January 16, 2012 / 3:09 AM / in 7 years

Factbox: Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman

Jon Huntsman leaves after speaking at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina January 16, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Keane

(Reuters) - Jon Huntsman, former U.S. ambassador to China, will abandon his bid to win the Republican presidential nomination, a senior campaign official said.

Here are some facts about him:

* Huntsman, 51, was U.S. ambassador to Beijing and speaks fluent Chinese. He was ambassador to Singapore in the early 1990s when his appointment at age 32 made him the youngest head of a U.S. diplomatic mission in a century.

* Considered a moderate Republican, Huntsman was twice elected governor of Utah. He was first chosen in 2005 and resigned during his second term to return to diplomatic service. While he was the state chief executive, Utah was named by the Pew Center as the Best Managed State in America. Huntsman backed John McCain in the 2008 presidential primary races, rather than Mitt Romney, a fellow Mormon.

* Huntsman dropped out of high school to play keyboard in a rock band. He has an adopted Chinese daughter among his seven children and learned to speak Chinese while on a Mormon mission to Taiwan during his college years.

* He is the eldest of nine children of Jon Huntsman Sr., a billionaire industrialist and founder of Huntsman Corp, a chemical company. Huntsman Sr. was a special assistant to former President Richard Nixon.

* Huntsman Jr. worked in the Reagan administration as a White House aide. He was a deputy U.S. Trade Representative in the George W. Bush administration. As U.S. trade ambassador, Huntsman negotiated agreements for the United States with China, Taiwan, Singapore, South Africa and other Asian and African nations.

Reporting By Alistair Bell; Editing by Stacey Joyce

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