January 6, 2012 at 7:37 PM EST - Updated June 26 at 6:12 AM
Newt Gingrich is the architect of the "Contract with America" that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House for the first time in forty years.
Under Newt's leadership, Congress passed the first balanced budget in a generation, leading to the repayment of over $400 billion in debt. Congress also cut taxes for the first time in sixteen years and reformed welfare, leading to over sixty percent of welfare recipients either getting a job or going to school. In addition, the Congress restored funding to strengthen our defense and intelligence capabilities, an action later lauded by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.
The Washington Times has called Newt Gingrich "the indispensable leader" and Time magazine, in naming him Man of the Year for 1995, said, "Leaders make things possible. Exceptional leaders make them inevitable. Newt Gingrich belongs in the category of the exceptional."
Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Newt's experiences as the son of a career soldier convinced him at an early age to dedicate his life to his country and to the protection of freedom. Realizing the importance of understanding the past in order to protect the future, he immersed himself in the study of history, receiving his Bachelor's degree from Emory University and Master's and Doctorate in Modern European History from Tulane University. Before his election to Congress in 1978, Newt taught History and Environmental Studies at West Georgia College for eight years. He represented Georgia in Congress for twenty years, including four years as Speaker of the House.
Newt served on the Defense Policy Board under President George W. Bush, which provided strategic counsel to the Pentagon and Secretary of Defense on how to better address threats facing the United States. He is also the longest-serving teacher of the Joint War Fighting course for Major Generals at Air University and taught officers from all five services as an honorary Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Professor at the National Defense University. In 1999, Gingrich was appointed to the United States Commission on National Security/21st Century, the Hart/Rudman Commission to examine our national security challenges as far out as 2025. The Commission's report is the most profound rethinking of defense strategy since 1947.
Newt is widely recognized for his commitment to a better system of health for all Americans. His leadership helped save Medicare from bankruptcy, prompted FDA reform to help the seriously ill and initiated a new focus on research, prevention, and wellness. His contributions have been so great that the American Diabetes Association awarded him their highest non-medical award and the March of Dimes named him their 1995 Citizen of the Year.
In 2003, Newt founded the Center for Health Transformation to develop free market healthcare reforms to foster a 21st Century System of health and healthcare that is centered on the individual, prevention focused, knowledge intense and innovation rich. Newt also served as the Co-Chairman of the National Commission for Quality Long-term Care and the independent congressional Alzheimer's Disease Study Group.
Newt and his wife, Callista, host and produce award-winning documentary films, including A City Upon a Hill, Nine Days that Changed the World, Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny, and Rediscovering God in America. Together, Newt and Callista also author photo books and record audio books.
Newt is the author of twenty-three books, including thirteen New York Times bestsellers.
The Gingriches reside in McLean, Virginia. Their family includes two daughters and two grandchildren.