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Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly Marriage Profile


Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly Hands

Mark Kelly, husband of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), holds his wife's hand in the congresswoman's hospital room at University Medical Center January 9, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona.

Photo: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' office via Getty Images
The long distance marriage of astronaut Mark Kelly and Representative Gabrielle Giffords was thrust into the news in January 2011 when Gabby was shot in a shooting rampage. Here is information on how Gabby and her husband Mark met, their wedding, and the way they are moving on with their lives.
Fast Marriage Facts - Mark and Gabby
Met: 2003.
Married: November 10, 2007.
First Marriage: No.

Did You Know?
Gabby and Mark had a "green" outdoor wedding.

News Updates:

1/22/2012: Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords announced via her Facebook page that she would "step down" from her office in Congress.

8/01/2011: Smiling broadly, showing her commitment to America, and putting politics aside, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords returned to Washington, D.C. to cast her yes vote on the debt ceiling debate. Her husband Mark Kelly was with her.


Gabrielle Dee "Gabby" Giffords: June 8, 1970 in Tucson, Arizona. More Gabby Giffords bio information.

Mark Edward Kelly: February 21, 1964 in Orange, New Jersey.

How Gabrielle and Mark Met:

Mark and Gabby first met in Hangzhou, China in 2003 when both were members of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. They met again in 2004 after Mark's divorce and began a long-distance relationship. Their first date was a tour of the state prison in Florence, Arizona. Mark asked Gabrielle to become his wife in 2006 in New York.

Wedding Date and Information:

Gabby and Mark were married on November 10, 2007 in Amado, Arizona on an organic produce farm, Agua Linda. They had more than 300 guests at their outdoor evening wedding which was officiated by Rabbi Stephanie Aaron.

Gabrielle wore a Vera Wang wedding dress she borrowed from a family friend. Mark wore his Navy whites. Mark's crew from the shuttle used their sabers to form the traditional military arch for the newly married couple. Giffords-Kelly Wedding Pictures

"All the food was local, the plates were biodegradable, Giffords borrowed a wedding dress, and the gift for attendees was a jar of honey from a bee farm in the Santa Cruz River Valley."
Source: John Faherty. "Congresswoman's Husband in Orbit." AZCentral.com. 6/01/2008.


Gabrielle: Democratic politician, U.S. Representative, businesswoman.

Mark: NASA astronaut (retiring in October 2011), U.S. Navy pilot.

Gabby and Mark founded the Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC and also worked together on her memoir.

Previous Marriages:

Mark's previous marriage ended in divorce.


Mark has two daughters from his first marriage.

Quotes About the Marriage of Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly:

Mark: "You’re the closest to heaven that I’ve ever been." — the inscription inside Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s wedding ring.
Source: WashingtonPostStyle. 1/10/2011.

Sandra McElwaine: "In interviewing both, I quickly grasped their commitment to their jobs and their devotion to each other. Kelly explained that before each space flight they exchange intimate letters that are 'very serious, honest, open, and straight from the heart.' Giffords always writes her spouse telling him how much she loves him and how proud she is of his achievements. She was talking about attending his launch in April when she confessed, 'I’m always on pins and needles wondering, will this be the last conversation I am going to have with my husband?'"
Source: Sandra McElwaine. "Gabrielle Giffords' Marriage to Astronaut Mark E. Kelly." TheDailyBeast.com. 2/09/2011.

John Faherty: "Giffords said she fell for Kelly because of his humor, his intelligence and because he loves his family."
Source: John Faherty. "Congresswoman's Husband in Orbit." AZCentral.com. 6/01/2008.

Mark: "She [Gabrielle] had it all," he said of meeting her. "Beautiful, smart, hard-working, balanced, fun to be with, and she laughed at my jokes."< br> Source: John Faherty. "Congresswoman's Husband in Orbit." AZCentral.com. 6/01/2008.

Robert B. Reich's toast at their wedding: “To a bride who moves at a velocity that exceeds that of anyone else in Washington, and a groom who moves at a velocity that exceeds 17,000 miles per hour.”
Source: Judith Anderson. "Vows: Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly." NYTimes.com. 12/2/2007.

Gabrielle: “When our relationship just kept getting deeper, I felt a huge sense of relief. I had found someone like me. We’re both really curious. We’re focused on the same things.”
Source: Judith Anderson. "Vows: Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly." NYTimes.com. 12/2/2007.

