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It might surprise those who associate the early '60s with Cuban cigars and conservative fashions that sex scandals were as alive and well then as they are now. Take the case of cordage heiress Margaretta "Happy" Murphy who married New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1963 just one month after she divorced her husband, with whom she had had four children.
The news of a former Rockefeller staff member marrying her boss was a major scandal in its day. Nelson was cast as the man who tossed aside his wife of 31 years to wed a woman 18 years his junior. Happy -- who signed away her rights to her children -- was the heartless mother and femme fatale. Even the minister who performed the ceremony was disciplined by his superiors.
Unsurprisingly, Rockefeller's union with Happy had an unhappy effect on his political career. Before the wedding, he was considered the frontrunner in the 1964 Presidential Election. After, Rockefeller found himself losing ground in the polls to Barry Goldwater and unpopular with social conservatives. Among his harshest critics was Prescott Bush, father to President George Herbert Walker Bush and grandfather to President George Walker Bush. "Have we come to the point in our life as a nation where the governor of a great state -- one who perhaps aspires to the nomination for president of the United States -- can desert a good wife, mother of his grown children, divorce her, then persuade a young mother of four youngsters to abandon her husband and their four children and marry the governor?" asked Prescott Bush, then a senator for Connecticut.
Needless to say, Rockefeller did not win his party's nomination -- though he did go on to serve as Vice President under Gerald Ford. As for the future Second Lady of the United States, she was able to woo the public with her nicknamed disposition, eventually serving as a U.N. delegate for George H.W. Bush, and surviving a highly-publicized battle with breast cancer. Her husband did not fare so well: In 1979, Nelson suffered a fatal heart attack in the presence of his 25-year-old aide, Megan Marshack, circumstances which led to more eyebrow-raising. To this day, (Warning: Graphic metaphor ahead) a "Rockefeller" in golf is a putt that trickles into the cup, since such a putt "dies in the hole."