Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas became the first high-profile Republican to enter the 2016 race for president on Monday. Here's a look at his life:

A man in a hurry

He won election to the Senate in 2012 as a political rookie, riding a tea party wave to upset a candidate with decades of experience and deep connections inside the Republican Party. He has proceeded since with the same disregard for the GOP establishment, at times maneuvering quixotically in the Senate to mount an aggressive opposition to President Obama.

Legal eagle

Prior to his election to the Senate, Cruz focused on practicing law at the highest level. A graduate of Harvard Law School and clerk for Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, Cruz led a Houston-based firm's Supreme Court practice, taught such litigation at the University of Texas, and was charged with representing the state before the high court as its solicitor general.

Family story

The son of a Cuban immigrant and American mother, Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, on Dec. 22, 1970, while his parents were working in the oil business. He has since renounced his Canadian citizenship, and lawyers from both parties have said they think he's eligible to run for president. He and his wife, Heidi, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, live in Houston with their two daughters, Caroline and Catherine.

Senate marathon

For 21 hours and 19 minutes in September 2013, Cruz stood in the Senate to urge Congress to cut off money for Obama's health-care law. The marathon speech, which included Cruz's reading of the Dr. Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham to his daughters, said to be watching their father at home, was partly behind a 16-day partial government shutdown the next month. He later joked the speech featured hours of "my favorite sound" - his own voice.

- AP

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