George Wilcken Romney was born in 1907 in a Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico.
As a young man, Mr. Romney worked in Washington as a speechwriter for a Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, David T. Walsh. He then became a Washington lobbyist for the aluminum industry and an official of the Automobile Manufacturers Association.
In 1948, he joined the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. Six years later, Nash-Kelvinator merged with the Hudson Motor Car Company to create American Motors, and Mr. Romney became president of the company.
In 1962, after weeks of agonizing and a 24-hour prayerful fast, Mr. Romney resigned from American Motors to run for Governor against the Democratic incumbent, John B. Swainson. With an appeal to labor unions unusual for a Republican, Mr. Romney won by 78,000 votes and became the first Republican Governor of Michigan in 14 years.
He was re-elected in 1964 and 1966. In 1967, he became the first announced candidate for the 1968 Republican Presidential nomination.
He then served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in President Richard M. Nixon's first term.more » « less