Mark: “The longest amount of time we’ve spent together is probably a couple of weeks at a stretch. We won’t always live this way, but this is how we started. It’s what we’ve always done. It teaches you not to sweat the small stuff.”
Source: Judith Anderson. "Vows: Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly." NYTimes.com. 12/2/2007.

Updates About Gabby's Health:

1/30/2013: Mark stated at a Congressional hearing on gun control, "Gabby's gift for speech is a distant memory. She struggles to walk, and she is partially blind. Her right arm is completely paralyzed."
Source: Alan Fram. "Gun Control Hearing Features Gabrielle Giffords, NRA Official Wayne LaPierre." HuffingtonPost.com. 1/30/2013.

6/12/2011: Still showing her wonderful and lovely smile, photographs of Gabrielle Giffords were released on her Facebook page. "The photos were taken by P.K. Weis of SouthwestPhotoBank.com ... The photos were taken May 17 at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital, the day after the launch of Endeavour and the day before she had her cranioplasty."

6/09/2011: According to Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, "She [Giffords] is borrowing upon other ways of communicating. Her words are back more and more now, but she's still using facial expressions as a way to express. Pointing. Gesturing. Add it all together, and she's able to express the basics of what she wants or needs. But, when it comes to a bigger and more complex thought that requires words, that's where she's had the trouble ... She's living. She's alive. But if she were to plateau today, and this was as far as she gets, it would not be nearly the quality of life she had before. There's no comparison. All that we can hope for is that she won't plateau today and that she'll keep going and that when she does plateau, it will be at a place far away from here."
Source: E.J. Montini. "Gabrielle Giffords' staffer talks about congresswoman's health." AZCentral.com. 6/09/2011.

05/16/2011: "Gabrielle Giffords watched her husband, Commander Mark Kelly, and his crew blast off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Monday morning ... Rep. Giffords, in a wheelchair, said, 'Good stuff. Good stuff.'"
Source: Stephen M. Silverman. "Gabrielle Giffords on Husband's NASA Launch: 'Good Stuff.'" People.com. 5/16/2011.

02/04/2011: Mark Kelly announced, "I am looking forward to rejoining my (fellow) crew members and finishing our training for the mission," Kelly said in the statement. "We have been preparing for more than 18 months. ... I appreciate the confidence that my NASA management has in me and the rest of my space shuttle crew."
Source: "Kelly to Go Ahead as Shuttle Commander." Cnn.com. 2/4/2011.

1/21/2011: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was transferred to a Houston rehabilitation hospital.

1/17/2011: Mark: "So typical of her. She's in the ICU. You know, gone through this traumatic injury. And she spent 10 minutes giving me a neck massage."
Source: Sara Hammel. "Gabrielle Giffords's Husband: She's Smiling, Rubbing My Neck." People.com. 1/17/2011.

1/15/2011: According to CNN.com week after being shot in the head, Gabrielle Giffords was "taken off a ventilator and is breathing on her own through a tracheotomy tube."

01/9/2011: Press Release From Mark Kelly: "On behalf of Gabby and our entire family, I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people of Arizona and this great nation for their unbelievable outpouring of support ... Like all Americans, we mourn the loss of Judge John M. Roll, Christina Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard and Gabe Zimmerman, a fine man and beloved member of Gabby’s team. We must never forget them, and our prayers are with their families. Our hearts go out to everyone injured yesterday; we hope and pray for their quick recovery. We also extend our thanks and appreciation to all of the first responders, medical personnel, law enforcement, and Arizona citizens who acted swiftly on Saturday and continue to assist our community through this tragedy. Many stories of heroism are emerging, and they are a source of strength for us during this difficult time. We are forever grateful. Many of you have offered help. There is little that we can do but pray for those who are struggling. If you are inspired to make a positive gesture, consider two organizations that Gabby has long valued and supported: Tucson’s Community Food Bank and the American Red Cross."
Source: Three Sonorans. "Statement from Gabby Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly." TucsonCitizen.com. 1/09/2011.

01/8/2011: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is in critical condition after being shot in the head at point-blank range by a shooter identified as Jared Loughner, 22. Six others died in the Tucson, Arizona supermarket shooting rampage and 13 people were wounded.

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