June 19, 1962: Newt marries his high school geometry teacher, Jackie Battley, at age 19.
September 1980: Newt and Jackie quarrel over divorce during hospital visit.
There is a widely spread rumor that Gingrich served his first wife divorce papers while she was on her deathbed. That story, however, is not true. FactCheck.org points out that Battley is still alive. The two argued while she was in the hospital after having a tumor removed, but she had been served the papers two months before.
February 1981: Newt and Jackie’s divorce is finalized.
Aug. 8, 1981: Newt marries Marianne Ginther.
Jan. 4, 1995: Newt mentions Marianne in inaugural address taking Speaker’s gavel.
I’m – I’m very fortunate today. I have my mom and my dad are here. They’re right up there – Bob and Kit Gingrich. And I am so delighted that they were both able to be here. You know, sometimes when you get to my age, you can’t have everyone near you you’d like to. I can’t say how much I learned from my dad and his years of serving the U.S. Army and how much I learned from my mother, who is clearly my most enthusiastic cheerleader. My daughters are here up there [in the gallery] – Kathy Lovewith and her husband, Paul, and Jackie and her husband, Mark Zyler. And the person who clearly is my closest friend and my best adviser and who, if I listened to about 20 percent more, I’d get in less trouble, my wife, Marianne, is there.
I have a very large extended family between Marianne and me. And they’re virtually all in town, and we’ve done our part for the Washington tourist season.
April 2000: Newt and Marianne’s divorce is finalized.
Aug. 18, 2000: Newt marries Callista.
March 9, 2007: Newt discusses failed first marriage and admits to cheating on Marianne while leading charge against President Clinton.
I was married very young and had my first daughter when I was very young, in fact at the end of my freshman year in college. And after a period of time, about 18 years, things just didn’t work out.
There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There’s certainly times when I’ve fallen short of God’s standards and my neighbors’ standards. But I think my job is to try to do for my country – and on a very personal level for my children and for my grandchildren and for their future – to try to do everything I can to be a servant in helping this country deal both with the domestic challenges to our very identity, and that’s what rediscovering God in America is all about, and to foreign challenges to our very survival. … I hope that people will see me in that context.
Jan. 19, 2012: Speaks about past to a voter in South Carolina.
Look, I think it’s a decision you have to make. I have been very open about my life, I have been very open about mistakes I have made, I have been very open about needing to go to God for forgiveness and to seek reconciliation. Callista and I have a wonderful relationship. We are very close to our two daughters, and their son, and their husbands. We are very close to our two grandchildren, Maggie and Robert. I’m 68 years old, I’m a grandfather. We entered this race – we had to think this through for a year. Because we knew we’d get beaten up, we knew we’d get lied about, we knew we’d get smeared, we knew we’d have nasty attack ads. And we decided the country was worth the pain. Now people have got to decide, you know?