Ben Carson at the 2014 Wounded Warrior Project Benefit on November 17, 2014 in New York City.
Brent N. Clarke—Getty Images
By Tessa Berenson
December 2, 2014

Ben Carson came in second behind Mitt Romney in a new CNN/ORC International poll surveying GOP voters on which candidate they would be most likely to support for president. (And Romney isn’t even running.)

Since Carson, who has had millions of dollars raised on his behalf, beat out big names such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, here are five things you should know about the dark horse presidential candidate.

1. He’s a pediatric neurosurgeon. He’s credited with being the first doctor to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head.

2. There was a movie made about his life. It’s called “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” and Carson was played by actor Cuba Gooding, Jr.

3. He’s a devout Christian. He gave the keynote speech at at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013, and he has said that he “[feels] fingers” from God to run for President.

4. He was raised by a single mother. She was illiterate, but she made her children write essays and read them to her as part of their studies.

5. Until recently, he was registered as an independent. He switched his registration in 2014 to Republican for a presidential bid.

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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