Waves of Scandal

Nelson Rockefeller Family
Nelson A. Rockefeller (1908-1979, seated) with his first wife, Mary Todhunter Clark, and children, Mary, Anne, Steven, Rodman and Michael.

One Nov. 17 was a scandalous day in NYC history. On this day  in 1961 New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and his wife Mary announce they are divorcing after 31 years of marriage.

One year later he married Margaretta Murphy.

Nelson Rockefeller with wife Margaretta aka “Happy” on their honeymoon in Venezuela.

This alienated many of his friends and supporters. The divorce was widely condemned by politicians, such as another liberal Senator Prescott S. Bush of Connecticut, who condemned his infidelity, divorce, and remarriage.

The shocking news casts a long shadow over the governor’s run for the presidency in 1964, and he loses the Republican nomination to Barry Goldwater.

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