President-Elect Donald Trump has announced that Gen. James Mattis is his pick for Secretary of Defense. Mattis has a long and distinguished career, but he has never been married and has no children.
Here’s what you need to know.
Mattis, Never Having Been Married, Is Known as the ‘Warrior Monk’
Mattis is a diligent scholar who never owned a television, the San Diego Tribune reported in 2013. His busy life didn’t leave him time for marriage or a family. However, he’s joked that he would never join a monastery unless it had “beer and ladies.” He’s been referred to as a “warrior monk” who is married to the Marines. In 2010, Slate reported that he lived alone and described his home as so “pristine” it felt like the reporter needed an admission ticket, until getting to a room full of bookshelves with history books and military manuals.
He Once Chose to Work on Christmas Day Because He Was a Bachelor
No, Gen. James Mattis has never been married and he doesn’t have any children. In fact, there have been times when he’s taken special duties on holidays in the place of people who were married or had children. For example, in 1998 he took the duty roster on Christmas Day at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command headquarters because he believed, as a bachelor, he should be the one working on Christmas. According to Stars and Stripes, he told a retired general who was delivering cookies that day: “I looked at the duty roster for today and there was a young major who had it who is married and had a family; and so I’m a bachelor, I thought why should the major miss out on the fun of having Christmas with his family, and so I took the duty for him.”
In 2013 an Online ‘Catfish’ Posed as Mattis to Scam People Out of Money
The Marine Corps Times reported in 2013 that an online scam artist had posed as Mattis, trying to trick single women into sending money to foreign bank accounts. A CENTCOM spokesman said at the time that his security team was looking into it and the case would likely be transferred to NCIS. Catfish posing as military personnel aren’t unusual and happen at least once a year, CENTCOM said. The person posing as Mattis had messages originating from Ghana and was pretending he was deployed in Afghanistan. The scammer also claimed that Mattis had a son, but he has no children.