Frank Fiorina has been his wife Carly Fiorina’s biggest fan for their more-than-30 years of marriage. He even retired early to support her career. The soft-spoken and humble man caught Carly’s eye when they met at AT&T and he told her that she would be running the company one day. Since she turned her eye to politics, he’s been content to let his wife shine in the spotlight.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. He Started Out as a Blue-Collar Worker & a Rock Musician & Ended Up as Vice President of AT&T
Growing up, Frank worked in his dad’s auto body shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bustle reported. He started out as a tow truck driver and later became an AT&T technician, making only $99 a week. But he worked hard and rose up the ladder, eventually to being vice president at AT&T. Carly is so proud of him that she’s often cited his story in her campaigns. Frank told Lifezette that he still sees himself as a blue-collar worker: “The rest of it was a gift from God.”
In the 1960s and 1970s, Frank also made extra money by playing guitar for a rock band, Lifezette reported. He doesn’t play anymore and said he’s a little jealous of friends who still do. After he had kids, he just couldn’t keep up with the band schedule anymore.
2. He Was Married Before Carly & Had 2 Children From His First Marriage
Frank was married before Carly to Pat Easler Fiorina. He and Pat had two daughters, Tracy and Lori Ann. Pat filed for divorce in 1981 and the case lasted for two years. She was granted custody of both daughters.
Lori died at the age of 34 after a long battle with drug addiction and alcoholism, Bustle reported. According to the Daily Mail, Pat was miffed by Carly’s referring to Lori as her daughter and leaving Pat out of the part in Carly’s memoirs where she talked about Lori’s battle with addiction and her death. She said there were two sides to every story, and Carly’s story wasn’t how she remembered it.
Carly was also married before Frank, to ex-husband Todd Barlem for seven years. They haven’t had any contact since the divorce, the Daily Mail reported.
3. Frank & Carly Met When They Both Worked at AT&T & He Said She’d Run the Company One Day
When Frank and Carly met, they both worked at AT&T, although Frank was slightly higher up the corporate ladder than she was. It was on their third date that he told her she’d be running the entire company one day, Bustle reported. He said he didn’t remember much else from that date except “making out in the car,” IBTimes reported. They were married in 1985 at Carly’s friend’s home in Maryland, the Daily Mail reported. Only six guests were in attendance, including the caterer and Lori and Tracy.
4. He Retired to Support Her Career & Even Served as Her Bodyguard
When Frank was 48, he retired from a successful career to take care of his daughters and support Carly. Carly’s dad was initially against the decision, Bustle reported, but over time grew to see how Frank’s choice was a huge benefit to Carly and their family. His friends were split about 50/50 on his choice, Lifezette reported. Some said they’d love to retire and live off their wives, while others thought he was “nuts” for retiring from a great career.
After retiring, he sometimes served as Carly’s bodyguard while she was CEO of Hewlett-Packard and in 2010 when she ran for U.S. Senate. Not surprisingly, he supports gun rights and has had his own permit to carry a concealed weapon since 2000. On his application for the permit, he said that as Carly’s driver, he needed to carry a gun because CEOs were often targets, SF Gate reported.
5. Their Marriage Wasn’t Always Easy, as They Faced the Death of His Daughter Together & Carly’s Cancer
The Fiorinas’ marriage hasn’t always been easy. Frank’s daughters, Traci and Lori Ann, were 10 and 14 when he and Carly were married. It was 20 years later that Lori died, and Carly considered Lori one of her daughters. Carly was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, the same year that Lori died, SF Gate reported, and had a double mastectomy, from which she fully recovered. She and Frank have stuck together through good and bad and now face an exciting future.