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Rick Santorum and Karen Garver Marriage Profile

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Rick and Karen Santorum

Republican presidential candidate and Former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum speaks with his wife Karen at his side at the Iowa Straw Poll which is being held at Iowa State University August 13, 2011 in Ames, Iowa.

Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images
Rick Santorum often refers to himself as a workaholic, yet his wife Karen Garver appears to be dealing with the stress of a political campaign and managing a large family well.

Born:

Richard John "Rick" Santorum: May 10, 1958 in Winchester, Virginia.

Karen Garver: From Penn Hills, Pennsylvania.

How Rick and Karen Met:

Karen met Rick in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was a summer intern recruiter for a law firm.
Rick: "I knew this was going to be my first serious relationship," he says of Karen. Their courtship prompted an exhaustive period of soul-searching. "We talked about every aspect of our lives."
Source: Mark Leibovich. "Father First, Senator Second." WashingtonPost.com. 4/18/2005.

Wedding Date:

Rick and Karen were married in 1990.

Children:

Rick and Karen have had eight children.
  • Elizabeth Anne Santorum: Born in 1991.
  • Richard John "Johnny" Santorum Jr: Born in 1993.
  • Daniel James Santorum: Born in 1995.
  • Gabriel Michael Santorum: Born prematurely, at 20 weeks, on October 11, 1996. Gabriel lived only two hours.
  • Sarah Maria Santorum: Born in 1998.
  • Peter Kenneth Santorum: Born in 1999.
  • Patrick Francis Santorum: Born in 2001.
  • Isabella "Bella" Maria Santorum: Born in 2008. Bella was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder.
"In a book, Letters to Gabriel, Mrs. Santorum described how they slept with the baby's body in their hospital room. She wrote: 'Daddy and I wanted to hold you for as long as we possibly could.'"
Source: "We Were Shocked Too! Woman Faints as Rick Santorum Announces He Will Run for President." DailyMail.co.uk. 6/7/2011.
Mark Leibovich: "Upon their son's death, Rick and Karen Santorum opted not to bring his body to a funeral home. Instead, they bundled him in a blanket and drove him to Karen's parents' home in Pittsburgh. There, they spent several hours kissing and cuddling Gabriel with his three siblings, ages 6, 4 and 1 1/2. They took photos, sang lullabies in his ear and held a private Mass."
Source: Mark Leibovich. "Father First, Senator Second." WashingtonPost.com. 4/18/2005.

Residences:

Rick and Karen have two residences, though some websites still mention their Leesburg home in Virginia.
  • Penn Hills, Pennsylvania: Three bedrooms. Some reports note it rented to others.
  • Great Falls, Virginia: Purchased in 2009 for $1.26 million, the 4,899 square-foot home sits on a five acre lot and has four bedrooms, one den, four-and-a-half baths, three fireplaces, and a swimming pool.
  • Leesburg, Virginia: This $750,000 estate with 8 bedrooms on four acres was purchased in 1997 and was the Santorum home while Rick was in the Senate.
  • More information about Santorum residences.

Occupations:

Rick: Daily columnist for World Net Daily, Presidential candidate, Fox New Channel contributor, lawyer, author, politician, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1995, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2007.

Karen: Author, neonatal intensive care unit nurse, attorney.

Quotes About the Marriage of Rick and Karen Santorum:

Rick: “The beautiful thing about it is we grew in our faith together. We wanted that to be the grounding for our marriage.”
Source: Andrew Miga> "He's Back: Santorum Runs as Reliable Conservative. MSNBC.msn.com. 6/6/2011.

Rick: "Karen and I believe it is important for our family to be with me when I am working in Washington: as I always say the most important job I have is as a husband and a father."
Source: Jennifer C. Yates. The Daily News. 11/19/2004. pg. 13.

Rick's Views on Marriage:

Michael Sokolove: "To Santorum, who is married and the father of six children (as well as one who died shortly after birth), marriage is primarily about procreation and child rearing, and a union without at least that possibility need not be legally sanctioned."
Source: Michael Sokolove. "The Believer." NYTimes.com. 5/22/2005.

Rick about gay marriage as a threat to his own marriage: "Yes, absolutely. It threatens my marriage. It threatens all marriages. It threatens the traditional values of this country."
Source: Michael Sokolove. "The Believer." NYTimes.com. 5/22/2005.

Rick in 2004: "Marriage is about children. Marriage is about the glue that holds the basic foundational societal unit together, and that is the family. When we change the composition of that glue, we weaken the bonds of marriage and then we weaken the American family."
Source: Rick Santorum. Rick Santorum: A Senator Speaks Out on Life, Freedom, and Responsibility. 2005. pg. 178.

Rick: "Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality."
Source: "Excerpt from Santorum Interview." USAToday.com. 4/23/2003.

Rick about John Kennedy saying he would not take orders from the Catholic church if elected president: "All of us have heard people say, 'I privately am against abortion, homosexual marriage, stem cell research, cloning. But who am I to decide that it's not right for somebody else?' It sounds good, but it is the corruption of freedom of conscience."
Source: Ron L. Allen Jr. "Opus Dei Prestige on Display at Centenary Event." NatCath.org. 1/18/2002.

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