James Richard “Rick” Perry is an American politician from Texas. He served as the 47th and longest-serving Governor of Texas, in office from 2000 to 2015. He was the Lieutenant Governor of Texas from 1998 to 2000. Prior to being elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998, he served two terms as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and three terms in the Texas House of Representatives.
A fifth generation Texan, Perry grew up the son of tenant farmers in the tiny West Texas town of Paint Creek. The younger of Ray and Amelia Perry’s two children, he was active in scouting and earned distinction as an Eagle Scout.
Perry was one of the first in his family to go to college, earning a degree in Animal Science at Texas A&M, where he was also a member of the Corps of Cadets. Between 1972 and 1977, Perry served in the U.S. Air Force flying C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in Europe and the Middle East.
Perry married his childhood sweetheart, Anita Thigpen, in 1982. They have two children.