What happened to Clarence Thomas’s first wife? 

What happened to Clarence Thomas first wife?

Kathy Ambush, the first wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has remained relatively private since their divorce nearly four decades ago. After parting ways with Clarence, Kathy moved on and remarried Douglas Allen Smith. The two now reside in Richmond, Virginia. Though much of her life post-divorce is private, this article offers insights into her early life, career, and her time with Clarence Thomas.

Who is Clarence Thomas?

Clarence Thomas, 2007.Steve Petteway/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States
Clarence Thomas, 2007. Steve Petteway/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Clarence Thomas is one of the most important political figures in the United States; he’s the longest-serving member of the US Supreme Court. There he’s the most senior associate justice with more than 30 years of service, which gives him an important status and prestige in the political sphere. What’s remarkable is that he was the first African American appointed to judge in the American Supreme Court in 1991, but his appointment wasn’t well celebrated due to his conservative views.

Who is Kathy Ambush? 

Kathy Ambush is an American volunteer mostly known and remembered for being the ex-wife of Clarence Thomas, a prominent US lawyer and jurist. Unlike her husband, she wasn’t in the political sphere, but despite her different career profile, her story and life are still relevant.

Early life and family

Kathy was born on June 7, 1950, in the lovely city of Worcester, Massachusetts, United States, and her parents were Nelson William Ambush and Shigalo Gladys Sato. Her father used to be a dental technician, but there’s not much information about her mother’s professional background. 

She spent her childhood and youth in Massachusetts with her four siblings; Stephen, Benjamin, June, and Karen. However, Kathy’s mom sadly died in 1984, and her father married after two years with a woman named Mary Estelle. The newlyweds had two children, Valerie Wilson and Syndey Schuyler, who became Kathy’s step-siblings.

Professional career 

Ambush attended the Marian Central Catholic High School in Worcester, and after graduation, she applied to Lincoln University. After being accepted, she chose a Degree in Business Administration, where she studied for around four years. Although the fame of her partner, Kathy’s occupation was unknown for a long time; however, within her expertise, she has done some volunteer work as a Global Internet Entrepreneur. 

In addition, she was a director for the Massachusetts Advanced Studies Program at Milton Academy and has also worked at the Immigration Learning Center. Moreover, Kathy worked at BankBoston as a Community Relations Manager, but her position and more details about her tasks are still unclear.

Kathy and Clarence’s relationship 

They first met in 1969 thanks to friends in common that introduced them; back then, Clarence was just a college student at the College of Holy Cross. Just a few days after their first approach, they started officially dating for the next two years, and they were so in love that they decided to take the next step. The couple got married on June 5, 1971, right after Clarence graduated from college, and it was a beautiful ceremony in the All Saint Episcopal Church in Worcester. 

Not long after their wedding, they moved to New Haven, Connecticut so that Clarence could start his studies at Yale Law School. On February 15, 1975, Kathy and Clarence’s first child were born: a boy named Jamal Adeen Thomas. After becoming parents, everything seemed perfect, but unfortunately, Thomas had a drinking problem that led his marriage to struggle. Sadly, his alcoholism worsened with time to the extent that he sometimes even used his student loan to buy alcohol. Thomas eventually realized drinking was physically and financially unsustainable; his financial problems didn’t vanish. 

Although Clarence gave up the alcohol, he still had many critical debts, including his credit cards and student loans. But that wasn’t the tip of his problems; he also had an affair with a colleague, causing his relationship to deteriorate hugely. Because of the infidelity and alcoholism background, Kathy couldn’t stand that messy situation anymore, and the couple eventually divorced in 1981 after being married for more than ten years. After her divorce from Thomas, Kathy still received alimony from him; sometimes it was simply a cash payment or particular properties. 


Kathy eventually moved on and met Douglas Allen Smith, with whom she’s still happily married. Nowadays, she lives with her husband in Richmond, Virginia, and it is believed that her son visits her often. 

Unfortunately, there’s not much information about what became of her since she divorced the US judge, so it’s challenging to know what’s going on in her life. Therefore, it’s hard to realize her estimated net worth as an ex-wife of one of the most prominent judges in the USA.

Clarence Thomas’s second wedding 

After his divorce from Kathy Ambush, Clarence began a relationship with long-time conservative activist Lilian McEwen, but things didn’t work out. However, not very long after, in 1987, he finally met the woman that would become his second wife, Virginia Lamp, a lawyer and conservative activist. Virginia is the founder and president of Liberty Consulting, but in her free time, she is also a special reporter for the news and opinion website The Daily Carter. Nowadays, in addition to being critical political figures, Clarence and Virginia are happily married, maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with 35 years of marriage.

Courthouse Clarence Thomas


As you just read, even though Kathy Ambush and Clarence Thomas aren’t together anymore, they’re both happy with their new partners and ended their marriage on good terms. Both have thrived professionally and personally, and it is believed that they see each other from time to time thanks to the son they have in common. 

Unfortunately, there needs to be more information about Kathy’s occupation and life after she divorced Clarence. This is because she probably didn’t want to live in the spotlight after her complicated marriage with the US judge. The important thing is that she’s doing well by living a peaceful life in Virginia and happily married to her beloved partner Douglas.