Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) answers questions during a campaign town hall meeting at the Crossing Life Church February 2, 2016 in Windham, New Hampshire. Cruz emerged at the top of a crowded GOP presidential field after winning Monday's Iowa caucuses. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Ted Cruz biography

Ted Cruz is a U.S. senator running for the Republican nomination for president. 

He was born Dec. 22, 1970, named Rafael Cruz in Canada. His Cuban father and Irish American mother had moved there during the 1960s oil boom, The Washington Post reported.

  • Cruz's father, also named Rafael, left Cuba on a student visa with $100 sewn into his underwear, the paper reported
  • Cruz's mother is from Delaware and was one of the few female computer programmers in the 1950s according to his official biography.
  • Despite being born in Canada, he was raised in Houston. He learned the Constitution while in high school and gave speeches across Texas on conservative topics.
  • Cruz was valedictorian of his class at Second Baptist High School in Houston.
  • He attended Princeton, graduating in 1992.
  • He then went to Harvard Law School. 
  • Clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig on the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of appeals.
  • 1996 - Chief Justice William Rehnquist's first Hispanic clerk.
  • 2000 - became a domestic policy advisor to George W. Bush for the Bush-Cheney campaign.
  • Met wife Heidi Nelson Cruz during the campaign.
  • Cruz served as assistant attorney general in Justice Department and director of policy planning at the Federal Trade Commission.
  • 2003 - Appointed solicitor general, returning to Texas.
  • In five years, Cruz wrote 80 briefs to the Supreme Court arguing before the high court nine times, according to his official biography.
  • 2012 - won his U.S. Senate seat thanks to tea party support. He spearheaded a governmental shutdown in opposition to Obamacare, according to biography.com. He gave a 21-hour speech against the health care plan, trying to get other lawmakers to cut its funding.
  • 2014 - Renounced dual Canadian citizenship
  • March 2015 - announced his candidacy for president.

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