The former Massachusetts governor has six former presidents of the United States within his family tree, albeit as distant relatives, including Presidents George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Franklin Pierce -- a split of four Republicans and two Democrats.
The Mexican Romneys, who number about 40, live in solid brick homes with gingerbread accents and green lawns. They count themselves among the most prosperous ranchers and farmers in an area just 190 miles from the border city of El Paso, Texas. They ranch cattle and grow peaches, apples and chili peppers. They also run businesses, a prestigious school with an American football team and basketball program where the students emerge speaking flawless English.
Mitt’s grandfather was not polygamous and returned destitute to the United States after Mexican rebels confiscated the colony’s property. Mitt’s father, George Romney, was elected governor of Michigan in 1962, ran unsuccessfully for president in 1968, and became a member of Richard Nixon’s cabinet as secretary of housing and urban development.
Using genealogical records, Helman and Kranish learned that Romney's great-great-grandfather Miles immigrated to the United States from England, after hearing a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints preach. Miles became a prominent leader in the Mormon faith, and later designed several historic buildings in Utah. His son, Miles P. Romney, a colleague of Brigham Young, had five wives and more than 30 children. He founded a Mormon colony in Mexico in the 1880s after being forced to flee from the United States for practicing a polygamous lifestyle.
When Romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November 1998, she was tired and weak, and her legs felt numb. On the campaign trail in July, Romney described herself in 1999 as being “so devastated by multiple sclerosis, so weakened that I was hardly able to take care of myself.’’ She began treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, before moving to Utah in early 1999, where Mitt Romney managed the 2002 Olympics. She was also treated at the University of Utah Medical Center.
All five went to Brigham Young University, the Mormon college in Utah where three met their wives. The three oldest went on to Harvard Business School. Ben went to Tufts Medical School, and Craig has a graduate degree from Columbia. They all married in their 20s and have 18 children total: Tagg has six kids, Matt has five, Josh has four, Ben has one and Craig has two. The grandkids range in age from just a few weeks — Tagg and his wife, Jen, just had twins that were born via a surrogate — to 16 years. All five Romney daughters-in-law are stay-at-home moms.
Mitt's wife Ann converted to Mormonism when she was 17 years old, shortly after she had started dating her husband-to-be.
He married his high-school girlfriend, Ann Davies, in March 1968 at her family's home in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
George Romney was born into exile and raised in poverty, and he worked his way to prosperity in the automobile industry. As chairman of the American Motors Corporation, he was wealthy but nowhere near as rich as his son became and, unlike his son, was known for refusing bonuses that would have made his income too many multiples of the average worker’s salary.
His father, George Romney, was a three-term governor of Michigan who also ran for president in 1968, and his mother, Lenore Romney, ran for Senate in Michigan in 1970. Romney was raised, the youngest of the couple's four children, in Bloomfield, Mich.