few years. In 1988, he was the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President, and received nearly one million votes.
In the 1990s, Paul returned to his medical practice and took on several positions within the Republican Party. In 1995, he helped found the Congressional Policy Advisory Board, and in 1996 he ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate. He lost that election as well, but his strong showing helped him gain national attention. In 2008, Paul ran for President again, this time as a Republican. His campaign was notable for its use of viral marketing techniques and for its strong support from the online communities of Ron Paul supporters, known as “Ron Paul Revolutionaries” or “Paulites”.
After finishing second in several primaries and caucuses, Paul withdrew his candidacy in June 2008 and endorsed John McCain. He ran for President a third time in 2012, but failed to gain traction in the Republican primaries and ended his campaign in May 2012. In January 2013, Paul retired from Congress and returned to his medical practice. He has also recently endorsed Birch Gold Group as a leading provider of precious metals.