(CNN)Here is a look at the life of former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and a former presidential candidate.

PersonalBirth date: September 18, 1951Birth place: Detroit, MichiganBirth name: Benjamin Solomon CarsonRead MoreFather: Robert Carson, auto factory workerMother: Sonya (Copeland) Carson, domestic workerMarriage: Lacena “Candy” (Rustin) Carson (July 1975-present)Children: Murray, Benjamin Jr and RhoeyceEducation: Yale University, B.A. in Psychology, 1973; University of Michigan School of Medicine, M.D., 1977Religion: Seventh Day AdventistOther FactsWhen Carson became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins at age 33, he was the youngest to head a major division in the hospital’s history.His parents separated when he was 8, after it was revealed his father was a bigamist. He and his brother were raised by their mother.Carson admits that he had a violent temper in his youth, and says one of the defining moments of his life occurred when he was 14. Carson attempted to stab a schoolmate, but luckily the boy’s belt buckle blocked the knife. After praying for three hours, Carson “came to an understanding that to lash out at people is not a sign of strength, it was a sign of weakness.”Known for offering provocative commentary on a wide range of issues, including comparing the modern American government to Nazi Germany in a March 2014 interview with Breitbart, and at the 2013 Values Voters Summit, saying that Obamacare is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.” Ben Carson's career in politicsBen Carson's career in politics Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsBen Carson attends the National Action Network (NAN) national convention at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on April 8, 2015, in New York City. Ben Carson attends the National Action Network (NAN) national convention at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on April 8, 2015, in New York City. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsBen Carson attends the National Action Network (NAN) national convention at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on April 8, 2015, in New York City. Hide Caption 1 of 13Carson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland. Carson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland. Hide Caption 2 of 13Carson speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. Carson speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. Hide Caption 3 of 13Carson is surrounded by supporters as he waits to be interviewed at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington on February 26, 2015.Carson is surrounded by supporters as he waits to be interviewed at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington on February 26, 2015. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson is surrounded by supporters as he waits to be interviewed at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington on February 26, 2015.Hide Caption 4 of 13Carson speaks at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention on January 18, 2015, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A variety of conservative presidential hopefuls spoke at the gathering on the second day of a three-day event. Carson speaks at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention on January 18, 2015, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A variety of conservative presidential hopefuls spoke at the gathering on the second day of a three-day event. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson speaks at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention on January 18, 2015, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A variety of conservative presidential hopefuls spoke at the gathering on the second day of a three-day event. Hide Caption 5 of 13Carson delivers the keynote address at the Wake Up America gala event on September 5, 2014, in Scottsdale, Arizona.Carson delivers the keynote address at the Wake Up America gala event on September 5, 2014, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson delivers the keynote address at the Wake Up America gala event on September 5, 2014, in Scottsdale, Arizona.Hide Caption 6 of 13Carson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland.Carson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland.Hide Caption 7 of 13Carson speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton on February 7, 2013, in Washington. Carson speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton on February 7, 2013, in Washington. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton on February 7, 2013, in Washington. Hide Caption 8 of 13Honoree and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, Carson poses with actor James Pickens Jr. at the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on March 16, 2009, in New York City. Honoree and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, Carson poses with actor James Pickens Jr. at the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on March 16, 2009, in New York City. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsHonoree and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, Carson poses with actor James Pickens Jr. at the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on March 16, 2009, in New York City. Hide Caption 9 of 13Before his jump into conservative politics, Carson was known for his work as a neurosurgeon. Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President George W. Bush on June 19, 2008. At that time, he was the director of pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.Before his jump into conservative politics, Carson was known for his work as a neurosurgeon. Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President George W. Bush on June 19, 2008. At that time, he was the director of pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsBefore his jump into conservative politics, Carson was known for his work as a neurosurgeon. Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President George W. Bush on June 19, 2008. At that time, he was the director of pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.Hide Caption 10 of 13In a story that garnered international attention, Carson was ready to separate a pair of 10-year-old Indian girls, Saba and Farah Shakeel, who are joined at the head in New Delhi, India. Here, he addresses a press conference at the Indraprashtra Apollo Hospital on October 4, 2005.In a story that garnered international attention, Carson was ready to separate a pair of 10-year-old Indian girls, Saba and Farah Shakeel, who are joined at the head in New Delhi, India. Here, he addresses a press conference at the Indraprashtra Apollo Hospital on October 4, 2005. