Presidential widows remarrying

I just read a little article about Frances Folsom Cleveland, which noted that she remarried after Grover Cleveland died.

Were there any other presidential widows who remarried after their husbands died?

You mean besides Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis? :wink:

(Low hanging fruit. Sorry.)

I was thinking I was going to miss some obvious one.

Any others?

None I can think of. But I’m sure one of our resident presidential scholars will be along soon to school us both. :slight_smile:

Those are the only two widow former First Ladies who remarried.

But Martha Washington, Martha Jefferson, Dolley Madison, and ____ Wilson were all widows before they married the respective Presidents. Betty Ford was a divorcee. I don’t know if that is a complete list.

As was Jill Biden.

There is a living former First Lady who is married to a much older man.

If were talking about Trump’s wives, I’ll note that his former wife Ivana remarried twice after they divorced. (To Riccardo Mazzucchelli and Rossano Rubicondi. She was also in a long-term relationship with Roffredo Gaetani. Which suggests that if Trump had been named Ronaldo Trumpini, their marriage might have lasted.) In addition, Jane Wyman remarried twice (to the same man) after divorcing Ronald Reagan.

But I was sticking with widows in the OP.

Edith Wilson.

Probably the most famous divorcee to marry a future President was Rachel Donelson, the wife of Andrew Jackson. The reason it was notable was because it turned out she was not actually a divorcee when they married. They thought that Rachel’s first husband, Lewis Robards, had obtained a divorce before they got married. But he hadn’t. So after Andrew and Rachel had already gotten married, Rachel had to retroactively get divorced from Lewis and then remarry Andrew.

If you were looking to get shot back around 1800, you just needed to raise this topic in the vicinity of Andrew Jackson.

Considering that presidents tended to be fairly old (white) men, unless they did marry a much younger woman (who does that??) then the widow would be quite old after he died. Yes, older women do get remarried, but not at such a great rate compared to younger women. The notable recent case, Onassis, was the untimely widow of the youngest president in recent history.

This had a huge effect on history, as because of this issue, Jackson was strongly biased in favor of Margaret Eaton, whose second marriage was scandalously soon after the death of her first husband (9 months - imagine!), leading Jackson to support the only man whose wife didn’t shun Eaton - Van Buren, who eventually became President, and to drop support of Calhoun, whose wife led the anti-Eaton faction.

Yeah, I think @md-2000 is mostly right, a majority of Presidential widows are quite old themselves and it’s not unsurprising they never remarried. The few that did remarry buck that trend–Frances Cleveland was 27 years Grover’s junior, and lived almost 40 years after his death, so it isn’t surprising she remarried.

Likewise Jackie Kennedy was still basically in the prime of her life when JFK was killed, unsurprising she would remarry. Edith Wilson is one who would’ve made sense to have remarried–she outlived Woodrow by almost 40 years and was in her early 50s when he died, but she never did.