Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich (born Newton Leroy McPherson; June 17, 1943) is an American politician, author, and political consultant. He represented Georgia's 6th congressional district as a Republican from 1979 until his resignation in 1999, and served as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Gingrich was a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.
In the 1970s, Gingrich taught history and geography at the University of West Georgia. During this period he ran twice (1974 and 1976) for the United States House of Representatives before winning in November 1978. He served as House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995.
A co-author and architect of the "Contract with America", Gingrich was a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional election. In 1995, Time named him "Man of the Year" for "his role in ending the four-decades-long Democratic majority in the House". While he was House speaker, the House enacted welfare reform, passed a capital gains tax cut in 1997, and in 1998 passed the first balanced budget since 1969. The poor showing by Republicans in the 1998 Congressional election and pressure from Republican colleagues caused Gingrich's resignation from the speakership on November 5, 1998, and then the House on January 3, 1999.
Since leaving the House, Gingrich has remained active in public policy debates and worked as a political consultant. He founded and chaired several policy think tanks, including American Solutions for Winning the Future and the Center for Health Transformation. He has written or co-authored 27 books. In May 2011, he announced his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. On May 2, 2012, Gingrich ended his presidential campaign and endorsed front-runner Mitt Romney.
After being raised Lutheran and spending most of his adult life as a Southern Baptist, Gingrich converted to Roman Catholicism in 2009. He has been married three times, with the first two marriages ending in divorce. He has two children from his first marriage and has been married to Callista (Bisek) Gingrich since 2000.