Newt Gingrich 2012: Republican Presidential Candidate

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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, 68, declared his presidential candidacy on May 11, 2011, becoming the first presidential candidate ever to announce on the social media site Twitter.

"Today I am announcing my candidacy for president of the United States. You can watch my announcement here. http://bit.ly/kEbh7d," he wrote to his 1.3 million followers on Twitter.

Originally named Newton Leroy McPherson, Gingrich was born in Harrisburg, Penn. in 1943 to Kathleen and Newton Searles McPherson, but the couple's marriage dissolved within days of their nuptials, leaving Kathleen to care for a young child on her own. In 1946, his mother married Robert Gingrich, an Army officer, who adopted Newt and raised him with his three half sisters – Candace, Susan and Roberta.

As a child in a military family, Gingrich moved multiple times, which included living abroad on military bases in Orleans, France, and Stuggart, Germany. Prior to the start of high school, the Gingrich family moved to Fort Benning, Ga., and in 1961, Gingrich graduated from Baker High School as a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist and was voted "Most Intellectual" by his classmates.

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