Does James Mattis Have a Wife? The Defense Secretary Was Never Married, But Was Once Engaged

Is James Mattis Married?

Getty Is James Mattis Married?

President Donald Trump has just announced that Defense Secretary James Mattis, who is 68 years old, will be retiring at the end of February after serving in his role for two years. Is he married? No, Mattis has never been married, although he did propose to a woman once and they were engaged in the early 1980s. Here’s what you need to know about his past relationships.


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 Doesn’t Have Children, So He Would Sometimes Take Duties Over Holidays for People with Families

Defense Secretary James Mattis has never been married and he also 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.


Mattis Proposed to a Woman & She Called Off the Wedding in 1981

Mattis was almost married once, back in the 1980s. The Daily Mail reported that he was engaged to Alice Clark, but she left him three days before the wedding in 1981. She couldn’t stand the idea that they would be separated for months while he was deployed, she said, and he was ready to quit the military for her. He was 30 at the time and she was 36. She said she called off the wedding because she didn’t want to be a burden to him and his career. Author Jim Proser wrote about the relationship in a biography called No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy: The Life of General James Mattis. He kept the relationship mostly quiet and they had planned to have a private ceremony with just a few people, the book noted. The book said that she gave Mattis an ultimatum of her or the military, but Clark told The Daily Mail that she voluntarily ended the relationship because a commanding officer told her that he was resigning for her, and she didn’t want him to do that. She said he was a good man.

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