June 17, 1943 (Harrisburg, Pa.)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives, 1995-1999
- U.S. Representative from Georgia, 1979-1999
The architect of the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 1994, Gingrich has a reputation for being one of the GOP's most prolific thinkers.
By the time the former House Speaker left office in 1999 he had also become one of the most polarizing figures in American politics.
His confrontation with President Clinton over the budget in 1995 led to a government shutdown. Many analysts say the episode benefited Mr. Clinton and helped the Democrat win a second term.
Gingrich also acknowledged having an extramarital affair with a congressional staffer while leading impeachment proceedings against President Clinton for lying about his relationship with a White House intern. Gingrich's admitted infidelity and two divorces could make religious conservatives hesitant to support his candidacy.
Having represented Georgia in Congress, there is a chance Gingrich could be the only Republican in the field from the South, a key region for GOP hopefuls in recent elections.