Rick Perry is an American Republican politician who is currently serving in the administration of President Donald Trump as United States Secretary of Energy. Perry is not a newcomer in the corridors of power as he was a three-term governor of Texas, holding the record as the longest-serving Texas governor (3 terms in 14 years). To be where he is today, you will agree that the gentleman has distinguished himself in so many ways and has repeatedly proved his worth to the American people. Find out more about the Texan politician who is working hard to make America great.
Rick Perry Biography
Rick Perry, whose full name is James Richard Perry, was born on March 4, 1950, in Haskell, Texas but raised in Paint Creek, Texas. His parents are Joseph Ray Perry and Amelia June Holt Perry who were both dryland cotton farmers.
While he was a young boy, Perry was a member of the Boy Scouts and grew to attain the highest rank of Eagle Scout. For his education, he studied and graduated from Paint Creek High School in 1968 before he entered Texas A&M University, where he studied animal science and earned a bachelors degree in 1972.
While he was still in college, Rick Perry joined the Corps of Cadets and became a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force upon his graduation. Two years later, he completed his training as a pilot and flew the C-130 tactical airlift with the 772nd Tactical Airlift Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene, Texas until 1977. During that time, he served overseas in the 1974 U.S. State Department earthquake relief in Guatemala and the drought relief effort in Mali, Mauritania, and Chad. He left the Air Force as a Captain in 1977 after which he returned to Texas and joined his family cotton business.
Rick Perry first entered the corridors of power in 1984 as a member of the Democratic party in the Texas House of Representatives. He served as a Rep from January 8, 1985, to January 8, 1991, before beginning his term as an agricultural commissioner on January 15, 1991. Around this time, he switched from the Democratic Party to become a Republican.
His tenure as a commissioner was followed by his emergence as the Lieutenant Governor of Texas (January 19, 1999 – December 21, 2000), making him the first Texas Republican lieutenant governor since Reconstruction. He later went on to become the 47th Governor of Texas on December 21, 2000, following then-Governor George W. Bush resignation in preparation to become the President of America.
Perry’s time as Governor came to an end on January 20, 2015, after which he was succeeded by Greg Abbott. The following year, he was nominated by President Donald Trump to be the United States Department of Energy Secretary. He has since then been a member of Trump’s Cabinet and is 15th in the presidential line of succession.
7 Interesting Facts You Need to Know
1. Political Views
As a Republican, Perry’s political views are not different from that of his fellow Republican/Grand Old Party (GOP) members. On the burning issues in America, he sides with his party, one of which is his anti-gay views. He has commended the Boys Scout on their ban on homosexuality and has asked the American people to emulate the ideals of the scout.
On the border wall, The Texas Tribune once wrote in 2016 that the former governor was a critic of it, however, following the emergence of Donald Trump as the Republican Presidential candidate in 2016, he embraced the idea.
2. Controversial Appointment
During his nomination as Secretary for the Department of Energy, Perry was heavily criticized for being nominated for the post. This was because, in his 2016 presidential campaign, he slightly hinted that if elected president, he would abolish the same department he was now nominated to overlook. Nevertheless, he scaled through the nomination process to take the office.
3. Career Outside of Politics
Though Rick Perry is mostly known for having served and/or serving in one political office or the other, the Texan gentleman has at different times done things outside the affairs of the state.
Beginning in February 2015, he was on the board of directors of the largest energy transport company in the US, Energy Transfer Partners, as well as Sunoco Partners, another energy transport company.
4. Designated Survivor
In the 2019 State of the Union which was held on February 5, 2019, Rick Perry was the “Designated Survivor” who stayed at a physically distant and unknown but secure location when the President, his Vice, and other officials were all gathered in a single location for the annual address. He is the 5th Secretary of Energy to have served in that capacity.
5. Net Worth
Though Rick Perry is not amongst the richest people in Trump’s cabinet, he is quite rich. According to Forbes, after he left office as Texas governor, he earned above $100,000 from speeches and about $250,000 for consulting as a Caterpillar and heavy equipment dealer. From all these and other sources of income he has, Perry has amassed a net worth of $2 million.
6. Family Life
Mary Anita Thigpen and Rick Perry first got to know each other when they were in elementary school. The pair began their friendship from then on and today, they are husband and wife. They got married in 1982 and are parents to two children who are now adults; Griffin Perry (son) and Sydney Perry (daughter).
7. Yell Leader
During his time in college at Texas A&M University, Perry was a cheerleader and an Aggie Yell Leader. As tradition demands of that position, he usually dressed in all white to lead the school’s fans to cheer their team.