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsIn a story that garnered international attention, Carson was ready to separate a pair of 10-year-old Indian girls, Saba and Farah Shakeel, who are joined at the head in New Delhi, India. Here, he addresses a press conference at the Indraprashtra Apollo Hospital on October 4, 2005.Hide Caption 11 of 13Carson and a team of 20 specialists approved the procedure after studying the girls' brains; however, their parents were worried about their daughters' lives and did not give doctors permission to operate. The surgery did not happen.Carson and a team of 20 specialists approved the procedure after studying the girls' brains; however, their parents were worried about their daughters' lives and did not give doctors permission to operate. The surgery did not happen. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson and a team of 20 specialists approved the procedure after studying the girls’ brains; however, their parents were worried about their daughters’ lives and did not give doctors permission to operate. The surgery did not happen.Hide Caption 12 of 13Carson observes the start of neurosurgery proceedings at the Raffles Hospital in Singapore on July 6, 2003. Carson and Dr. Keith Goh, left, performed a complex operation that was unsuccessful to separate 29-year-old twins Ladan And Laleh Bijani, who were joined at the head.Carson observes the start of neurosurgery proceedings at the Raffles Hospital in Singapore on July 6, 2003. Carson and Dr. Keith Goh, left, performed a complex operation that was unsuccessful to separate 29-year-old twins Ladan And Laleh Bijani, who were joined at the head. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson observes the start of neurosurgery proceedings at the Raffles Hospital in Singapore on July 6, 2003. Carson and Dr. Keith Goh, left, performed a complex operation that was unsuccessful to separate 29-year-old twins Ladan And Laleh Bijani, who were joined at the head.Hide Caption 13 of 13ben carson gallery 1ben carson gallery 3ben carson gallery 2Ben Carson Carson 2015 SCBen Carson in ArizonaBen Carson CPAC 2014Ben Carson 2013Ben Carson 2009Ben Carson George Bush 2008Ben Carson India 2005Ben Carson 2005Ben Carson 2003Timeline1977-1978 – Intern in general surgery at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. 1978-1982 – Completes his neurosurgery residency at Johns Hopkins. 1982-1983 – Chief neurosurgery resident at Johns Hopkins.1983-1984 – Senior registrar in neurosurgery at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Australia.1984-2013 – Director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.1987 – Primary neurosurgeon on team that performs the first successful surgery to separate conjoined twins connected at the back of the head (occipital craniopagus twins). 1990 – Carson’s best-selling autobiography, “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” is published.1994 – Founds the Carson Scholars Fund with his wife, which facilitates leisure reading for children and funds college scholarships for students with strong academics and humanitarian achievement.1997 – Primary neurosurgeon on the team that performs the first fully successful surgery to separate Type 2 vertical craniopagus twins (joined at the top of the head and facing opposite directions), where both twins survive and are neurologically normal.2002 – Co-founds the Benevolent Endowment Network (BEN) Fund, which provides financial support for the medical expenses of pediatric neurosurgery patients.August 2002 – Undergoes surgery for prostate cancer. He is later declared cancer-free.2004 – Named by President George W. Bush to the President’s Council on Bioethics. June 19, 2008 – Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bush.February 7, 2009 – Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Carson in the made-for-television movie, “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.” February 7, 2013 – Gains national attention after he criticizes Democratic policies on taxes and healthcare during his keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast.July 1, 2013 – Retires from Johns Hopkins as director of pediatric neurosurgery, professor and co-director of the Craniofacial Center.October 2013-November 2014 – Contributor for Fox News.November 2014 – Officially switches his party affiliation from registered Independent to Republican, a move he later acknowledges was spurred on by a possible presidential run.March 4, 2015 – On CNN’s “New Day,” Carson asserts that homosexuality is a choice because people “go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay.” He later apologizes for his comments, but says that the science is still murky on the issue.May 4, 2015 – Formally announces his candidacy for US president in his hometown of Detroit. March 2, 2016 – After a disappointing finish on Super Tuesday, Carson announces he doesn’t “see a political path forward” in the Republican presidential nomination process, and will not attend the upcoming GOP presidential debate in Detroit.March 4, 2016 – In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference gathering in National Harbor, Maryland, Carson officially ends his presidential campaign and reveals his next move: becoming the national chairman of My Faith Votes, a group focused on getting out the Christian vote in November.March 11, 2016 – Carson announces his endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.November 15, 2016 – A close Carson adviser tells CNN that Carson has declined an offer from President-elect Trump to join his cabinet as secretary of Health and Human Services. December 5, 2016 – The Trump transition team announces Carson will be nominated as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.March 2, 2017 – Carson is confirmed as HUD secretary with a 58-41 vote in the Senate. February 2018 – CNN obtains a November 2017 complaint from HUD’s former chief administration officer, who said she was told to “find money” beyond the legal $5,000 limit for redecorating Carson’s office. Soon after, it is revealed that HUD spent $31,000 to replace a dining room set for the office. Carson says in a statement to CNN that he was “surprised” about the order and had it canceled.May 16, 2019 – In a letter to Congress, the Government Accountability Office’s general counsel says HUD broke the law when it spent about $40,000 in 2017 for a new dining set and dishwasher for Carson’s office. September 12, 2019 – HUD’s internal watchdog clears Carson of wrongdoing for his plan to purchase a $31,000 dining set without notifying Congress.November 9, 2020 – HUD Deputy Chief of Staff Coalter Baker releases a statement that Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus. “He is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.”Ben Carson's career in politicsBen Carson's career in politics Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsBen Carson attends the National Action Network (NAN) national convention at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on April 8, 2015, in New York City. Ben Carson attends the National Action Network (NAN) national convention at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on April 8, 2015, in New York City. