Mitt was born in Detroit on March 12, 1947. His mother, Lenore, gave up an acting career when she met and married his father, George. Mitt’s father came from humble origins and never graduated from college. He apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter and sold aluminum paint before beginning a career that brought him to the head of American Motors and then the governorship of Michigan.
Mitt married his wife, Ann, in 1969. They first met in elementary school when he was a Cub Scout; he remembers tossing pebbles at her when she rode by on a horse. When they met again years later at a friend’s house, he was smitten. Between them, they have five sons and eighteen grandchildren, who are the center of their lives.
Like any family, the Romneys have faced hardship: Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, and more recently fought a battle with breast cancer. She credits her husband’s unwavering care and devotion to her for helping her through these ordeals.
Mitt is not a career politician. He has spent most of his life in the private sector, giving him intimate knowledge of how our economy works. But he has also been an outstanding public servant. In one chapter of his distinguished career, he reversed the decline of a state mired in recession. In another chapter, he salvaged the 2002 Winter Olympic Games from certain disaster.
When Mitt was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, the state was in severe disarray, its budget was out of balance, spending was soaring, and taxpayers were being required to pay more and more in taxes for diminishing services. The state economy was in a tailspin, with businesses cutting back on investment or even closing, and unemployment ticking up. Mitt made hard decisions that brought state spending under control. He restructured and consolidated government programs, paring back where necessary and finding efficiencies throughout.