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Karl and Darby Rove Marriage Profile


Married since 1986, Karl Rove and Darby Hickson faced stress and controversy in the past, but their marriage ended in late 2009. Here is information about Karl and Darby Rove, their marriage, quotes, and more.

News Updates:

7/16/2012: In June 2012, Karl Rove married Karen Johnson, a 45-year-old GOP lobbyist, in Austin, Texas. The couple dated for several years before getting married. The newlyweds flew to Naples on Steve Wynn's private jet.

12/29/09: The 24-year marriage of Darby and Karl Rove ended in divorce in 12/2009. According to Dana Perino "The couple came to the decision mutually and amicably, and they maintain a close relationship and a strong friendship. There will be no further comment, and the family requests that its privacy be respected.”
Source: "Rove, wife, divorce after 24-year marriage." MSNBC.msn.com. 12/29/09.


Karl Christian Rove: December 25, 1950 in Denver, Colorado.

Darby Hickson: Abt. 1948. Darby is a breast cancer survivor.
Source: Carl Cannon. Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush. pg. 127

Wedding Date:

Karl and Darby were married in January 1986.


Karl and Darby have one son, Andrew Madison Rove. Andrew was born in 1989.


Although Karl Rove attended several colleges (University of Utah, the University of Texas at Austin and George Mason University), he never graduated from any of them.


Karl Rove is a member of the Anglican/Episcopalian faith.


Karl Rove: American political consultant, a political analyst for Fox News, owner of a consulting business, Karl Rove & Co., and worked with both President George Herbert Walker Bush and President George W. Bush. When he was deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to the president, Karl Rove was considered by many to be the second-most powerful man in the United States.

Darby Hickson Rove: Graphic designer. She was employed by Karl Rove & Co., a public affairs firm in Austin, Texas.

Previous Marriages:

Karl Rove has one previous marriage.
  • Valerie Wainright: A Houston socialite, Valerie married Karl Rove in Houston, Texas in 1977. The marriage ended in divorce in 1979. Reportedly, Rove's busy schedule which kept him away from home a great deal was one of the reasons that Karl's marriage to Valerie didn't last.


Previously, Karl and Darby lived in Austin, Texas. They moved to Washington, D.C. in December, 2000. When residing in DC, they had a $1.1 million dollar, 3-story home.

They also built a home in Florida.

There was controversy over their ownership of a bed-and-breakfast on the Guadalupe River, west of San Antonio. Purchased in 1997, the B&B was the River Oaks Lodge near Ingram, Texas.

When they sold the 3,863-square foot main lodge and 0.72 acres in 2003, they kept two small cottages on 0.39 acres appraised at $57,258. The two stone cottages are rented out to guests by the lodge's new owners. Darby T. Rove is listed as a director of the new owner which is Estadio Partners, LLC.

  • The 814-square foot "River House" cottage rents for $200 per night. It has two screened porches, two bedrooms, a dining room, kitchen, and one bath.
  • The 494-square foot "Ivy House" cottage has two bedrooms, kitchen, living room, porch, and two baths. It rents for $120 per night.

Quotes about Karl, Marriage and Family:

Family friend: “After 24 years of marriage, many of which were spent under incredible stress and strain during the White House years, the Roves came to a mutual decision that they would end the marriage. They did spend Christmas together with their son, and they plan to spend time together in the future. They maintain a strong friendship, and they both feel that that friendship is a source of comfort and inspiration for their friends and family.”
Source: Mike Allen. "Karl Rove granted divorce in Texas." Politico.com. 12/29/2009.

Darby about Karl: "Karl has hundreds of friends and no one he's intimate with outside their small family."
Source: Carl Cannon. Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush. pg. 128.

Karl on Marriage: "Well, marriage is a very important part of our culture and our society. If we want to have a hopeful and decent society, we ought to aim for the ideal. And the ideal is that marriage ought to be and should be a union of a man and a woman."
Source: Fox News Sunday

Darby about Karl's competitive personality: "Even in croquet he'd be hitting my ball so far I was crying on vacation."
Source: Vdare.com

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