Republican political strategist and former Deputy Chief of Staff to George W. Bush, Karl Rove was born in 1950 in Denver, Colorado. He ran several successful election campaigns, including John Ashcroft's 1994 bid for the U.S. Senate. He helped guide George W. Bush to a win in the Texas gubernatorial election in 1994. Rove was linked to scandals with the Bush administration, including the White House email incident relating to the several U.S. attorneys' dismissals.
Karl Christian Rove was born on December 25, 1950 in Denver, Colorado. The second of five children, Rove was raised in Nevada by his mother and stepfather. It wasn't until Rove was a teenager that he found out that his stepfather--who at the time was leaving his mother after coming out as a homosexual--wasn't his biological father. Rove's mother died by suicide in 1981.
Rove attended the University of Utah, the University of Texas at Austin and George Mason University, but he never graduated from college. As a student at the University of Utah, he became active in the College Republicans. Rove eventually put aside his academic career to focus on politics full time. He was special assistant to Republican National Committee Chairman George H.W. Bush from 1973 to 1974, served as executive director of the Fund for Limited Government from 1977 to 1978, and was deputy chief of staff to Texas Governor William Clements in 1981.
From 1981 to 1999, he was president of Rove & Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for candidates, nonpartisan causes and nonprofit groups. During this time, he ran several successful election campaigns, including John Ashcroft's 1994 bid for the U.S. Senate, Bill Clement's 1986 race for Texas governor and Phil Gramm's 1982 and 1984 U.S. Senate elections.
Rove helped guide George W. Bush to a win in the Texas gubernatorial election in 1994, then served as chief strategist for Bush's presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004. He remained as a close advisor to the Bush White House, managing the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the Office of Strategic Initiatives.
Rove's name was linked to a couple of scandals during his tenure with the Bush administration, including the White House email incident relating to the dismissal of several U.S. attorneys and the conviction of former Democratic Governor of Alabama Don Siegelman. In 2006, Rove was under suspicion in a scandal that involved the leaking of the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame. Though he was not charged with any crimes relating to these alleged activities, Rove gave up his domestic policy role in the administration in April 2006 and resigned from the White House in August 2007.
During election night of the 2012 presidential race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Rove had an uncomfortable on-air exchange with Fox News by denying the network's acknowledgement of President Obama's re-election by way of his projected win in Ohio. Although Rove was taciturn on his public outburst, he has remained vocal about the Republican Party's need to attract Latinos and women into its demographic.
Rove authored the book, The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters, in 2015.
Rove was married to Houston socialite Valerie Mather Wainright from 1976 to 1980. He married graphic designer Darby Tara Hickson in 1986; the couple has a son, Andrew Madison Rove.
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