Content starts here

15 Things You May Not Know About Paul Ryan

  1. His five favorite songs are "Gallows Pole" (Led Zeppelin), "Immigrant Song" (Led Zeppelin) "Trucking" (Grateful Dead), "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Metallica), and "A Country Boy Can Survive" (Hank Williams, Jr.).
  2. He's known as a gym rat who does 200 push-ups every morning, lifts weights, and likes the popular P90X workout program.
  3. He married Janna Christine Little, who was then working as a tax attorney in the Washington office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, in 2000.
  4. He's an avid hunter and fly-fisherman. He shot an eight-point buck on the opening day of Wisconsin's 1999 hunting season with Janna, then his fiancée, next to him in a deer stand.
  5. He can make Polish sausage and bratwurst from scratch.
  6. He got a job on Capitol Hill (as a Republican congressional aide) immediately after graduating from Ohio's Miami University in 1992 with majors in economics and political science.
  7. As a student, he was drawn to the writings of free-market/free-society theorists Ayn Rand and Friedrich Hayek.
  8. In 1986, during his sophomore year in high school, he worked at a McDonald's, and as a college student he worked during the  summer as a salesman for Oscar Meyer Company (and even was photographed behind the wheel of the "Wienermobile").
  9. In 1996 he was a speechwriter for Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, whom he considers one of his mentors. (Other mentors have included Dennis Hastert, the former House speaker from Illinois, and Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services secretary.)
  10. He likes Singha beer.
  11. The fourth child in a Roman Catholic family, he often fingers a rosary.
  12. He was voted prom king as a senior at Janesville Craig High School in Janesville, Wis.
  13. He was raised by his mother after his father, Paul, Sr., died when he was just 16. He saved the Social Security survivor's benefits he received to help put himself through college.
  14. As part of a running gag, he once gave a fellow Wisconsin congressman a nose-hair trimmer packed in a box from Tiffany & Co.
  15. His mother encouraged him to get into politics because she was afraid he would become a ski bum.

--Bill Hogan

Search AARP Blogs