Newt Gingrich had hoped 2012 would be the year of his political revival. After all, he has skills that he honed 30 years ago on Congress’s backbenches. This week, though, his latest comeback attempt, a bid to win the GOP presidential nomination, is ending.
Click through the gallery to learn about Gingrich's career before, during, and after his time in Congress.
It Begins: Gingrich meets with reporters in Washington on March 1, 1979. Gingrich joined Congress that January as a freshman Republican from Georgia. He came to the Hill from academia, where he was an assistant professor of history at what was then West Georgia College.(AP Photo/Duricka)
Contractual Obligations: Gingrich is widely credited with sweeping Democrats out of congressional power in 1994. Here, he celebrates 100 days of Republican control, highlighting all the accomplishments laid out in the "Contract With America"--his party's 1994 platform.(AP Photo/John Duricka)
Mr. Speaker: Gingrich was elected House speaker on Jan. 4, 1995. Here, he receives the speaker's gavel from House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo.(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
Shutdown Saga: Republicans quickly reached stalemates over budget negotiations in late 1995 and early 1996, causing two government shutdowns. Here, Gingrich meets with President Clinton at the White House during negotiations.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Getting Clinton in Hot Water: Gingrich led the House's successful efforts to impeach Clinton for his role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Here, he takes questions from reporters in April 1998.(AP Photo/Joe Marquette)
Getting Himself in Hot Water: The government shutdowns and Clinton impeachment were deeply unpopular with the public. After Republicans suffered losses in the 1998 midterm elections, Gingrich announced he would not seek another term as speaker and would resign his seat. He officially left Congress in January 1999.(AP Photo/Ric Feld)
Life After Congress: Gingrich has remained a prominent figure in conservative politics. He became a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. He also founded a 527 group, American Solutions for Winning the Future. Here, Gingrich testifies before Congress about climate change.(JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP, FILE)
Presidential Hopes: While Gingrich declined a presidential bid in 2008, he was frequently mentioned as a contender for the 2012 race. Gingrich will announce that he is taking the firsts steps toward a White House run. Gingrich is pictured at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2011.(Chet Susslin)
And We're Off: Gingrich speaks in May 2011, not long after announcing his White House bid.(AP Photo/John Amis)
End of the Trail: Gingrich, seen here with his wife, Callista, ended his bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency after a disappointing showing whose lone high point came when he won South Carolina early on.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
And Just One More: Gingrich wears a 50-pound Binturong bearcat from Southeast Asia on his head on Capitol Hill in 1995.(AP Photo/Joe Marquette, File)