Why He Matters
Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, in the Canadian province of Alberta, where his parents lived while working in the oil business. His father, Rafael, was born in Cuba and fought with Fidel Castro's rebels before they triumphed and embraced communism. The elder Cruz arrived in Austin, Texas, in 1957 speaking no English and with no money except the $100 he sewed into his underwear before fleeing Cuba. He washed dishes to help pay for his schooling at the University of Texas. Ted Cruz grew up far more affluently and attended high school in Houston. Cruz received a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a law degree from Harvard University, where he was the primary editor of the Law Review and founding editor of the Latino Law Review. Cruz worked on George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and when Bush took office, he made Cruz an associate deputy attorney general. In 2003, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appointed Cruz to state solicitor general, chief lawyer for the state. While in office, Cruz was the youngest solicitor general in the nation, and the five years he stayed in the post made him the longest serving solicitor general in Texas history. Cruz served as a partner at the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Houston, where he led the firm's U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice. He filed to run for the Republican nomination to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in January 2011. Cruz and his wife, Heidi, have two daughters.