Rand Paul didn't graduate from college (and 9 other facts you should know about the 2016 candidate)

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Rand Paul didn't graduate from college (and 9 other facts you should know about the 2016 candidate)

1. He's a doctor. The ophthalmologist no longer runs a practice, but he still performs pro-bono eye surgeries in Kentucky and abroad.

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2. He doesn't have an undergraduate degree. He attended Baylor University in the early 1980s, but left before he finished his degree to attend Duke University School of Medicine. The school did not require a bachelor's degree for admission at the time.

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3. His father ran for president before him. Ron Paul was a candidate in 1988, 2008 and 2012, and has served as a Texas congressman for many years. His father is a physician with a degree from Duke University School of Medicine.

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4. Rand supports a limited government and promotes the idea of limited military spending. While Republicans typically call for reduced spending elsewhere in federal budgets and support a strong defense, Rand Paul is a rare example in his party who wants to cut spending across the board.

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5. He caught some heat during his 2010 election campaign when he didn't "like the idea of telling private business owners" who they had to serve in response to a question about the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He later backtracked those remarks, and reiterated he is a strong advocate of civil rights and that he finds racism abhorrent. He's also been one of the biggest figures in the Republican party attempting to connect with black voters.

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6. He supports criminal justice reform, has pushed legislation to reform mandatory minimum sentencing laws and wants to reduce mass incarceration rates in the United States. 

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7. He supports decriminalizing marijuana, and said in 2014 that he wants to "do everything to end the war on drugs."

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8. When he was growing up, he was called "Randy." It wasn't until he met wife Kelley when he began to go by "Rand."

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9. He's very social media savvy, regularly calling out his fellow politicians using sharp quips, pithy hashtags and popular memes.

10. He founded the Senate Tea Party Caucus.

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By ISABELLE CHAPMAN

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul became the second Republican to formally enter the race for the White House Tuesday morning, saying he hopes to return the United States to the "principles of liberty and limited government."

The Pennsylvania-born ophthalmologist rode the tea party wave into Washington in 2010 when Kentucky voters elected him to serve as their U.S. senator. He comes from a political family; his father Ron Paul is a former Texas congressman who served for many years and ran for president in 1988, 2008 and 2012.

Much like his father, the 52-year-old 2016 hopeful doesn't toe the Republican party line on all issues. He advocates government with limited power and smaller federal budgets, but believes in restricting defense spending too -- a third rail many hawkish Republicans avoid. He's also supported decriminalization of marijuana and is a vocal critic of President Obama's drone policy.

The Important Differences Between Rand Paul And His Dad Ron Paul


He conducted a filibuster that lasted nearly 13 hours in opposition of the nomination of John Brennan as director of the CIA, who oversaw Obama's drone program, in 2013. Paul covered an array of topics during his time at the podium -- including wondering if the United States would have dropped a drone on Jane Fonda when she traveled to Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

While he is a physician, Paul has one thing in common with majority of "average joes" in America: He never got his bachelor's degree. He left Baylor University to attend Duke University School of Medicine without having finished his undergraduate course work. At the time, Duke did not require an undergraduate degree if a student's test scores were adequate.

While about two-thirds of Americans don't have an undergraduate degree, according to the latest Census data, it's rather unusual for a president in modern history. Harry Truman was the last man in the Oval Office who hadn't earned a bachelor's degree.

However, many pre-20th century presidents led the country without one, including Abraham Lincoln, Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, Grover Cleveland, among others. If Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker decides to run in 2016, Paul won't be the only candidate with this distinction either -- Walker attended Marquette University but never graduated.

Click through the gallery above for other details you might not know about the presidential hopeful.
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