A former Philadelphia senator, 90-year-old Harris Wofford, is set to marry a man 50 years his junior after falling in love while on vacation in Florida. Wofford lost his wife of 50 years to cancer at the age of 70 and never thought he would find love like that again. However, just five years after her passing, the former senator met 25-year-old Matthew Charlton. Despite the 50 year age difference, Wofford says the pair instantly “clicked” and spent the next 15 years together. Now, with gay marriage legal, the 90-year-old Wofford says he finally plans to marry Charlton.
The Daily Mail reports that 90-year-old Harris Wofford lost his wife Clare to cancer 20 years ago. The pair were married for nearly five decades before the love of his life and mother to his three children passed away. Following Clare’s death, Wofford says he never thought he would find love again. However, while on vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Wofford says he met 25-year-old Matthew Charlton. The pair have remained together ever since the chance meeting, and say that they experienced an instant connection.
While Wofford is slated to marry the younger man on April 30, 2016, he says he does not label himself as “gay” or “straight,” as he claims his love for Clare and Matthew are equal.
“To some, our bond is entirely natural, to others it comes as a strange surprise, but most soon see the strength of our feelings and our devotion to each other. We have now been together for 15 years.”
The aging former senator notes that he first met his wife while serving in the U.S. Air Forces during the Second World War. The prominent senator then went on to spend time advising Martin Luther King Jr. before eventually serving in the Philadelphia senate from 1991 to 1995. Throughout his early life, Clare was by his side.
“I had founded a student organization to promote a postwar union of democracies to keep the peace. When I left to serve in the Army Air Corps, Clare became national president, guiding the Student Federalists as the group grew across the country. Our romance and adventure continued for five decades.”
He says the pair shared a special romance over their five decades together and have more stories than he could ever tell. He says Clare was the heart of their family and a fantastic mother to their three children. However, as both Harris and Clare neared their 70th birthdays, it became clear that Clare wasn’t going to win her battle against acute leukemia. Wofford’s first love would die while holding on to his hand from the hospital bed.
Harris Wofford: “It was a great moment in the civil rights movement” https://t.co/G1FAm2IWw5
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Harris says at 70-years-old he never expected to find another love like Clare. He assumed he would die alone without a partner. However, just five years after Clare’s passing, at the age of 75, Harris met Matthew Charlton, then just 25-years-old. Despite their large age difference, Wofford says they immediately clicked and knew they had to be together. They would spend the next 15 years together before Wofford, at the age of 90, decided it was time to marry his second love.
Harris said, due to gay marriage restrictions, he never thought he would see a time in his life where he could marry Charlton, but is happy he was wrong.
“For a long time, I did not suspect that idea and fate might meet in my lifetime to produce same-sex marriage equality. My focus was on other issues facing our nation, especially advancing national service for all. Seeking to change something as deeply ingrained in law and public opinion as the definition of marriage seemed impossible. I was wrong, and should not have been so pessimistic.”
During his time in politics and the civil rights movement, Harris called Martin Luther King Jr, Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy friends.
[Photo by AP Photo/Carol Francavilla/files]