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Newt Gingrich Biography

Newt Gingrich Biography

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Published by PRMurphy

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: PRMurphy on Jan 22, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Newt Gingrichbiography
Quick Facts
NAME:Newton Leroy Gingrich
OCCUPATION:U.S. Representative
BIRTH DA TE:June17,1943(Age: 68)
EDUCATION:Emory University, Tulane University
PLACE OF BIRTH:Harrisburg,Pennsylvania
Best Known For
With his "Contract with America," former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrichestablished his position as the head of the anti-Clinton Republican wave in 1994.
 After the 1994 mid-term elections, Newt Gingrich became the first Republican Speakerof the House in 40 years. Most of the legislative items in his well-publicized "Contractwith America" were passed by the House and many became law. His term as Speakerwas marked by his opposition to many of Clinton's policies, which led to a budgetshowdown, government shutdowns, and acrimonious impeachment proceedings.However, Gingrich and Clinton also reached agreements on welfare reform, a capitalgains tax cut,
PersonalLifeand a budget deal that led to four straight balanced budgets. Gingrich resigned fromCongress in 1999. Gingrich authored several books, and stayed involved in politics,serving as a political commentator and a consultant for various think tanks. In May2011 Gingrich announced he would seek the Republican nomination for president in2012.
Early Life
Newt Gingrich was born on June 17, 1943, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His motherKathleen Daugherty and fatherNewton Searles McPherson divorced soon after Newtwas born. Kathleen remarried to an Army officer named Robert Gingrich, who adoptedthe boy. Gingrich has three younger half-sisters, Candace, Susan, and Roberta.Growing up, Gingrich's family moved aroundfrequently, like many military families. Hegraduated from Baker High School in Columbus, Georgia, and received a B.A. fromEmory University in 1965.
Elected to Congress
Gingrich pursued higher education, receiving an M.A. in 1968 and a Ph.D. in modernEuropean history from Tulane University in 1971. While in New Orleans, Gingrichdeveloped an interest in religion, and was baptized in a Baptist church. Gingrich workedearly on in academia, as an assistant professor of history and geography at WestGeorgia College. Always interested in history and politics, Gingrich got involved as the Southern regionaldirector forNelson Rockefeller. Gingrich launched his first campaign for congress in1974. He lost in 1974, and again in 1976, to the Democratic incumbent. In 1978,Gingrich finally won a seat in the House. He would be re-elected to Congress 10 times.From his first days in Congress, Gingrich was an influential conservative member of theRepublican party. He formed the Conservative Opportunity Society in 1983, a group of Republican delegates whose ideas influencedRonald Reagan's policies.
Republican Revolution
In 1988, Gingrich led the charge against Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright,who was alleged to have violated campaign finance rules. Wright was forced out, givingGingrich a boost among his party. Gingrich's star continued to rise, and when HouseMinority WhipDick Cheneywas appointed Secretary of Defense, Gingrich was elected to take his place.During this period, Gingrich became known for his aggressive, often combative, style.With an emphasis on morality, he was aided by the House Banking Scandal and the
Congressional Post Office scandal. Gingrich used his influence over the Republican partyto draft the Contract with America, a platform of 10 policies they would push for if theRepublicanstook the majority in the congressional elections. The contract includedwelfare reform, tougher crime laws, a balanced budget, and other conservative policies.Sure enough, the 1994 congressional elections brought about what would be called the"Republican Revolution." After four decades of Democratic control, the GOP won themajority in the House, and Gingrich was elected speaker. Fiercely opposed to manypolicies of President Clinton, Gingrich was instrumental in getting Clinton to reluctantlysign the GOP's welfare reform act after two initial vetoes. It was a major victory forGingrich. Gingrich also had other major pieces of legislation passed, including abalanced budget and a capital gains tax cut.
Ethics Scandal
Gingrich's accomplishments were not without controversy. His popularity began todecline amidst partial government shutdowns in 1995. Gingrich was widely blamed forthe shutdowns, after he had refused to compromise with President Clinton on budgetcuts.Ethical considerations were at the heart of much criticism of the speaker. In 1995, hereturned a $4.5 million book advance that the House Ethics Committee had questioned. Another ethics investigation arose about whether Gingrich had used tax-exemptdonations to fund a college course he had taught while serving in Congress. Gingrichnegotiated an agreement with the House Ethics Committee, and he payed $300,000 forthe cost of the investigation. The House voted to reprimand him by a vote of 395 to 28.In 1997, Gingrich was narrowly re-elected.
In 1998, a scandal broke that would have a big impact on Gingrich's career. Clinton wasalleged to have lied before a federal grand jury about his extramarital affair with WhiteHouse intern Monica Lewinsky. Gingrich pushed for impeachment, and for Clinton'sremoval from office. Congressional hearings and a media frenzy created a backlashagainst Republicans, as many voters felt they had gone too far.In the 1998 midterm elections, Republicans lost five seats to Democrats. The tides hadturned against Gingrich, and even members of his own party were critical of thespeaker's tactics and the image he projected of the Republican party. In November1998, Gingrich stepped down as speaker of the House. In January 1999, he resignedhis seat in Congress.
Gingrich remained involved in politics, serving as a consultant and televisioncommentator on the Fox News Channel. In 2007, he founded American Solutions forWinning the Future, a public policy organization. In May 2011, Gingrich announced hewould seek the Republican nomination for president.

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