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Former Republican Challenger Gingrich to Support Romney

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista look over the podium during a sound check at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012.
Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich is among those who will address the Republican National Convention on Thursday, ahead of presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Gingrich challenged Romney in the race for president and, at one point, accused the former Massachusetts governor of lying and running a negative campaign.

The former House speaker won primaries in South Carolina and Georgia before ending his race for the White House in May.

Gingrich, a long-time conservative voice in the Republican party, is perhaps best known as the architect of the "Contract with America," a sweeping measure that included plans for balancing the federal budget, tax reforms and programs to encourage personal responsibility.

The widely popular "Contract with America," helped the Republican party gain a majority in the House of Representatives in 1994, something that had not been done in decades.

Gingrich was first elected to the House in 1978. He became House speaker in 1995. That same year, the U.S.-based Time magazine named Gingrich its "Man of the Year."

He will be joined on stage Thursday by his wife, Callista, the head of a Washington-based multi-media production company.

The former congressman studied history and received degrees from Emory and Tulane universities.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.