Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Obituary: Happy Rockefeller

Happy Rockefeller, 88, widow of former vice-president Nelson Rockefeller, has died.

She and Rocky were both divorced when they married in 1963, but let me tell you, when he tried to run for the top job, the "scandal" of two divorced people getting married basically killed his chances. I guess both of them ditched their spouses and married in haste, or something.

As the article notes, Ronald Reagan is the only president ever to have been divorced, despite divorce being seen as no big deal by the public anymore.

Of course, Happy and Rocky remained married until he died, and he was appointed vice-president of the United States by appointed president Gerald R. Ford. I guess I should say Ford assumed the presidency after Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace, but Ford had been appointed vice president by Nixon when elected vice president Spiro Agnew resigned in scandal. Rockefeller had had a very successful career as governor of New York.

He didn't run for president again after 1968.

Happy, like First Lady Betty Ford, battled breast cancer and had a double mastectomy.

While there may have been a scandal about the marriage, that wasn't anywhere near as scandalous as the circumstances surrounding old Rocky's death in 1979.

As we all know, or should, or perhaps shouldn't, old Rocky, 70, apparently died of a heart attack while or after having had sex with an "assistant," one Megan Marshack, 25 years old, at his apartment in NYC.

Of course Happy had no comment over one of the great scandals in American political history.

She didn't remain idle, however:

After Mr. Rockefeller’s death, Mrs. Rockefeller and her sons gave up the Pocantico Hills mansion, which had been home to generations of Rockefellers; it was given to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and opened for public tours in 1994. But she kept a Japanese house designed by Junzo Yoshimura on the estate and an apartment in New York. She had lived in her home in Tarrytown for more than 50 years.

Mrs. Rockefeller continued her husband’s activities as a patron of the arts and philanthropist, and for many years maintained a busy schedule of social, cultural and charity functions, squired by her sons and members of the Rockefeller clan. Her name and picture were often in society columns, alongside political, business and entertainment leaders and royalty.

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