1. Dating & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in our forum

Jackie Battley and Newt Gingrich Marriage Profile

Newt Gingrich's First Marriage

By

Newt's first marriage was to Jackie Battley who he met in high school. Their bitter divorce didn't end their long time conflict over money.

Born:

Newt Gingrich aka Newton Leroy McPherson: June 17, 1943 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Jackie Battley: Abt. 1936.

How Jackie and Newt Met:

Newt met Jackie when he was in high school when Jackie was his geometry teacher. Newt and Jackie secretly dated until their wedding.

Wedding Date:

Jackie and Newt were married on June 19, 1962 while Newt was still in college. Newt was 19 years old and Jackie was 26 years old when they married. Newt's family boycotted the wedding because they thought Jackie was too old for him.
"Gingrich had a crush on his high school geometry teacher, Jackie Battley, and vowed to his high school friends that he would marry her. He made good on his intentions. He was a teenage student at Emory University in Atlanta, where Battley had taken a college teaching position, when he married her."
Source: Monica M. Ekman. "Ten Things You Didn't Know About Newt Gingrich." USNews.com. 2/23/2007.

Gail Sheehy: "One of his first independent acts was to escape the totalitarian regime of his stepfather's home. He chose a path that women have used for generations: he made a jailbreak marriage, attaching himself at the tender age of 19 to his high-school geometry teacher, Jackie Battley -- a buxom blonde seven years his senior."
Source: Gail Sheehy. "The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich." Vanity Fair. 9/1995. Pbs.org.

Children:

Newt and Jackie have two daughters.
  • Linda Kathleen "Kathy" Gingrich Lubbers: Born in 1963.
  • Jacqueline "Jackie" Sue Gingrich Cushman: Born in 1966.

Occupations:

Jackie Battley: Teacher.

Newt Gingrich: Fox News political analyst, politician, Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives during 1995-1999, author, producer, public speaker.

Battley/Gingrich Divorce:

During April 1980, Newt and Jackie separated. They divorced in February 1981. The hospital visit story about their divorce is disputed by their daughter Jackie Cushman.
Ariel Levy: "Before the campaign, Jacqueline had been treated for uterine cancer. 'He walked out in the spring of 1980,' she told the Washington Post. That September, she was taken to the hospital to have a tumor removed. 'I went into the hospital for my third surgery,' she said. 'The two girls came to see me, and said, Daddy is downstairs and could he come up? When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from the surgery.' (The tumor turned out to be benign.) 'To say I gave up a lot for the marriage is the understatement of the year.'”
Source: Ariel Levy. "The Good Wife." NewYorker.com. 1/23/2012.
"The most notorious incident in Gingrich's marriage ... was when he cornered Jackie in her hospital room where she was recovering from uterine cancer surgery and insisted on discussing the terms of the divorce he was seeking. Shortly after that infamous encounter, Gingrich refused to pay his alimony and child-support payments. The First Baptist Church in his hometown had to take up a collection to support the family Gingrich had deserted. Six months after divorcing Jackie, Gingrich married a younger woman, Marianne, with whom he had been having an affair."
Source: Stephen Talbot. "Newt's Glass House." Salon.com. 8/28/1998.

Quotes About the Marriage of Newt Gingrich and Jackie Battley:

Newt: "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."
Source: Jake Tapper. "Gingrich Admits to Affair During Clinton Impeachment." ABCNews.go.com. 3/09/2007.

Gail Sheehy: "He was her [Jackie's] little boy," says Kit. Says Mary Kahn, "He saw a nurturing, mothering kind of person that he needed, and she finished raising him ... She certainly seemed to love him. But I don't think he was capable at the time of loving anybody more than he loved himself." Bob Gingrich boycotted his stepson's wedding ..."
Source: Gail Sheehy. "The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich." Vanity Fair. 9/1995. Pbs.org.

Dolores Adamson, Gingrich's district administrator from 1978 to 1983: "Jackie put him all the way through school. All the way through the P.h.D ... He didn't work. Personal funds have never meant anything to him. He's worse than a six-year-old trying to keep his bank balance ... Jackie did that."
Source: Gail Sheehy. "The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich." Vanity Fair. 9/1995. Pbs.org.

Dot Crews: "It was common knowledge that Newt was involved with other women during his marriage to Jackie. Maybe not on the level of John Kennedy. But he had girlfriends -- some serious, some trivial."
Source: Gail Sheehy. "The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich." Vanity Fair. 9/1995. Pbs.org.

Newt on why he wanted a divorce from Jackie: "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a President. And besides, she has cancer."
Source: Katharine Q. Seelye. "Gingrich's Life: The Complications and Ideals." NYTimes.com 11/24/1994.

Peter Boyer: "She [Jackie] says that Gingrich walked out on her in the spring of 1980. That fall, while she was in the hospital recovering from surgery for uterine cancer, he appeared at her bedside with a yellow legal pad outlining the details for their divorce."
Source: Peter J. Boyer. "Good Newt, Bad Newt." Pbs.org. Vanity Fair. 7/1989.

"[Floyd] Hoskins believes the couple never transcended the original teacher-student relationship."
"Gingrich." The New Mexican. 11/27/1994. pg. D-2.

Jackie: "He can say that we had been talking about it [divorce] for 10 years, but the truth is that it came as a complete surprise."
Source: Gail Sheehy. "The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich." Vanity Fair. 9/1995. Pbs.org.

Katharine Seelye: "Jackie Gingrich filed court papers saying he had not provided reasonable support for her living expenses and that some of her accounts were "two or three months past due." Some of her friends took up an informal collection on her behalf."
Source: Katharine Q. Seelye. "Gingrich's Life: The Complications and Ideals." NYTimes.com 11/24/1994.

Newt: "And I think that literally was the crisis I came to. I guess I look back on it a little bit like somebody who's in Alcoholics Anonymous. It was a very, very bad period of my life, and it had been getting steadily worse. I ultimately wound up at a point where probably suicide or going insane or divorce were the last three options."
Source: Katharine Q. Seelye. "Gingrich's Life: The Complications and Ideals." NYTimes.com 11/24/1994.

Newt: "I had married my high-school math teacher two days after I was 19. In some ways it was a wonderful relationship, particularly in the early years...But we had gone through a series of problems—which I regard, I think legitimately, as private—but which were real."
Source: David Osborne. "The Swinging Days of Newt Gingrich." MotherJones.com. 11/01/1984.

Additional Resources:
AP. "From small-town hero to conservative bad boy." Frederick News-Post. Frederick, Maryland. 12/15/1994. pg. 18.

Current Marriage: Callista Bisek

Second Marriage: Marianne Ginther

First Marriage: Jackie Battley

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.