George W. Romney

Born Jul 8, 1907

George Wilcken Romney was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973. He is the father of former Governor of Massachusetts and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and was the husband of former Michigan U.S.… Read More

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1907 Birth They married in 1895 in Mexico and lived in Colonia Dublán in Galeana in the state of Chihuahua (one of the Mormon colonies in Mexico), where George was born on July 8, 1907. … Read More
1912 4 Years Old The Romney family fled and returned to the United States in July 1912, leaving their home and almost all of their property behind. … Read More
1916 8 Years Old The family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1916, where Gaskell Romney resumed construction work, but the family remained generally poor. … Read More


1921 13 Years Old 1 More Event
George started working in wheat and sugar beet fields at the age of eleven and was the valedictorian at his grammar school graduation in 1921 (by the sixth grade he had attended six different schools). … Read More
1922 - 1925 2 More Events
1926 18 Years Old After becoming an elder, Romney earned enough money working to fund himself as a Mormon missionary. In October 1926, he sailed to Great Britain and was first assigned to preach in a Glasgow, Scotland, slum. … Read More
1927 19 Years Old In February 1927, he was shifted to Edinburgh and in February 1928 to London, where he kept track of mission finances. … Read More


1928 20 Years Old 1 More Event
In August 1928, Romney became president of the Scottish missionary district. … Read More
1929 22 Years Old 1 More Event
He followed LaFount to Washington, D.C., in fall 1929, after her father, Harold A. Lafount, had accepted an appointment by President Calvin Coolidge to serve on the Federal Radio Commission.
1930 23 Years Old Based upon a connection he made working for Walsh, Romney was hired as an apprentice for Alcoa in Pittsburgh in June 1930. … Read More
1931 24 Years Old The couple married on July 2, 1931, at Salt Lake City Temple. … Read More


1937 - 1940 3 More Events
1941 34 Years Old 1 More Event
Romney also served as president of the Detroit Trade Association in 1941.
1943 36 Years Old With labor leader Victor Reuther, Romney led the Detroit Victory Council, which sought to improve conditions for Detroit workers under wartime stress and deal with the causes of the 1943 Detroit race riots. … Read More
1944 37 Years Old As peacetime production began, Romney persuaded government officials to forgo complex contract-termination procedures, thus freeing auto plants to quickly produce cars for domestic consumption and avoid large layoffs. Romney was director of the American Trade Association Executives in 1944 and 1947, and managing director of the National Automobile Golden Jubilee Committee in 1946.
1946 39 Years Old From 1946 to 1949, he represented U.S. employers as a delegate to the Metal Trades Industry conference of the International Labor Office. … Read More


1948 41 Years Old As managing director of the Automobile Manufacturers Association, Romney became good friends with then-president George W. Mason. When Mason became chairman of the manufacturing firm Nash-Kelvinator in 1948, he invited Romney along "to learn the business from the ground up" as his roving assistant, and the new executive spent a year working in different parts of the company. … Read More
1954 47 Years Old …  He was chairman and president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973. … Read More


1957 - 1958 3 More Events
Religion was a paramount force in Romney's life. In a 1959 essay for the Detroit Free Press he said, "My religion is my most precious possession.... … Read More
1960 - 1962 6 More Events
Romney was sworn in as governor on January 1, 1963. … Read More
Re-elected by increasingly large margins in 1964 and 1966, he worked to overhaul the state's financial and revenue structure, greatly expanding the size of state government and introducing Michigan's first state income tax. … Read More


Romney announced an exploratory phase for a possible campaign in February 1967, beginning with a visit to Alaska and the Rocky Mountain states. … Read More
Initially a front runner for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 1968 election, he proved an ineffective campaigner and fell behind Richard Nixon in polls. … Read More
1969 62 Years Old 1 More Event
Romney was confirmed by the Senate without opposition on January 20, 1969, the day of Nixon's inauguration, and was sworn into office on January 22, with Nixon at his side. … Read More
Romney visited Warren in July 1970, and emphasized that affirmative action rather than forced integration was all that HUD was demanding, but the local populace was not satisfied and Romney was jeered as a police escort took him away from the meeting place. … Read More
In spring 1972, a major scandal struck the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which since passage of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 and the creation of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) had been responsible for helping the poor buy homes in inner-city areas via government-backed mortgages.
The FHA scandal gave Nixon the ability to shut down HUD's remaining desegregation efforts with little political risk; by January 1973, all federal housing funds had been frozen.
1987 - 1994 5 More Events
By January 1995, amid press criticism of the Points of Light Foundation engaging in ineffective, wasteful spending, Romney expressed concern that the organization had too high a budget.
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