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    Karl Rove Divorces Wife of 24 Years in Texas

    Karl Rove and his wife Darby have been granted a divorce in Texas after 24 years of marriage, Politico reports. They were married in January 1986.

    "Karl Rove and his wife, Darby, were granted a divorce last week," family spokeswoman Dana Perino said. "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."

    A family friend said that the Roves spent Christmas together. They have a 20-year-old son, Andrew Madison Rove, who attends Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Rove was previously married to Valerie Mather Wainwright, a Houston socialite whom he divorced in 1980.

    In a rare interview in 2000, Darby Rove described her husband to Politics Daily's editor in chief Melinda Henneberger, then a Washington correspondent for the New York Times, as ''a combination of in-your-face and sensitive.'' Here's an excerpt from the piece, which ran in the New York Times Magazine in May of that year:

    "Darby Rove is a graphic artist who worked for her husband's political direct-mail business before they were married, and over a long lunch earlier this spring she was both admiring and bracingly frank about him. She called him a creative genius and a committed father to their 11-year-old son, Andrew, but also said he can be fierce and quite intimidating, even when he's trying not to be.

    ''He's learned to lay back a little bit when he and Andrew play chess,'' she told me, ''but even in croquet he'd be hitting my ball so far I was crying on vacation.'' It isn't only that he's always working, she said, but that working for Republicans is the organizing principle of his life, at the center of his world, which he tends to divide into friends and foes. ''I told Karl the other day,'' she said, ''You see things in black and white. I see lots of gray.' ''

    "Rove does have a softer side; when I mentioned how much I had liked his wife, who has had a long battle with breast cancer, his eyes filled with tears. ''She is one of the most courageous people I know,'' he said.''
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    David Sessions

    David Sessions is a journalist based in New York who covers politics, religion, and the arts. He is the founding editor of ...more

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