Newt Gingrich was in his 20s when he was hired at West Georgia College as a history professor. He had just returned from Belgium, where he was doing research for his doctoral dissertation.
"He was very much a person of intellect," says Mel Steeley, who taught history at the college for four decades and helped bring Gingrich to the school in 1970. "He would wander across campus and didn't notice people. He'd have something in his mind, always be thinking about something. When he first came, you kind of wondered if he was a student or a professor."
Presidential candidate Rick Santorum consistently polls near the bottom of the Republican pack. But he appears undeterred in his bid for the White House. Santorum's work life in his 20s provides some insight into why he perseveres despite long odds.
The former senator from Pennsylvania is best known for his conservative social positions, especially his opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage. He's also known for expressing what he thinks very frankly.
Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul is known for his fervent opposition to armed intervention overseas and the Federal Reserve — and for his equally fervent supporters.
And while those supporters may want him to be the next president for different reasons, they're all well aware that before entering politics, Paul was a doctor back in the southeast Texas district he represents in the U.S. House.