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Libertarian women’s history month: Carol Wells Paul

25 Mar

Carolyn Wells Paul (February 29, 1936 – ), a leap year baby, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the wife of former Congressman and former Presidential candidate Ron Paul, and the mother of Senator and likely Presidential candidate Rand Paul.  Normally I wouldn’t include someone in the history of libertarian women on the adage that “behind every good man there is a good woman,” but that’s not who Carol Paul is – because she is behind at least two good men.

The Pauls met in high school. In 1952, they had their first date when Carol asked Ron Paul out on a date

: “I came into the picture about 1952 when Ron was my escort to my 16th birthday party. Don’t tell anyone –- but I asked him… actually my birthday is February 29th and it was a Sadie Hawkins-type party where the girls asked the boys… and I asked him.”

Carol Paul. “The Ron Paul I Know.” 12/14/2007.

Ron proposed marriage to Carol in the summer of 1956 while they were having a picnic in a park.   During Ron’s senior year, he and Carol were married on February 1, 1957 in Pittsburgh at Dormont Presbyterian Church. They had about 300 guests at their evening wedding.

The wedding reception was held at The Dormont New Century Club. They had a four-tiered traditional style wedding cake. 

Their first dance as a married couple was to Doris Day’s “When 

I Fall in Love.” Ron was 21 years old and Carol was 20 years old.

Carol and Ron Wedding Photos

Carol: “We married in an all white wedding with the bridesmaids carrying armloads of red roses. The flower girl wore a white dress and sprinkled rose petals down the aisle. A fraternity brother of Ron’s sang “The Wedding Prayer” and the “Lord’s Prayer.”
Carol Paul. “The Ron Paul I Know.” 12/14/2007.

“Carol wore a white Chantilly lace gown with a bouffant tulle skirt and a silk illusion veil attached to a half hat. Ron wore a black tux and a white tie … Carol held a cascade of white flowers; and Ron donned a white carnation boutonniere.”

The Pauls spent their honeymoon in Durham, North Carolina; they 

have five children, eighteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

  • Ronald Paul Jr: Married to Peggy. They have three daughters.
  • Lori Paul Pyeatt: Married to Tom Pyeatt.
  • Randall “Rand” Paul: Rand is an ophthalmologist and U.S. Senator in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He is married to Kelley. They have three sons.
  • Robert Paul: Robert is family practice physician. He is married to Monica. They have two children.
  • Joy Paul-LeBlanc: Joy is an obstetrician and gynecologist. She is married to Andy. They have five children.
  • More about Ron and Carol’s family


The Pauls live in Lake Jackson, Texas, but also owned a home in northern Virginia while Dr. Paul was in Congress. In April 2011, Catalina Camia of USA Today reported that Carol and Ron put their home on the market since they built another home. “Ron Paul sells his Texas house through Facebook.”   

Carol has worked as a secretary, dance instructor, and other jobs.  Since 1995, Carol Paul has published the Ron Paul Family Cookbook, a collection of recipes she and her friends contributed, and which was sold in part to support Ron Paul’s political campaigns.  The 28-page 2012 cookbook is only the latest collection of recipes from the Pauls.Wearing an “End the Fed” apron, Mrs. Paul explained to WSJ that the cookbook series began in 1995 to combat criticisms toward Rep. Paul based on his opinions toward the War on Drugs.  “People started saying that Ron wanted to give drugs to kids, and Ron said, ‘Let’s show them our kids have all done well, they’re not into drugs.’ ” Paul’s campaign website said the collectible cookbook will “warm your kitchen and your heart,” as it features not only recipes, but a brief history and photos of the entire Paul family.

The Pauls are known to talk on the phone two to three times a day. Mrs. Paul makes her husband chocolate chip cookies to take on the road. “I worry for him,” she says. “He gets very tired.”  If being a campaign spouse, Carol Paul has said one of the more negative aspects is “living out of a suitcase without enough hours to sleep.”

Source: “Carol Paul — Running Together.” 9/2007.