Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr. (born September 18, 1951) is an American politician, author and former neurosurgeon serving as the 17th and current United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development since 2017, under the Trump Administration. Prior to his cabinet position, he was a candidate for President of the United States in the Republican primaries in 2016.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, and a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School, Carson has authored numerous books on his medical career and political stances. He was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in a 2009 biographical television drama film. Carson was the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland from 1984 until his retirement in 2013. As a pioneer in neurosurgery, Carson's achievements include performing the only successful separation of conjoined twins joined at the back of the head; performing the first successful neurosurgical procedure on a fetus inside the womb; performing the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins; developing new methods to treat brain-stem tumors; and revitalizing hemispherectomy techniques for controlling seizures. He became the youngest chief of pediatric neurosurgery in the country at age 33. Carson has received more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees, dozens of national merit citations, and written over 100 neurosurgical publications. In 2001, he was named by CNN and TIME magazine as one of the nation's 20 foremost physicians and scientists, and was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 "Living Legends" on its 200th anniversary. In 2008, he was bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
Carson was the featured speaker at the 1997 National Prayer Breakfast. His widely publicized speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast catapulted him to conservative fame for his views on social and political issues. On May 4, 2015, he announced he was running for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election at a rally in his hometown of Detroit. In March 2016, following the Super Tuesday primaries, he suspended his campaign and announced he would be the new national chairman of My Faith Votes, a group that encourages Christians to exercise their civic duty to vote. He then endorsed the candidacy of Donald Trump.
Carson was confirmed by the United States Senate as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in a 58–41 vote and was sworn in on March 2, 2017.