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Rick Santorum Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania congressman.

Personal

Birth date: May 10, 1958

Birth place: Winchester, Virginia

Birth name: Richard John Santorum

Father: Aldo Santorum, a psychologist

Mother: Catherine (Dughi) Santorum, a nurse

Marriage: Karen (Garver) Santorum (1990-present)

Children: Isabella, 2008; Patrick, 2001; Peter, 1999; Sarah, 1998; Gabriel, born and died in 1996; Daniel, 1995; Richard Jr., 1993; Elizabeth, 1991

Education: Pennsylvania State University, B.A., Political Science, 1980; University of Pittsburgh, M.B.A., 1981; Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 1986

Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Facts

Member of the “Gang of Seven,” a group that exposed and condemned scandals in congress, when in the House of Representatives.

Founded the Congressional Working Group on Religious Freedom.

Known for spearheading and helping to pass the welfare reform bill and a ban on partial-birth abortion.

Timeline

1981-1986 – Administrative Assistant to Pennsylvania State Senator J. Doyle Corman.

1986-1990 – Associate attorney at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in Pittsburgh.

January 1991-January 1995 – US Representative for the 18th District of Pennsylvania. Is re-elected in 1992.

January 1995-January 2007Republican Senator from Pennsylvania. Is re-elected in 2000.

1996The Santorums’ son, Gabriel, is born prematurely and only lives for two hours. Santorum’s wife Karen writes a book about the experience, “Letters to Gabriel: The True Story of Gabriel Michael Santorum.”

2001-2007 Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

November 2006 Is defeated in his Senate race by Democrat Bob Casey.

2007-May 2008 – Management consultant at law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, in Washington, DC.

2007-May 2011 – Political contributor at Fox News.

2007-June 2011 – Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

2008 – Santorum youngest child, Isabella, is born with Trisomy 18, a rare genetic disorder.

March 2, 2011 – Fox News suspends Santorum’s contract for 60 days and gives him a May 1, 2011 deadline to decide whether to run for president, or have his contract terminated.

April 13, 2011 – Announces that he has formed a presidential exploratory committee, but does not publicly declare his candidacy.

May 5, 2011 – Fox News ends association with Santorum after he doesn’t respond by the May 1 deadline regarding his decision on seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

June 6, 2011 – Launches his presidential campaign in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

February 15, 2012 – Releases his last four years of tax returns showing he earned more than $3.6 million.

April 10, 2012 – Suspends his presidential campaign.

June 2013 – Named CEO of EchoLight Studios, a faith-based movie studio in Dallas.

April 28, 2014 – Publishes his book, “Blue Collar Conservatives.”

February 10, 2015 – Santorum and wife Karen publish a book about their daughter entitled “Bella’s Gift.”

May 27, 2015 – Santorum launches a campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.

February 3, 2016 – Announces he is suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

January 18, 2017-May 2021 – Joins CNN as a political commentator.

March 25, 2018 – In response to students protesting for gun control legislation, Santorum remarks “How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes or trying to deal with situations when there is a violent shooter that you can actually respond to that.” A few days later, Santorum says he misspoke “in using the term CPR.”

February 28, 2019 – In an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” Santorum calls President Donald Trump’s decision not to hold North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un responsible for Otto Warmbier’s death “reprehensible.”

May 22, 2021 – A CNN spokesperson says that the network has “parted ways” with Santorum after he faced widespread condemnation for remarks he made about Native Americans.

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