President-Elect Donald Trump has chosen Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Trump’s transition team made the announcement early Monday morning.
“We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”
“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Trump said in a written statement. “We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”
Carson, a famed neurosurgeon, jumped into the presidential race in 2015, after gaining notoriety after speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 7, 2013.
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His speech assailing liberal policies and political correctness, while President Obama sat nearby, reportedly upset the Democratic president.
A groundswell of support then came, and lifted Carson into the political stratosphere. He began running for president as a Republican in May 2015. He often soared to the top of the polls, including in the very important state of Iowa.
But Carson could not continue his momentum, hitting many road bumps on the way to the Iowa Republican caucuses. He dropped out of the race on March 4.
Carson then endorsed Trump, shocking his rivals, and helped Trump begin a successful coalition that included a record number of evangelical voters.
Now Carson must help Trump rebuild urban communities. Trump and Carson raised eyebrows by campaigning in such areas as Flint, Michigan, and Detroit — hard-hit areas dominated by Democrats.
“I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need,” Carson said in a statement. “We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”
Carson was born in 1951 in Detroit, Michigan, where he spent his childhood.
In 1969, he moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he attended Yale University for his undergraduate degree. He returned to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend medical school at the University of Michigan from 1973-1977.
Carson then moved to Baltimore, Maryland, to complete his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1977-1982.
The Carson family relocated to Perth, Australia, where he worked as a neurosurgeon from 1983-1984. Carson returned to Baltimore to practice at Johns Hopkins. He still lives in Maryland, with another home in Palm Beach County, Florida.