Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, left, and Speaker Paul Ryan answer questions from reporters Aug. 3 during an event at Blain’s Supply in Janesville.

Following is a timeline of highlights in the life of Paul Ryan:


Jan. 29—Paul Davis Ryan is born to Paul and Betty Ryan at Mercy Hospital in Janesville. He is the youngest of four children.


Paul Ryan, known as PD, enters kindergarten at Roosevelt Elementary School. He will complete his elementary education at St. Mary’s School and Marshall Junior High.


Aug. 13—Ryan discovers his father dead of a heart attack. The 16-year-old, the last child at home, cares for his grandmother while his mother commutes to classes at UW-Madison. He also works part time at McDonalds and becomes president of the Craig High School Junior class.


June—Ryan graduates from Craig High School. He’s voted “biggest brown-noser” and reigned as junior prom king.


June—Ryan graduates with a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. While there he enjoys a normal college life but has an unusual interest in economics, including the work of renowned economist Friedrich Hayek. During his senior year, he spends a semester interning at American University in Washington, D.C., and works in the office of U.S. Sen. Bob Kasten of Wisconsin. This experience whets his appetite for politics and federal government issues. A college highlight—his pet boa constrictor bites brother Tobin.


Ryan gets a job on Capitol Hill as a staffer at William Bennett’s Empower America.


Ryan serves as legislative director for U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback. During Jack Kemp’s presidential bid in 1996, he works for the candidate as a speechwriter.


Ryan returns to Janesville and defeats Democrat Lydia Spottswood in the 1st Congressional District race, getting 57 percent of the vote compared to Spottswood’s 43 percent. It was the last time a Democrat received more than 37 percent of the vote against Ryan. In the 1998 campaign, Ryan established himself early as the Republican frontrunner and eliminated primary opposition.


Dec. 2—Ryan marries Janna Little, an Oklahoma native with ties to leading Democrats, including the Boren family. The Ryans later have three children—Liza, Charlie and Sam.

2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006

Ryan wins his first re-election bid in 2000 with 67 percent of the vote against Janesville physician Jeff Thomas. It is the first of four races against Thomas, whose best performance was in 2006, when he took 37 percent of the vote to Ryan’s 63 percent.


January—Ryan is chosen over veteran colleagues to become chairman of the House Budget Committee.


May—Ryan introduces his “Roadmap for America’s Future,” the foundation for his later federal budget proposals.

November—Democrat Marge Krupp and Libertarian Party candidate Joseph Kexel combine for 36 percent of the vote total as Ryan cruises to another re-election with 64 percent of the vote despite a win in the district for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.


Ryan enjoys his largest victory margin with 68 percent of the vote against Democrat John Heckenlively and Libertarian Party candidate Joseph Kexel.


January—Ryan delivers the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address.


March—Ryan endorses Mitt Romney for president.

Aug. 11—Romney announces Ryan as his vice presidential running mate.

Nov. 6—Romney and Ryan lose the presidential election to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.


January—Ryan becomes chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Oct. 29—Ryan is named Speaker of the House. At age 45, he becomes the youngest to hold the speaker post since 1869.


June 2—Ryan endorses Donald Trump for president, telling reporters: “I had friends wishing I wouldn’t support him. I had friends wishing I would.”

November—Ryan beats Ryan Solen by a wide margin to retain hold of his congressional seat.


December—Congress passes, and Trump signs the 2,200-page, $1.5 trillion tax bill known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.


April 11—Ryan announces he will not seek re-election to Congress.