Jonathan Gillibrand, Kirsten Gillibrand’s husband, is a venture capitalist she met on a blind date.
Kirsten Gillibrand is expected to throw her hat into the quickly-becoming-crowded Democratic competition to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. According to The New York Post, she is expected to announce on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that she is forming a presidential exploratory committee.
Gillibrand has served in the U.S. Senate for New York since 2009, replacing Hillary Clinton in the position. A Democrat, Gillibrand, an attorney, was previously an U.S. Representative.
Here’s what you need to know about Kirsten Gillibrand’s family and husband:
1. Kirsten & Jonathan Met on a Blind Date & Have Been Married Since 2001
Kirsten spoke to New York Family Magazine in 2013 and told the story of how she met Jonathan. She said that they met in New York City while he was earning his master’s degree in business from Columbia University. At the time, she was working at a law firm, and they were set up by friends on a blind date.
“We hit it off right away,” she told the magazine.
Kirsten and Jonathan got married in 2001 in a Catholic ceremony in a Manhattan church. She told the magazine during her Q&A that Jonathan “has been a really supportive husband,” adding that he’s one of her firmest believers.
“He’s always said, ‘As long as you’re making a difference, as long as you’re helping people, this is something we’re going to do. And the day that you’re not is the day we’re not going to do it!'” she said.
She told Vogue Magazine: “I thought he was one of the nicest and kindest people I’d ever met,” says the senator. “That’s what charmed me.” He’s two years younger than Kirsten.
2. The Couple Have 2 Sons Together & Offer Different Parenting Styles
After two years of marriage — in 2003 — Kirsten gave birth to their first child, a son named Theodore. Their second son, Henry, was born in 2008. During her second pregnancy, she worked until the day she gave birth to Henry, and she received a standing ovation from her colleagues inside the U.S. House of Representatives the following day.
She described Theodore as being an introvert, enjoying computers and building things. In the New York Family magazine article, she said that she could see him being an engineer when he grows up, adding that he also loves various sports.
Henry, on the other hand, is the extrovert of the two and “loves to go to parties, go out to dinner, meet people,” she said. “They both have a great sense of beauty and design. They’re both sensitive boys, very sensitive of other people, but very different in personality. Henry is much more like me and Theo is much more like Jonathan.”
Kirsten described her and Jonathan of being “the yin and the yang.” She said that she’s the encouraging parent and loves going out and doing things with her sons, while Jonathan is focused the most on their academics and reading.
“We balance each other well in letting our children develop as young people who will hopefully be strong adults with strong character and good integrity,” she said during the interview.
3. Jonathan Worked for a Venture Capital Firm
Jonathan is a British venture capitalist and worked as a financial consultant for his own firm, Venture Capital Partners. A 2009 report by The Daily Gazette said that Jonathan, while working for real estate investment firm Redbrick Partners, logged 187 transactions in 2008 that involved $2.1 million and $8 million changing hands.
“He made trades nearly every day from mid-January to mid-April, a month before their second child was born, and also conducted frequent transactions from late August through the end of November,” the article said.
Jonathan then worked as a finance manager for GBS Holdings LLC. and earned $89,077, according to a 2015 joint tax filing.
“Not many husbands want their wives to be in politics, because it’s intense,” Kirsten told Vogue. “The only thing he doesn’t like is when I’m attacked. He gets very upset.”
4. The Gillibrands Sold Their Home for Nearly $1.5 Million & Moved to Brunswick in 2011
The family lives in Brunswick, New York but spend a majority of their time in Washington D.C. The couple sold their home in Greenport, New York in 2010 to the managing editor of TIME Magazine, Richard Stengel, and his wife, Mary. The home was purchased by the Gillibrands in 2003 and is situated on 13 acres of land along the Hudson River. The home sold for $1.3 million, and the Gillibrands moved closer to where Kirsten grew up in Brunswick.
They purchased a home in 2011 near Kirsten’s high school. A report by The Times Union said that they paid $335,000 for the home, which is near Troy Country Club. While they still spend a lot of their time in D.C., the home in Brunswick is now their primary residence.
“The Senator just wanted to be closer to her family,” Kirsten’s spokeswoman Bethany Lesser said to the publication. “The home is within minutes of her family.”
The home had been on the market since June 24, 2010 and has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a tennis court.
5. The Couple Received a Gift of Nearly $500K From Jonathan’s Family
Jonathan’s father (Kirsten’s father-in-law) worked as the non-executive chairman of AMEC, a British Engineering Firm. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he was the lead contractor at Ground Zero in New York. Before that, he worked as the vice chairman of British Aerospace.
According to a May 2016 article by the Democrat and Chronicle, Jonathan and Kirsten received a joint cash gift of $457,200 from his family in 2015, a tax return said. The monetary gift wasn’t subjected to federal income tax and was larger than their joint adjusted income ($325,228) that year.
“It’s just information,” she told Newsday of her decision to disclose the monetary gift. “I think it’s good, I think you should report your taxes. I think transparency and accountability (are) helpful to the democratic process.”
The sizable gift was speculated as being part of estate planning by Jonathan’s family.