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The Marriage of Tom and Christine DeLay

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Tom and Christine DeLay in 2006

Former US House of Representatives majority leader Tom Delay (R-TX) walks with his wife Christine Delay from the Cannon House Office Building to the US Capitol June 8, 2006 in Washington, DC.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Extremely close to his wife and daughter, Tom DeLay's family continued to need to rely on that closeness to get them through the stress of the legal problems they faced.

News Update:

9/19/2013: The conviction of Tom DeLay was reversed by a Texas appellate court.

01/10/11: Although Tom DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison for his conspiracy conviction, Delay is still free pending his appeal. DeLay was also sentenced to five years on the money laundering charge, but will serve ten years of probation instead.

11/24/10: Tom DeLay was found guilty of money-laundering by a Texas jury.

10/26/10: After many appeals, jury selection started in the money laundering trial of Tom DeLay.

8/17/09: Tom DeLay will compete in the fall season Dancing with the Stars lineup. DeLay was paired with Cheryl Burke on the dance floor.

6/09/06: On leaving Congress, Tom DeLay lived in their Virginia condominium and made it their primary residence while Christine remained in Sugar Land to work with Rio Bend and foster care children.

Born:

Thomas Dale DeLay: April 8, 1947 in Laredo, Texas. Part of his childhood was spent in Venezuela because his father worked in the oil and gas industry as an oil-drilling contractor.

Christine Ann Furrh's birthdate continues to be a mystery.

How Tom and Christine Met:

Tom and Christine met at Calallen High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, when she was a cheerleader and rode horses in the school rodeo.

Wedding Date:

August 26, 1967. Just after Tom's sophomore year of college, he and Christine were married.
Source: "Thomas DeLay." Marquis Who's Who TM. Marquis Who's Who, 2005. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2005.

Children:

One daughter, Danielle (Dani) Kay DeLay. Danielle was born in 1972 in Sugarland. Danielle graduated from Texas A&M in 1995.

She married Steve Jack Ferro on July 11, 1998 at Bethany Christian Church in Houston, Texas. Danielle was 26 and Steve was 29 at the time of their wedding.

Dani also operates her own Sugar Land-based lobbying concern, Coastal Consulting.

Foster Children:

Tom and Christine were foster parents for several children.

Education:

Tom graduated from Corpus Christi's Calallen High School in 1965. In high school, Tom was involved in sports and politics. He attended Baylor University as a pre-med student but was asked to leave for behavior issues. Tom Delay graduated from the University of Houston in 1970 with a BS degree in Biology.

Christine graduated from Calallen High School. She was in basketball, track, volleyball, Student Council, and elected Ms. CHS. She graduated from Houston Baptist University.

Occupations:

Tom was the owner of Albo Pest Control from 1973-1984; 1978-1984, Delay served in the Texas State House; 1984, Tom was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; Conservative Republican politican; 1994-2002, House Majority Whip; Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2002-9/28/05.

Christine was a high school teacher and a volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care. She works with the Delay Foundation for Kids.

Religion:

In 1985, Tom became a born-again Christian. The DeLays attend the First Baptist Church of Sugar Land where DeLay teaches an adult-education class.

Hobbies:

Tom loves golf.

Residence:

After leaving Congress, Tom resided in their Virginia condo.

Christine stayed in their Mediterranean-style home in the Houston neighborhood known as Sugar Land. It overlooks the 12th hole of the Sweetwater Country Club.

Ethics Probe:

6/09/06: Tom DeLay said his good-byes to Congress.

1/07/06: With Tom DeLay's announcement to give up his leadership role in the House, attention was directed towards his wife's nearly four-year, $115,000 project to create a list of favorite charities of members of Congress.
Source: OregonLive

12/05/05: Tom, with his wife, Christine, at his side, learned that the conspiracy charges against him were dropped because the actions were not a crime when DeLay was first charged.

10/3/05: A different Texas grand jury indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on a new charge of money laundering.

9/28/05: Republican Tom Delay temporarily stepped down from his role as House Majority leader after being indicted by a Texas grand jury with a conspiracy to violate Texas campaign finance laws.

Tom DeLay's wife and daughter were listed on the payroll of political organizations that he controlled.

The House ethics committee is investigating potentially improper travel trips made by DeLay. He had been admonished several times by the ethics committee.

Extended Family Relationships

Tom DeLay was estranged from his mother Maxine DeLay, his sister, Tena DeLay Neislar, and from his two brothers, Randy DeLay and Ray DeLay. Family members say they are not sure why Tom broke off contact with them after their father's death in 1988. Charlie Ray DeLay died on Dec. 14, 1988. Tom did not invite any of his family to his daughter's wedding.

Miscellaneous:

Tom admits to having a drinking problem but he quit drinking when he realized that he had missed his daughter's childhood. He does drink wine now and then.

Quotes About the Marriage of Tom and Christine Delay:

Christine on a Valentine's Gift: "Tom was serving in the Texas legislature in Austin, and I was staying home to run the business while they were in session. He called me while I was all alone feeling sorry for myself on Valentine’s Day and told me to look out the bedroom window. When I pulled back the curtain, there was a beautiful diamond-drop necklace. I was completely surprised. It’s still my favorite.”
Source: Washingtonian.com. 2005.

Tom, on watching James Dobson's video on fatherhood: "It told me what a jerk I really was. I started crying because I had missed my daughter's whole childhood."
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Tom, defending his decision to pay his wife and daughter more than $500,000 out of campaign funds, 9/2005: "My wife and daughter have a right, just like any other American, to be employed and be compensated. It is not unusual or illegal for lawmakers to put relatives on the campaign payrolls as long as they work for the money. DeLay said The New York Times' front-page story of his family amounted to a "seedy attempt ... to embarrass me."
Source: USA Today

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