Facts about Karen Pence

Karen Pence is 59 years old
Best known as: The wife of Indiana governor Mike Pence

     

Karen Pence Biography

Name at birth: Karen Batten

Karen Pence is the wife of Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana who became vice president of the United States in 2017.

Despite Karen Pence’s very public persona, there are few public details of her background. Born Karen Batten, she was raised in the suburbs of Indianapolis, graduating from Bishop Chatard High School in 1975. She then earned both a B.S. and an M.S. in elementary education from Butler University. She landed a job teaching second grade, and by 1984 she had met Mike Pence, a fellow worshipper at a local Catholic church. They married in 1985.

Karen Pence supported her husband’s political career during the 1990s (he ran unsuccessfully for the United States Congress twice) while raising three children and learning to paint watercolors for local art shows.

Mike Pence was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2000, after a career as a radio host had bolstered his image as a Christian conservative, and the couple moved their three children to Washington, D.C. Mike Pence was elected the governor of Indiana in 2012; during her years as Indiana’s First Lady, Karen Pence established a charitable organization and promoted childhood education, while running her own online business that sold ID charms for bath towels.

Mike Pence was chosen by Donald Trump to be his running mate in 2016. Together they defeated Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine in the general election, and the Pence family once again headed to Washington as Mike Pence became vice president on January 20, 2017. Karen Pence succeeded Jill Biden as the country’s “Second Lady.”

Extra credit

Karen and Mike Pence have three children: Michael (born 1992), Charlotte (b. 1994) and Audrey (b. 1995)… Karen Pence grew up around airplanes — both her father and grandfather were fliers — and she is a licensed pilot… Her marriage to Mike Pence is Karen Pence’s second marriage. In 2016 the website Death and Taxes published a copy of the couple’s marriage certificate, which listed the bride as divorced. The certificate also gave her name as Karen Sue Whitaker, rather than her original birth name of Karen Batten.


     

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