Joe Biden Taps John Kerry As Special Presidential Envoy For Climate — Meet His Wife, Teresa Heinz

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John Kerry and Teresa Heinz
Entertainment And News

Former Democratic Senator and 2004 Presidential candidate John Kerry has been tapped by Joe Biden to fill the role of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

As Biden continues to build his team for his upcoming presidential term, all eyes are on Capitol Hill to see who else will become part of the Biden administration.

And while his name has been prominent in politics for quite some time, John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz, has paved her own remarkable path since coming to the United States in the ‘60s.

Who is John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz?

Read on to find out what you need to know about John Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz.

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Teresa Heinz has an impressive background.

Teresa Heinz was born on October 5, 1938 in Lourenço Marques (now named Maputo) in Porteguese East Africa.

She earned a degree in Romantic Languages and Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

She graduated from the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Geneva in 1963, and moved to the United States shortly after to work as an interpreter at the United Nations.

She is widely known for her philanthropic endeavours and is incredibly passionate about the environment and women’s issues, including economic security.

John Kerry isn't Teresa Heinz's first husband.

Teresa Heinz was married to H.J. Heinz Company heir and future U.S. senator John Heinz.

The couple met while she was attending school at the University of Geneva, and were married on February 5, 1966. 

Tragically, John Heinz died in a plane crash in 1991. The pair were married for 25 years at the time tragedy struck their family. 

What is Teresa Heinz's net worth? She's worth reportedly $1 billion.

Teresa Heinz inherited her husband’s fortune after his death in 1991, and played a crucial role in the Heinz family’s business — specifically, on the philanthropic side of things.

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“My husband was an only child; if I had not done this, there was no one else from the family to do it,” she said.

How did John Kerry and Teresa Heinz meet?

John Kerry and Teresa Heinz met at an Earth Day rally in 1990, just one year before her first husband passed away.

The pair met again after John Heinz’s death while at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

John Kerry and Teresa Heinz started dating in 1993, and tied the knot on May 26, 1995. Teresa still keeps her first husband’s last name, along with Kerry’s, and has a great explanation for why she does so.

“My legal name is still Teresa Heinz. Teresa Heinz Kerry is my name... for politics. Just so people don't ask me questions about so and so is so and so's wife or this and that,” she said.  

“Teresa Heinz is what I've been all my growing-up life, adult life, more than any other name. And it's the name of my boys, you know ?” she added. “So, that's my legal name and that's my office name, my Pittsburgh name.”

How many kids does Teresa Heinz have?

Teresa Heinz has three sons with her first husband, John Heinz: Henry John Heinz IV, André Thierstein Heinz, and Christopher Drake Heinz.

Teresa Heinz is a breast cancer survivor.

In 2009, Teresa Heinz was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It was all right, funny enough partially because I know my doctor very well ... and I ask her a lot of questions,” she told Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts of her calm reaction to her diagnosis.

“So in a sense I was being a clinical person there looking at myself."

John Kerry, who is a cancer survivor himself, knew his wife would be able to handle her breast cancer diagnosis, saying, “Her nickname among a lot of her friends is 'Doctor T.' So, she started, as she has done for other people, doing for herself or just going after the information and finding out what the options were and making some decisions pretty quickly."

Both Heinz and Kerry are passionate about the environment. 

And given his newly appointed job, people are happy about Biden's pick.

"John Kerry as special envoy on climate ("climate czar") is good news. He's been deeply committed to the cause for years. He even met his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry at the Rio climate summit in 1992," one Twitter user wrote.

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter