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Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman and politician who served as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election.
Raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, by his parents George and Lenore Romney, he spent 2½ years in France as a Mormon missionary, starting in 1966.
Later serving as Bain's chief executive officer (CEO), he helped lead the company out of a financial crisis.
In 1984, he co-founded and led the spin-off company Bain Capital, a highly profitable private equity investment firm that became one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
Romney soon switched Bain Capital's focus from startups to the relatively new business of leveraged buyouts: buying existing companies with money mostly borrowed from banking institutions using the newly bought companies' assets as collateral, then taking steps to improve the companies' value, and finally selling those companies once their value peaked, usually within a few years.
The firm invested in or acquired Accuride Corporation, Brookstone, Domino's Pizza, Sealy Corporation, Sports Authority, and Artisan Entertainment, as well as some lesser-known companies in the industrial and medical sectors.
Romney served on the board of directors of Damon Corporation, a medical testing company later found guilty of defrauding the government; Bain Capital tripled its investment before selling off the company, and the fraud was discovered by the new owners (Romney was never implicated).
Mitt had missed much of the tumultuous anti-Vietnam War movement in America while away in France.
Upon his return, he was surprised to learn that his father had joined that same movement during his unsuccessful 1968 presidential campaign.
Recruited by several firms in 1975, Romney joined the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), reasoning that working as a management consultant for a variety of companies would better prepare him for a future position as a chief executive.