Some things you might not know about Newt Gingrich

At least I didn’t know them until this morning. 

I was curious about why Gingrich’s first wife’s name was omitted from many news reports about his marriages this week.  I thought she died of cancer.

I always thought it was curious that Gingrich would ask his wife for a divorce while she was “in the hospital on her dealth bed,” as legend has it.  Why wouldn’t he just wait for her to die?   Then he could be a widower rather than a grossly insensitive cad.

Turns out that the first Mrs. Gingrich is still alive.  Also turns out that the famous death bed request for a divorce never happened.  Newt filed for divorce in July of 1980.  The hospital conversation happened in September, 1980 when the Mrs. was recovering from surgery for a non-life threatening benign tumor.  Mrs. Gingrich had been battling cancer since 1978.  Source: FactCheck.org

The first Mrs. Gingrich is Jackie Battley.  She was Newt’s high school geometry teacher. They dated secretly until they wed on June 19, 1962.  The 19 year old Newt was at student at Emory University in Atlanta.  Jackie was 26. Source: About.com

The other thing I didn’t know about Gingrich is that he had a different last name as a child.  He was born Newton Leroy McPherson to his 16 year old mother, Kathleen, and his 19 year old father, Newton Searles McPherson.  The McPherson’s marriage ended shortly after young Newton’s birth.  Kathleen married Army officer Robert Gingrich a year later.  Gingrich adopted Newt and gave him his name.

Robert rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Army.  He served in Korea and Viet Nam.  He also served in Germany and France, where Newt lived with him.   Source: Wikipedia

If Gingrich wins the GOP nomination, America will be choosing a president between two products of broken homes who had different names in their youth and spent significant portions of the childhoods overseas.

Posted: January 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments »

7 Comments on “Some things you might not know about Newt Gingrich”

  1. Jim Granelli said at 11:23 am on January 22nd, 2012:

    I did not know the full story of the supposed “death bed divorce” but knew it was not true.


    If one can do this, he can do ANYTHING…

    “If Gingrich wins the GOP nomination, America will be choosing a president between two products of broken homes who had different names in their youth and spent significant portions of the childhoods overseas.”

    For you Newt Haters, you should meet him personally, as I have…

  2. Another reason said at 2:07 pm on January 22nd, 2012:

    why Newt is more and more like Obama everyday! A vote for Newt is a vote for 4 more years of Obama!

    Go Rick Go!

  3. Lois said at 3:20 pm on January 22nd, 2012:

    @ A.R.—-what are smoking?!? The miracle is that this kid, who hardly had the benefit of a “normal” stable entry into the world, went on in life to ‘become all you can be’…..and ‘grew into the person God intended him to be’—-ie, with certain gifts, which over time and in life he developed, to become the incredibly talented individual he is today. One of which is to speak the Truth, and light fires (underlined) inside those listening to him—-hallo, the folks in So. Carolina, who were thusly moved to pull the lever for Gingrich, and not Romney or Santorum.
    Not easy to be extremely gifted…. how many brilliant people do you know whose journey has not been turbulent at various points….?
    To me, something in Newt Gingrich that America sorely needs at this point in time, that is already being incredibly beneficial to the American psyche.

  4. Hey....... said at 3:30 pm on January 22nd, 2012:

    Did you see this?


    God speed Gabby Giffords in your recovery! Every member of Congress should listen to her message.

  5. We want Anna said at 6:14 pm on January 22nd, 2012:

    Kyrillos first decision in primary 2012 was to chair for Romney in NJ. He can now explain the unemployment & foreclosures in NJ to the nation during his 20 years as state senator.

  6. Thanks, Art, said at 11:39 am on January 23rd, 2012:

    I did learn those things about Newt, when I did my own research on him, read some of his substantial writings and projects, and his new 21st Century Contract With America, when I began feeling scared about Mitt’s lack of “punch,” intestinal fortitude, personality, conviction, etc., and considered Newt, as a more plausible alternative for these times..I disagree though, about the significance of his being similar to Obama, as to living overseas, the glaring difference to me is what Newt has accomplished in his life, ( even while admittedly making some poor personal choices),as opposed to the life of a formerly- absent state senator, “most-liberal” US Senator, some kind of teacher, (sort of), and the “community organizer,” which basically was to game, then destroy, the system so many people died to create and perfect, Saul Alinsky -style, while conveniently refusing to produce info about, and “forgetting,” much of his youth/ early years, before barnstorming his way to become the feel-good, first -“black” Pres….a big diff to me, and to many, and to an increasing number of voters, I predict!

  7. Wishing Giffords well, said at 11:48 am on January 23rd, 2012:

    of course, hoping she recovers as fully as possible and lives a long and productive, happy life..now politically, the truth is, she was/is a very liberal member of Congress, if one checks her past voting records and speeches.. having a new election for the seat will likely reflect the makeup of her Cong. district once again, this year.. those who, for sentimental reasons, thought of her husband running in Tuscon, would have been fighting the valid “carpet-bagger” charge, his basic home and life being in Houston, Tx., so he is wise to not consider it- as a retired astronaut, he seems like a kind man who wants to help his wife get as better as she can…. I for one, dearly hope for punishment for the shooter, and an example to be made, as to the sick and lawless among us needing to be dealt with in the most severe ways possible, as a deterrent to more of the same actions..