Hollister "Holly" Knowlton met her future husband on a blind date when she was a senior at Dickinson College and David Petraeus was a cadet at the Military Academy at West Point. Her father, Lt. Gen. William Knowlton, was the superintendent at West Point at the time.
The book "The Fourth Star" by Greg Jaffe and David Cloud describes her as being "fluent in French and finishing her honors dissertation on the novelist Francois Mauriac."
It also describes a "whirlwind romance" that resulted in their marriage at the West Point Chapel in 1974, just weeks after Petraeus graduated from the military academy and received his commission as an officer.
Since then she has been an Army wife, following her husband's assignments as he rose through the ranks.
But while her husband's public profile has increased dramatically over the last decade, she largely remained in the shadows, with the exception of trying to take on unscrupulous lenders who target military families.
The Petraeus' have a daughter, Anne, and a son, Stephen, who recently served in Afghanistan as a young officer.