SONNY PERDUE was born in Perry, Georgia. He earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia. While still in school, Perdue volunteered to serve his country in the U.S. Air Force, receiving an honorable discharge in 1974 with the rank of captain.
Following a brief tenure as a practicing veterinarian, Perdue returned to his native Georgia and became a successful small business owner. He started two businesses from the ground up, concentrating in agribusiness and transportation. His public service began in the 1980s when he served on the Houston County Planning and Zoning Board. He then successfully ran for the state senate and built a reputation as a skilled listener, patient decision maker, and tireless worker, earning the bipartisan respect of his colleagues. As a result, he rose quickly to leadership positions. After four years in the senate, Perdue was selected as majority leader and in 1997 was elected president pro tempore. Perdue campaigned for governor on a platform of restoring public trust in state government and empowering all Georgians. He was elected in November 2002 as the first Republican to serve as Georgia's governor since 1872. Governor Perdue won re-election by an overwhelming margin in November 2006.
He has set a clear goal of changing the culture of state government to be principle-centered, results-driven, and customer-focused using a simple formula made up of two ingredients: customer service and leadership. He and his wife Mary have four children and seven grandchildren.more » « less