Rick PERRY

Family tree of Rick PERRY

American politician

AmericanBorn James Richard PERRY

47th and current Governor of Texas

Born on March 4, 1950 in Paint Creek, Texas, USA , United States (71 years)

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A fifth-generation Texan, Perry was born in Paint Creek, about 60 miles (97 km) north of Abilene in West Texas, to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and the former Amelia June Holt. Perry's ancestry is almost entirely English, going back to the original thirteen colonies. His family has been in Texas since before the Texan Revolution.



His father, a Democrat, was a long-time Haskell County commissioner and school board member. Perry has said that his interest in politics probably began in November 1961, when his father took him to the funeral of U.S. Representative Sam Rayburn (D-TX), who during his long public career served as speaker of the Texas House for a short time at the age of 29 and then later for 17 years as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Perry was in the Boy Scouts (BSA) and earned the rank of Eagle Scout; his son, Griffin, would later become an Eagle Scout as well. The BSA has honored Perry with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.



Perry graduated from Paint Creek High School in 1968. He then attended Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, was elected senior class social secretary, and was also elected as one of A&M's five yell leaders (a popular Texas A&M tradition analogous to male cheerleaders). Perry graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in animal science.



Perry said that the Corps of Cadets gave him the discipline to complete his animal sciences degree and earn a commission in the Air Force. In a 1989 interview he said that "I was probably a bit of a free spirit, not particularly structured real well for life outside of a military regime, I would have not lasted at Texas Tech or the University of Texas. I would have hit the fraternity scene and lasted about one semester." Perry was a prankster in college: he once placed live chickens in the closet of an upperclassman during Christmas break and used M-80 firecrackers to prank students using the toilet.



In the early 1970s, Perry interned during several summers with the Southwestern Company, as a door-to-door book salesman. "I count my time working for Dortch Oldham [President of the Southwestern Company] as one of the most important formative experiences of my life," Perry said in 2010. "There is nothing that tests your commitment to a goal like getting a few doors closed in your face." He said that "Mr. Oldham taught legions of young people to communicate quickly, clearly and with passion, a lesson that has served me well in my life since then."



Upon graduation in 1972, Perry was commissioned in the Air Force and completed pilot training in February 1974. He was then assigned as a C-130 pilot to the 772nd Tactical Airlift Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base. Perry's duties included two-month overseas rotations at RAF Mildenhall in England and Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany. His missions included a 1974 U.S. State Department drought relief effort in Mali, Mauritania and Chad, and two years later, earthquake relief in Guatemala. He left the Air Force in 1977 with the rank of captain, returned to Texas, and went into business farming cotton with his father.



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Geographical origins

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