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

Discuss in our forum

Becky and Bob Gates Marriage Profile


Robert and Becky Gates

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and his wife Becky, prepare to board a U.S. Military Aircraft on June 9, 2010, at London's Heathrow Airport, en route to Brussels where Robert Gates spoke at a press conference about Afghanistan.

Photo: Carolyn Kaster-Pool / Getty Images
Married since 1966, Becky and Bob Gates only knew one another for 3 months when he proposed marriage. With Bob working in the CIA and other government roles, they have witnessed a lot of U.S. history during their 40+ years together.

Here's information about Becky and Bob Gates' marriage.


Robert Michael Gates: September 25, 1943 in Wichita, Kansas.

Rebecca "Becky" W ?: ?

How Bob and Becky Met:

Becky and Robert Gates met on a blind date during the summer of 1966 while they were students at the University of Indiana. He proposed in October 1966 while on a trip to San Antonio, Texas.
Bob about his marriage proposal: "At the end of that trip to San Antonio for Air Force officer training, I gave her a ring and asked her to marry me. I don't think she was too excited to accept, but she did."
Source: Kevin Espenlaub. "Gates takes familiar ride down road of new obstacles." TheBatt.com. 8/01/2002.

Wedding Date:

Bob and Becky were married in 1966.
Source: "Robert M. Gates." Newsmakers 1992. Issue Cumulation. Gale Research, 1992.


Becky and Bob have two children:
  • Bradley "Brad" Robert Gates: Born abt. 1980. Graduated from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
  • Eleanor Marie Gates: Born abt. 1975. Eleanor lives in Seattle and works for a bank.


Becky: Becky worked in administrative roles in colleges before retiring in 1994.

Bob: Author, President of Texas A&M University, Director of Central Intelligence, Confirmed as Secretary of Defense on 12/6/2006.

From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (2007)
by Robert M. Gates
Compare Prices


Bob and Becky moved to the Mount Vernon, Washington area in 1994 and built a lakefront home on Big Lake.

When Bob became president of Texas A&M University, they moved to College Station, Texas, but kept their home in Mount Vernon. They also have a home on Orcas Island in Washington state.

Christine Clarridge: "According to a Gates relative, the family still has the Big Lake home and considers it their permanent residence. Robert Gates plans to return to Big Lake at the end of Bush's term, if his nomination is approved."
Source: Christine Clarridge. "Gates has long ties to Washington State." SeattleTimes.nwsource.com. 11/08/2006.

Quotes About the Marriage of Becky and Bob Gates:

Becky about having the A&M Children's Center named after her: "When both parents have to work, good childcare becomes very important. I have a couple of children who are adults now, but if I hadn't had good child care when they were young, it would have been much harder, if not impossible, for me to work in my profession."
Source: Adena Bowman. "Children's Center named after Mrs. Gates." TheBatt.com. 6/12/2006.

Bob acknowledging Becky's patience and understanding: "Finally, this book would not have been possible without my wife, Becky, whose patience and understanding as I was writing was surpassed only by her patience and understanding during the quarter century that the book describes."
Source: Robert M. Gates. From the Shadows: The Ultimate insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War. 2007. pg. 4.

Philip Shenon: "As is typical of career intelligence officers, little is known about Mr. Gates's life away from the agency."
Source: New York Times. 2/03/1987.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.