Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman and politician who is the nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States in the 2012 election. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts (2003–07).
The son of Lenore and George W. Romney (Governor of Michigan, 1963–69), he was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Beginning in 1966, he spent thirty months in France as a Mormon missionary. In 1969, he married Ann Davies, and the couple have five children together. In 1971, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University and, in 1975, a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. Romney entered the management consulting industry, and in 1977 secured a position at Bain & Company. Later serving as its chief executive officer, he helped bring the company out of financial crisis. In 1984, he co-founded and led the spin-off Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm that became highly profitable and one of the largest such firms in the nation. His net worth is estimated at $190–250 million, wealth that helped fund his political campaigns prior to 2012.
Active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served as bishop of his ward and later stake president in his home area near Boston. He ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, losing to long-time incumbent Ted Kennedy. In 1999, he was hired as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics. The visibility he gained from this stint gave him the opportunity to relaunch his political aspirations.
Romney was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 but did not seek re-election in 2006. During his term he presided over the elimination of a projected $3 billion deficit by reducing state funding for higher education, cutting state aid to cities and towns, raising various fees, and removing corporate tax loopholes; Massachusetts also benefited from unanticipated federal grants and unexpected revenue from a previously enacted capital gains tax increase. He helped develop, and signed into law, the Massachusetts health care reform legislation. The first of its kind in the nation, it provided near-universal health insurance access via state-level subsidies and individual mandates to purchase insurance. Romney ran for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, winning several primaries and caucuses but losing the nomination to John McCain. In June 2011, he announced that he would seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. By May 2012, he had won enough caucuses and primaries to become the party's presumptive nominee, and on August 28, the 2012 Republican National Convention made him the official nominee.