Benjamin S. Carson, Sr. (2017-2021)
Benjamin Solomon Carson was born on September 18, 1951, in Detroit, Michigan, and was raised in Detroit until his parents divorced, and he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, with his mother and brother. At the age of ten, the family returned to Detroit, where at first, he underperformed academically, but by the time he attended high school, he was an exceptional student.
Carson attended Yale University on a full scholarship, receiving a degree in psychology. He then went to the School of Medicine at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1977. He completed his residency at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and spent a year at a hospital in Perth, Australia. By 1985, Carson was director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He had many achievements in that field, including being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins in 1987. President George W. Bush awarded Dr. Carson the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008 in recognition of his medical accomplishments.
Carson began to gain public attention through his many speaking engagements, and he gained popularity within the Republican Party after he began to publicly criticize President Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act. Carson retired from medicine in 2013. With his conservative agenda, he eventually entered the 2016 presidential race for the Republican nomination where initially he was one of the party’s front runners, but he struggled due to lack of experience in government and eventually suspended his campaign in March 2016.
Shortly after President Trump’s victory in 2016, he nominated Carson to serve as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The US Senate confirmed him in March 2017 by a vote of 58 to 41. During Secretary Carson’s tenure, the HUD budget was cut by 13 percent. Carson supported rent increases for public housing and a reduction of anti-discriminatory regulations in the public housing system. In February 2020, President Trump selected Secretary Carson to join the Coronavirus Task Force Team of experts. Carson served as Secretary of HUD for Trump's entire term.