Paul Ryan—Speaker of the United States

by Kristine Bigcas

Paul Ryan is the incumbent Speaker of the House of the United States of America, which makes him the 54th person to be appointed to the position. He is a member of the Republican Party and was the nominee for the Vice Presidential position in tandem to 2012 Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. He was the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee from January 3, 2015 to October 29, 2015. Prior to that, he was the Chairman of the House Budget Committee from January 3, 2011 to January 3, 2015, and the Member of the United States of Representatives as the Representative for Wisconsin’s 1st district in 1999.

Early Life and Family

He was born Paul Davis Ryan Jr. on January 29, 1970, in Janesville, Wisconsin. He grew up with his grandparents living with them. He has three other siblings older than him. He is the youngest amongst them.

His mother is Elizabeth A. Hutter, an interior designer, while his father, Paul Davis Ryan Sr., is a lawyer. His family has grown roots in Wisconsin and has been in the state for a while. He was only 16 years old when his father suffered a fatal heart attack on his bed. After his death, Paul Jr. enjoyed the Security survivors benefits until he was of legal age while his mother got married again to Bruce Douglas.

His grandfather was the late Stanley M. Ryan. He is the renowned United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. His great-grandfather, on the other hand, was the founder of a heavy-equipment company in the 1880s. It used to be known as the P.W. Ryan and Sons but is now named Ryan Incorporated Central.

Education and Personal Life

He studied at St Mary’s Catholic School and played for their basketball team. He also attended Joseph A. Craig High School and was the elected class president of his junior class. He was also the prom king during his time. Aside from basketball, he was also a part of the ski track and soccer team of the school. His school clubs included Model United Nations.

For his degree, Paul Jr. went to Miami University and took Economics and Political Science. He interned for Senator Bob Kasten in his D.C. office. His work involved foreign affairs as an adviser. He then went to American University for the Washington Program. He spent his summers working for Oscar Mayer as a salesman. Furthermore, he enlisted in the organization College Republicans and the social fraternity, Delta Tau Delta.

In 2000, he married the tax attorney Janna Little. She is a graduate of the Wellesley College and George Washington University Law School. She is also related to Representative Dan Boren. They have three children namely Liza, Charles, and Sam.

Paul Jr. maintains a body fat of 6–8% of body fat and a weight of 163 pounds. His fitness routine includes P90X, a cross-training fitness program. He tries to keep a healthy lifestyle due to his family’s history of heart problem.

Net Worth

As of 2015, his net worth was in between $2 and $8 million according to the financial disclosure forms. His wife also inherited about $5 million from the death of her mother.