GOP's Cox Remembers Happy Rockefeller

May 20, 2015

Happy Rockefeller

It may be hard to believe now, but 51 years ago, a presidential candidate's chances were severely damaged by divorce. In 1963, Nelson Rockefeller, then-governor of New York, married Margaretta Fitler Murphy, a socialite 18 years years his junior, who became known as Happy Rockefeller. Both the governor and his new wife were divorced, and there were tabloid accounts of an extramarital affair. Those reports all but ended Gov. Rockefeller's chances for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964. On WAMC's Capitol Connection this week, Alan Chartock spoke with New York State GOP chairman Ed Cox about Happy Rockefeller, who died yesterday at her home in Tarrytown at at the age of 88.