After graduating from Texas A&M University in 1972, Perry worked as a salesman, Air Force officer and cotton farmer. He was elected governor of Texas in 2000 and remained in office until 2015, making history as the longest-serving governor of the state. Perry later made two unsuccessful bids for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2012 and 2016 elections. In December 2016, president-elect Donald Trump, his former rival, named Perry secretary of energy.
His political career highlight was while serving as a governor, Perry has been an opponent of federal health-care reform proposals and of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, describing the latter as "socialism on American soil".
Besides his political career, Perry has served on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, which owns and operates one of the largest energy asset portfolios in the United States.
Perry has been vocal throughout his career and to express his views, he penned down two famous books On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are Worth Fighting For and Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington.
On August 30, 2016, Perry was announced as one of the celebrities who would compete on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. He was partnered with professional dancer Emma Slater.