Ron Paul is a doctor, author, and political activist of Texas. He ran for congress in 1974, but lost. He won a special election in 1976, but did not win reelection. In 1978, he was elected to senate, a position he held until his 1984 defeat due to his criticism of Ronald Reagan. He then went on to run for president on the Libertarian ticket in 1988, but lost.
However, in 1974 he was inspired by the actions of Ross Perot to genuinely reduce the national debt. He ran in the Republican primaries as a pro-Perot Republican, and won the election. He only served one term, because Secretary of the Treasury Pat Choate was elevated to the Vice Presidency, and Paul was his replacement.
In 2000, the Reform Party formed, so Ron Paul switched parties. He was the Vice-Presidential nominee in the 2000 election. Although the Ventura/Paul ticket lost, it cemented Ron Paul as a major figure in the Reform Party. In 2004, he won the nomination with little opposition, but lost in a narrow election.
His son Rand Paul was electd Senator from Kentucky on the Reform Party ticket in 2010.