Richard John "Rick" Santorum (born May 10, 1958) is a lawyer and a former United States Senator from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Santorum is a member of the Republican Party and was the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. Santorum is considered both a social and fiscal conservative. He is known for his stances on the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Social Security, intelligent design, homosexuality, and the Terri Schiavo case.
In March 2007, Santorum joined the law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. He was to primarily practice law in the firm’s Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., offices, where he was to provide business and strategic counseling services to the firm's clients. In addition to his work with the firm, Santorum also serves as a Senior Fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and was a contributor to Fox News Channel. Santorum is a candidate for president of the United States in the 2012 election. He formed a presidential exploratory committee on April 13, 2011, and formally announced his candidacy on June 6.
Santorum was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Berkeley County, West Virginia, and Butler County, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Aldo Santorum (born 1923) and Catherine Keane (née Dughi; born 1918). His father was an Italian immigrant, and his mother was of half Italian and half Irish descent.