17th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; American neurosurgeon
Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr. (born September 18, 1951) is an American retired neurosurgeon and politician who served as the 17th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2017 to 2021. A pioneer in the field of neurosurgery, he was a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 Republican primaries.Carson became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center in 1984 at age 33, then the youngest chief of pediatric neurosurgery in the United States. In 1987, he gained significant fame after leading a team of surgeons in the first known separation of conjoined twins joined at the back of the head. Although surgically a success, the twins continued to experience neurologic/medical complications. His additional accomplishments include performing the first successful neurosurgical procedure on a fetus inside the womb, developing new methods to treat brain-stem tumors, and revitalizing hemispherectomy techniques for controlling seizures. He wrote over 100 neurosurgical publications. He retired from medicine in 2013; at the time, he was professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Carson gained national fame among political conservatives after delivering a speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast which was perceived as critical of the policies of President Barack Obama. Following widespread speculation of a presidential run, Carson officially announced his campaign for the 2016 Republican nomination for President in May 2015. Carson performed strongly in early polls, leading to his being considered a frontrunner for the nomination during the fall of 2015.
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