National News

Rick Perry Fast Facts

Posted February 22, 2013 12:33 p.m. EST

— Here is a look at the life of former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Personal: Birth date: March 4, 1950

Birth place: Paint Creek, Texas

Birth name: James Richard Perry

Father: Joseph Ray Perry, a farmer

Mother: Amelia (Holt) Perry

Marriage: Anita (Thigpen) Perry (November 6, 1982-present)

Children: Sydney; Griffin

Education: Texas A&M University, B.S., 1972

Military Service: US Air Force, 1972-1977

Religion: Methodist

Other Facts: Is an Eagle Scout.

Met his wife, Anita, in elementary school.

Is the longest serving governor in Texas history.

Timeline: 1972-1977 - Serves in the US Air Force flying transport planes.

1977 - Returns to Texas to live and work on his father's farm.

1978 - Forms JR Perry Farms with his father.

1985-1991 - Member of the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat from the 64th District.

1989 - Switches to the Republican Party.

1991-1999 - Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture.

1999-2000 - Lieutenant Governor of Texas.

December 21, 2000 - Perry is sworn in as governor after George W. Bush resigns to become president of the United States.

November 5, 2002 - Perry is elected to a four-year term.

November 7, 2006 - Is re-elected governor.

2008 - Perry's book "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For" is published.

November 2, 2010 - Perry is elected for a third term in office.

August 13, 2011 - Declares his candidacy for president during a speech in South Carolina.

January 19, 2012 - Suspends his presidential campaign and endorses Newt Gingrich.

July 8, 2013 - Announces that he will not run for re-election as Texas governor in 2014.

August 15, 2014 - A grand jury indicts Rick Perry on charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of his official capacity. He allegedly threatened to veto funding for a statewide public integrity unit run by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg unless she resigned following her arrest on a drunk driving charge. She stayed in office, and he later vetoed the funding.

August 19, 2014 - Perry voluntarily appears at the Travis County Court house to be booked and fingerprinted and to have his mug shot taken. He pleads not guilty to charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of official capacity. The next day he makes the first of six campaign style stops across New Hampshire.

November 18, 2014 - A state district judge in Texas denies a defense motion to have two felony charges dismissed against Perry.

January 15, 2015 - Delivers his farewell address as governor.

June 4, 2015 - Announces he is running for president at a rally in Addison, Texas.

July 24, 2015 - A Texas appeals court dismisses one of two criminal charges against Perry. The court agrees with the argument from Perry's legal team that a Texas law concerning "coercion of a public servant" violates Perry's First Amendment freedom of speech rights. The court is allowing a charge related to abuse of power to move forward.

September 11, 2015 - Suspends his campaign for the presidency.

January 25, 2016 - Perry endorses Ted Cruz.

February 24, 2016 - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals drops charges against Perry alleging he abused his power while in office.

August 30, 2016 - Perry is revealed as one of the members of the upcoming 23rd season of reality television dance competition "Dancing with the Stars" on ABC.

September 27, 2016 - Is eliminated from "Dancing With The Stars."

November 22, 2016 - Returns to "Dancing With The Stars" for the season finale. Perry dances with Vanilla Ice during a live performance of "Ice Ice Baby."

December 13, 2016 - President-elect Donald Trump announces he has selected Perry to be his nominee for energy secretary.

January 19, 2017 - Perry says that he regrets recommending the elimination of the Department of Energy during a presidential debate in 2012.

March 2, 2017 - Perry is confirmed as energy secretary with a 62-37 vote in the Senate.

July 26, 2017 - Perry's office acknowledges that he was the target of a prank call on July 19. During the 20-minute call from Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus, real names Vladimir Krasnov and Aleksey Stolyarov, respectively, one pretends to be Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.