Is Cory Booker married? Does he have a wife? The answer is: No. He is running for president as a single man.
Would that be an impediment to victory in an America used to a First Lady? Time will tell. On February 1, 2019, Booker, U.S. Senator from New Jersey, became the latest Democrat in a quickly filling up field to announce that he was running for president in 2020. The video announcement came on day one of Black History Month:
On February 5, 2019, Booker confirmed he has a girlfriend, but he didn’t name her. “I’m dating somebody that’s really special… I’ve got a boo,” he revealed. When asked if he planned to marry the woman, he said, according to ClickOnDetroit, “Please, what have we gotten myself into right now, man! All the issues we’ve talked about, this is the most uncomfortable part of this interview.”
Cory Anthony Booker was born on April 27, 1969, making him age 49 at the time of the campaign announcement. According to the Census Bureau, in 2016, 110.6 million people in the United States were single. “This group made up 45.2 percent of all U.S. residents age 18 and older,” the bureau reported. You can see a list of Booker’s reported girlfriends throughout the years here.
Here’s what you need to know about Cory Booker’s marital status:
Booker Says Family Relationships in America ‘Have Been Changed Dramatically’
Stating the obvious: A lot of politicians are married, and they make sure to remind voters of it constantly with warm-and-fuzzy family photos. That’s even more true when it comes to the presidency and the First Family. Booker’s bachelor status has led to questions about his personal life.
In December 2018, he told Philly.com, “Clearly the norms of family relationships have been changed dramatically as you’ve seen people across this country being elected to offices with all different kinds of family situations, including the president who has had three spouses. So I think a lot of that conventional thought on that doesn’t apply.”
In other words, he thinks America is ready for a single president. The Philadelphia newspaper asked Booker whether he was gay (he’s faced gay slurs before). “I’m heterosexual,” Booker responded to the newspaper. “Every candidate should run on their authentic self, tell their truth, and more importantly, or mostly importantly, talk about their vision for the country.”
He told Buzzfeed that being unmarried made it difficult to date sometimes, saying, “It puts a big damper on your personal life. It’d be much easier if I was married already and I didn’t have to go on a first date and have people coming up to your table.”
Has he had girlfriends? Buzzfeed says yes. Booker “is only known to have been in a handful of long-term relationships,” the site reports, listing Oprah’s best friend Gayle King among them. Page Six reported through a source in October 2018 that Booker was secretly dating Chanda Gibson, executive director of the Council of Urban Professionals. Page Six says he’s also dated Hollywood entertainment lawyer Bianca Levin and poet Cleo Wade.
In 2017, NewJersey.com reported that Booker had been dating Cleo Wade “for the past year” and quoted him as saying that Wade is “a special person,” and he was “hopeful” they might end up married.
“I’ve been a bachelor too long,” he said to the newspaper.
Booker told Page Six: “People who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful. Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia . . . I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am?’”
He once wrote on Twitter: “My future wife who will endure a sci-fi nerd, coffee addicted, work-a-holic,” and he told Buzzfeed that he is different from former President Barack Obama because Obama is “married to an amazing woman and has two kids, and I have dead plants and fungus growing in my fridge.”
If elected, Booker’s mom, Carolyn Booker, would probably play a big role. “Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I was fortunate to spend it with my Mom in Vegas,” he wrote on Facebook in 2016, indicating they are close.
According to CNN, Booker wrote in the early 1990s, when he was a college student, about “an incident on New Year’s Eve 1984 (when he was 15) in which he groped a female friend’s breast after the two of them had kissed.”
“With the ‘Top Gun’ slogan ringing in my head, I slowly reached for her breast,” Booker wrote, according to CNN. “After having my hand pushed away once, I reached my ‘mark.'”
Two American President Were Not Married When They Were Elected
Grover Cleveland and James Buchanan were America’s bachelor presidents. In a way, though, Buchanan stands alone. That’s because, according to The Root, Grover Cleveland, while a bachelor at the time of his election, married while he was in the White House. The Root also reports that Chester Arthur was a widower when he was elected president.
Buchanan’s niece filled the role of First Lady.
According to White House.org, Harriet Rebecca Lane Johnston “acted as First Lady of the United States, or ‘Hostess,’ for her uncle James Buchanan, who was a lifelong bachelor and the 15th President (1857-1861). Unique among First Ladies, Harriet Lane acted as hostess for the only President who never married: James Buchanan, her favorite uncle and her guardian after she was orphaned at the age of eleven. And of all the ladies of the White House, few achieved such great success in deeply troubled times as this polished young woman in her twenties.”