Beto O’Rourke and his wife, Amy Hoover Sanders O’Rourke, are incredibly close. Amy has been right by Beto’s side all through his election campaign and all his stops around the state of Texas. She appeared in his frequent live streams during his campaign, where he stopped to visit constituents, pet kittens, or just eat at Whataburger. He and Amy have three children. Beto’s family, including his parents, have a political background that prepared him for his current career in politics.
1. Beto’s Father Was a County Judge Who Passed Away at 58
Beto O’Rourke has a fascinating background. His full name is Robert Francis O’Rourke, and he was born to Pat Francis O’Rourke and Melissa Martha O’Rourke (Williams.) Beto is a fourth-generation Irish American who was nicknamed “Beto” to distinguish him from his grandfather.
Beto’s father, Pat Francis O’Rourke, passed away in 2001 at the age of 58. He was County Commissioner from 1978 to 1982 and County Judge from 1982 to 1986. Local obituaries described him this way: “As a private citizen he influenced public discourse as an honest, critical voice, most recently on the stantonstreet.com website. His vision, energy and passion for El Paso will be remembered by those whose lives he touched. His love of the outdoors included camping trips throughout the southwest and bicycle trips that crossed the United States and Europe.”
Beto delivered the eulogy at his father’s funeral.
2. Beto’s Step-Grandfather Was Secretary of the Navy Under JFK
Beto’s mother, Melissa, owned a high-end furniture store. Her stepfather, Fred Korth, was Secretary of the Navy under President John F. Kennedy from 1962-1963, and he was Assistant Secretary of the Army from 1952 to 1953.
Korth resigned as Secretary of the Navy in 1963. He worked as a lawyer in Washington after he resigned. He died in 1998 at his home in El Paso.
3. Amy O’Rourke Is Nine Years Younger than Beto, & They Met After She Lived in Guatemala for a Year
Amy and Beto met when she returned to El Paso in 2004 after living in Guatemala for a year. He took her on their first date to the Kentucky Club, a bar in Ciudad Juarez that may have invented the first margarita. She’s nine years younger than Beto. They were married in September 2005.
In 1999 Beto co-founded Stanton Street Technology, an Internet services company that develops websites and software. Amy took over as president and owner in 2013 and was still running the business in March 2017. In May 2017, El Paso Inc. shared a story that Amy might have left Stanton so she could spend more time with Beto on the campaign trail. Amy’s LinkedIn page still lists her as President of Stanton Street.
4. Beto & Amy O’Rourke Have Three Children
Beto and Amy O’Rourke have three young children: Ulysses, Molly, and Henry. They live in El Paso’s Sunset Heights in a mission-style house that is reportedly where General Hugh Scott and Pancho VIlla met in 1915. O’Rourke has said that he doesn’t foresee himself running for President in the near future, since he has three young children.
5. Amy O’Rourke’s Grandfather Received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart in World War II, & Her Father Sold a Real Estate Business for $2 Billion
Amy is the daughter of Louann and William Sanders of El Paso, and she has four siblings: Richard, Pablo, Marianna, and Christina. Her maternal grandfather, Richard “Rickie” Harlan Feuille, was born in Mexico City in 1920. After his father died when he was six, his mother returned to El Paso to teach. Rickie was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart during World War II, and was a practicing lawyer in El Paso, including serving as the president of the El Paso Bar Association. Amy’s paternal grandfather was an advertising agency owner.
Amy’s father, William “Bill” Sanders, is known as a real estate mogul, according to El Paso Inc. He owns Verde Realty and has been highly successful in all his businesses. The book “The Richest Man in Town” noted that Bill Sanders began Verde after building a fortune in the real estate investment trust business. He founded LaSalle Partners and then Security Capital, one of the most successful REITs in the country, and later sold it to GE. (Some sources say he sold it for $2 billion and others say $5.4 billion.) Security Capital was one of the most influential real estate companies in history.