Currently alive, at 69 years of age.
Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr., best known as Ben Carson, is a candidate for the 2016 presidential election in the United States. He is a retired neurosurgeon, and has worked in a number of capacities, including that of a surgeon, professor, and co-director of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. As a surgeon, he once performed an operation to successfully separate conjoined twins. This, along with his technique to control brain seizures, won him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Carson was born in Detroit to Sonya and Robert Solomon Carson. Robert was already married before he married Sonya, who at the time of wedding was only 13 years old. The two eventually divorced when Carson was about eight years old. Since then, Ben and his elder brother were raised by their mother, who worked two to three jobs to make ends meet. Carson claims that he was a violent teenager, and had almost committed a murder. However, people who know him from those days deny such claims.
After completing his high school from Southwestern High School in Detroit, he graduated from Yale University in psychology. His next stop was the University of Michigan Medical School, where he received his M.D. Then he joined Johns Hopkins Hospital, and stayed there until the end of his career. He specialized in numerous surgical areas such as traumatic brain injuries, neurological and congenital disorders, epilepsy, and so on. One of his most notable contributions to medicine is the revival of hemispherectomy, wherein a part of the brain is completely removed to eliminate brain seizures. During his career, he has also written a multitude of peer-reviewed journals and 6 books on different themes, including his autobiography.
Carson met his future wife, Lacena, in 1971 at Yale University, when they were students. They later married and have three sons together, and many grandchildren. In 2013, Ben, his wife, and his mother, shifted residence to West Palm Beach in Florida.
Carson is a devout Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church member. Ben is also largely a vegetarian. His decision to cut down on meat had more medical reasons than religious ones. Worried about heart problems, and parasites, he gave up eating meat. However, he does consume some meat, in social gatherings, to avoid causing discomfort to others.
Carson holds some controversial views on major issues. For instance, he strongly supports abolition of abortion in all cases, including in pregnancies resulting from incest and rapes, except when the woman’s health is in danger. Carson also does not subscribe to the theory of climate change caused by human activity. He believes that cooling and warming of the earth keeps happening, and that humans are not responsible for the phenomenon. Another controversial view he has expressed is his absolute lack of faith in evolution. He believes that the theory of evolution is actually the work of Satan. Carson has been a proponent of free speech. In fact, he has commented on a number of occasions that America has become Nazi Germany, and the that the American government is intimidating the population just like the Nazis did during World War II. Apart from these, he has been at the center of many controversial statements.
Carson was a registered Republican until 1990s. He lost his faith in the party after the Republicans impeached President Clinton in the controversy surrounding his extramarital affair. Speaking about the incident, he once said, “I just saw too much hypocrisy in both parties”. Then, he changed his registration to independent. His 2013 National Prayer Breakfast gained national fame because of his social and political views. He capitalized on that fame, and announced his candidacy for Presidency on May 3, 2015. Despite his earlier stance, he is running for President as a Republican nominee.