Ben Carson, a world-renowned neurosurgeon, had not been deeply involved in politics until 2013, when he blasted liberal policies in a speech at the traditionally non-partisan National Prayer Breakfast, with President Obama sitting only a few feet away.
That appearance gave Carson a large following among conservative activists, creating the momentum that eventually led to the launch of his 2016 presidential candidacy.
By traditional measures, Carson is a long-shot candidate who has never run for or held elective office, something that makes him a true political outsider. He once compared Obamacare to slavery and has made a number of controversial remarks about people who are gay. Carson has yet to propose more than two policy proposals, but has taken position statements on several issues.
Leading into the primary season, Carson has surged in public opinion polls, appealing to Republicans who want a candidate from outside the traditional political system. However, Carson has since slipped in the polls, registering only single-digit support in the first number of primaries and caucuses.