Tulsi Gabbard

Eric Baradat / AFP / Getty

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

  • Hawaiian congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard's life story isn't an easy one to emulate.
  • The 38-year-old, who grew up surfing and practicing martial arts, served in the army twice, was the youngest-ever member of the Hawaiian state legislature, met and refused to condemn Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and is not afraid to take a swing at much more established politicians.
  • She doesn't always follow the party line, she's anti war intervention and, for a while, she was anti-gay marriage.
  • Here's a closer look at her life and career to date, in photos.
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On January 11, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii announced she was running to be president of the United States.

At 38, the Democratic presidential candidate might be young but she's led a full life. She's an Iraq War veteran, a surfer, a congresswoman.

One of five siblings, she was born in American Samoa, before her family moved to Hawaii when she was two. Although she grew up an introvert, she has gone on to conquer her shyness and had a successful career in politics.

She's not afraid to look unpopular - she's defended Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. In the 2016 presidential race she backed Bernie Sanders over Hilary Clinton. She's called out both President Donald Trump and former president Barack Obama over things they've said, or failed to say.

But being an outspoken politician, especially at a young age, has had its drawbacks, too. Comments she made about LGBTQ communities and a job she held in the early 2000s have reemerged and she's apologized for them.

Here's the life, so far, of one of the Democratic party's most interesting candidates.

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