Faith, Family, Tragedy Shaped Young Romney

A Mormon in the '60s, his was a world of privilege, not comfort
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2007 8:56 PM CDT
Republican presidential hopeful, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, smiles during an interview with The Associated Press in Washington, Thursday, June 7, 2007.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mitt Romney, once liberal Massachusetts governor and now conservative presidential candidate, grew up in a family of privilege. But it was a family always conscious that mainstream acceptance of the Mormon faith was fragile. The leave-it-to-beaver Romney was confused by sixties strife he saw at Stanford, the Boston Globe reports, before he transferred to Brigham Young.

Romney developed a thick skin as a Mormon missionary in France, where he redoubled his efforts after a fatal car crash, in a car he was driving, killed a colleague. And as the son of Michigan’s governor he witnessed the struggles his moderate Republican father faced as a civil rights supporter in the age of Goldwater. The elder Romney couldn’t stick to one position on Vietnam, to the detriment of his own presidential hopes.