10 Things You Didn't Know About Janet Huckabee

During her husband's time as governor of Arkansas, Janet Huckabee was nicknamed the "first tomboy."

By + More

Compiled by the U.S.News & World Report library staff

1. Janet McCain was born on July 16, 1955, in Lake Charles, La., the fourth of five siblings. The family moved to Hope, Ark., when she was just an infant. There, she was a star basketball player at Hope High School.

2. Janet had her first date with Mike Huckabee on Jan. 29, 1973. After one of her basketball games, the two went to a truck stop for cheeseburgers. They married on May 25, 1974.

3. A year or so later, Janet was diagnosed with spinal cancer and had to undergo surgery and radiation therapy. Despite initial predictions from doctors, she went on to a full recovery, walking again and later having children.

4. Janet attended college at Ouachita Baptist University. Later in life, she would finish her degree at John Brown University, graduating with honors in organizational management.

5. In 2002, Mike ran for re-election as Arkansas's governor. Janet also ran for a statewide office: secretary of state. In response to her detractors during the campaign (critical of her use of state resources for campaigning, among other things), she told the New York Times, "If it wasn't for the grace of God, I'd have shot a few people already." While Mike won his election, Janet lost hers.

6. Some of Janet's favorite pastimes include skiing, jet skiing, swimming, basketball, and piloting an airplane. She has also gone bungee jumping and parachuted out of an airplane.

7. She likes to hunt and once shot a grenade launcher at a National Guard training camp in Arkansas ("hitting the target two out of three times").

8. During her husband's time as governor of Arkansas, Janet was nicknamed the "first tomboy."

9. Janet has completed two marathons.

10. Janet and Mike Hucakbee have three children: John Mark, David, and Sarah. The family also includes three dogs: Jet, Sonic, and Toby.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas's First Ladies' Gowns: Janet McCain Huckabee Biography
Associated Press
The Hotline
Mike Huckabee for President: Meet Janet Huckabee
New York Times