Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson, Sr. (born September 18, 1951) is an American author, and retired neurosurgeon. He is the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head. In 2008 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. After delivering a widely publicized speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, he became a popular conservative figure in political media for his views on social and political issues. He is actively considering declaring his candidacy as a Republican for the 2016 presidential election.