Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich ( / /; born Newton Leroy McPherson; June 17, 1943) is an American politician who served as the 58th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He represented Georgia's 6th congressional district as a Republican member from 1979 to 1999. He is a Republican candidate in 2012 for President of the United States.
Gingrich was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but raised in Hummelstown, a small nearby borough. A college professor, historian, and author, Gingrich twice ran unsuccessfully for the House before winning a seat in the election of November 1978. He was re-elected ten times, and his activism as a member of the House's Republican minority eventually enabled him to succeed Dick Cheney as House Minority Whip in 1989.
As a co-author of the 1994 Contract with America, Gingrich was in the forefront of the Republican Party's dramatic success in that year's Congressional elections and subsequently was elected Speaker of the House. In 1995, Time magazine named him "Man of the Year" for his role in leading the Republican Revolution in the House, ending 40 years of the Democratic Party being in the majority. During his tenure as Speaker, he represented the public face of the Republican opposition to President Bill Clinton. Under his Speakership, Congress passed and Clinton signed the 1996 reform of welfare, a capital gains tax cut and the first balanced budget since 1969.
Following Republican losses in the 1998 mid-term elections, Gingrich resigned both his Speakership and his congressional seat. Since resigning his seat, Gingrich has maintained a career as a political analyst and consultant. He continues to write works related to government and other subjects, such as historical fiction, and is the author of twenty-three books. He is the founder and/or chair of several organizations and companies, including American Solutions for Winning the Future, Center for Health Transformation, Gingrich Productions and Renewing American Leadership. In May 2011, he announced he will seek the Republican nomination to run in the 2012 presidential election.