Image: Karl Rove
Carlos Osorio  /  AP
Former Bush adviser Karl Rove and his wife, Darby, "came to the decision [to divorce] mutually and amicably and they maintain a close relationship and a strong friendship," said a family spokeswoman in a statement.
msnbc.com and NBC News
updated 12/29/2009 3:24:10 PM ET 2009-12-29T20:24:10

Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who served as a top aide to former president George W. Bush, and his wife of 24 years have divorced.

A spokeswoman said Tuesday that Rove and his wife, Darby, were granted a divorce last week.

The couple "came to the decision mutually and amicably and they maintain a close relationship and a strong friendship," said family spokeswoman Dana Perino in a statement. "There will be no further comment and the family requests that its privacy be respected."

News of the split was first reported by POLITICO.

Known as the Bush administration’s "architect" during his tenure as the Republican president’s senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, Rove cited his commitment to his family as a major reason for his resignation from the post in August 2007.

Rove, who steered Bush to victory in two gubernatorial elections and two presidential races, came under intense scrutiny in Congress over his role in the decision to fire a number of U.S. attorneys. He also faced investigation in the White House leak controversy that led to the conviction of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney.

He married Darby Hickson, his second wife, in 1986. His wife, a graphic artist, is a breast cancer survivor. They have one son, Andrew.

Rove’s memoir, “Courage and Consequence,” is slated for release in March 2010.

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