Gingrich's Life: The Complications and Ideals: His wife, who had started treatments for uterine cancer in 1978, underwent surgery in 1980. A day after the operation, Mr. Gingrich came to the hospital. Since they had already separated, he called her room to see if he could come up. Once there, according to friends who knew them both, he began talking about the terms of the divorce. She has said she threw him out of the room. In a few months they were divorced, and in 1981 he married his current wife, Marianne. Jackie Gingrich, who still teaches high school math, declined to be interviewed for this article.
A few weeks before Mr. Gingrich filed for divorce, he called his political aide and friend Mr. Carter to talk about his marriage. Mr. Carter said he and other friends had been worried that the marriage was falling apart. Mr. Gingrich told him why he wanted a divorce. "He said: 'She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a President. And besides, she has cancer.' It sounds harsh and hokey, but anyone who knows him knows it's perfectly consistent with the kinds of things he says."
Mr. Gingrich has adamantly denied saying any such thing. His supporters dismiss Mr. Carter as a disgruntled former aide who was miffed at not being asked to accompany Mr. Gingrich when he moved to Washington...