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsBen Carson attends the National Action Network (NAN) national convention at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on April 8, 2015, in New York City. Hide Caption 1 of 13Carson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland. Carson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland. Hide Caption 2 of 13Carson speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. Carson speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. Hide Caption 3 of 13Carson is surrounded by supporters as he waits to be interviewed at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington on February 26, 2015.Carson is surrounded by supporters as he waits to be interviewed at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington on February 26, 2015. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson is surrounded by supporters as he waits to be interviewed at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington on February 26, 2015.Hide Caption 4 of 13Carson speaks at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention on January 18, 2015, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A variety of conservative presidential hopefuls spoke at the gathering on the second day of a three-day event. Carson speaks at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention on January 18, 2015, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A variety of conservative presidential hopefuls spoke at the gathering on the second day of a three-day event. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson speaks at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention on January 18, 2015, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A variety of conservative presidential hopefuls spoke at the gathering on the second day of a three-day event. Hide Caption 5 of 13Carson delivers the keynote address at the Wake Up America gala event on September 5, 2014, in Scottsdale, Arizona.Carson delivers the keynote address at the Wake Up America gala event on September 5, 2014, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson delivers the keynote address at the Wake Up America gala event on September 5, 2014, in Scottsdale, Arizona.Hide Caption 6 of 13Carson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland.Carson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014, in National Harbor, Maryland.Hide Caption 7 of 13Carson speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton on February 7, 2013, in Washington. Carson speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton on February 7, 2013, in Washington. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton on February 7, 2013, in Washington. Hide Caption 8 of 13Honoree and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, Carson poses with actor James Pickens Jr. at the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on March 16, 2009, in New York City. Honoree and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, Carson poses with actor James Pickens Jr. at the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on March 16, 2009, in New York City. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsHonoree and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, Carson poses with actor James Pickens Jr. at the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on March 16, 2009, in New York City. Hide Caption 9 of 13Before his jump into conservative politics, Carson was known for his work as a neurosurgeon. Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President George W. Bush on June 19, 2008. At that time, he was the director of pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.Before his jump into conservative politics, Carson was known for his work as a neurosurgeon. Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President George W. Bush on June 19, 2008. At that time, he was the director of pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsBefore his jump into conservative politics, Carson was known for his work as a neurosurgeon. Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President George W. Bush on June 19, 2008. At that time, he was the director of pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.Hide Caption 10 of 13In a story that garnered international attention, Carson was ready to separate a pair of 10-year-old Indian girls, Saba and Farah Shakeel, who are joined at the head in New Delhi, India. Here, he addresses a press conference at the Indraprashtra Apollo Hospital on October 4, 2005.In a story that garnered international attention, Carson was ready to separate a pair of 10-year-old Indian girls, Saba and Farah Shakeel, who are joined at the head in New Delhi, India. Here, he addresses a press conference at the Indraprashtra Apollo Hospital on October 4, 2005. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsIn a story that garnered international attention, Carson was ready to separate a pair of 10-year-old Indian girls, Saba and Farah Shakeel, who are joined at the head in New Delhi, India. Here, he addresses a press conference at the Indraprashtra Apollo Hospital on October 4, 2005.Hide Caption 11 of 13Carson and a team of 20 specialists approved the procedure after studying the girls' brains; however, their parents were worried about their daughters' lives and did not give doctors permission to operate. The surgery did not happen.Carson and a team of 20 specialists approved the procedure after studying the girls' brains; however, their parents were worried about their daughters' lives and did not give doctors permission to operate. The surgery did not happen. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson and a team of 20 specialists approved the procedure after studying the girls’ brains; however, their parents were worried about their daughters’ lives and did not give doctors permission to operate. The surgery did not happen.Hide Caption 12 of 13Carson observes the start of neurosurgery proceedings at the Raffles Hospital in Singapore on July 6, 2003. Carson and Dr. Keith Goh, left, performed a complex operation that was unsuccessful to separate 29-year-old twins Ladan And Laleh Bijani, who were joined at the head.Carson observes the start of neurosurgery proceedings at the Raffles Hospital in Singapore on July 6, 2003. Carson and Dr. Keith Goh, left, performed a complex operation that was unsuccessful to separate 29-year-old twins Ladan And Laleh Bijani, who were joined at the head. Photos: Ben Carson's career in politicsCarson observes the start of neurosurgery proceedings at the Raffles Hospital in Singapore on July 6, 2003. Carson and Dr. Keith Goh, left, performed a complex operation that was unsuccessful to separate 29-year-old twins Ladan And Laleh Bijani, who were joined at the head.Hide Caption 13 of 13ben carson gallery 1ben carson gallery 3ben carson gallery 2Ben Carson Carson 2015 SCBen Carson in ArizonaBen Carson CPAC 2014Ben Carson 2013Ben Carson 2009Ben Carson George Bush 2008Ben Carson India 2005Ben Carson 2005Ben Carson 2003

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