Romney Dated Jewish Girl in High School

Mary Fisher Became AIDS Activist, Spoke at GOP Convention

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published May 10, 2012, issue of May 18, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had a Jewish high school girlfriend, the Washington Post reported May 10.

Mary Fisher
getty images
Mary Fisher

That girlfriend, who dated Romney only briefly, was Mary Fisher, the daughter of Max Fisher, known as the “dean of the Jewish Republicans.”

Mary Fisher later became a prominent HIV/AIDS activist.

According to the Washington Post, Romney and Fisher dated only briefly while both were students at elite Michigan boarding schools. Romney was reportedly wowed by Fisher’s wealth, telling friends with amazement about the family’s private movie theater.

“I just remember him being really nice,” Fisher told the Post.

Mary Fisher came to prominence in 1992 when she discussed her own HIV+ status in a televised address in front of the Republican National Convention. Wearing a red ribbon, she urged the Republican Party to confront the issue of AIDS in its party platform.

“It does not care whether you are Democrat or Republican,” Fisher said said of HIV/AIDS.

Fisher also praised her father in the much-discussed talk. “My 84-year-old father, who has pursued the healing of the nations, will not accept the premise that he cannot heal his daughter,” Fisher said. “My mother refuses to be broken. She still calls at midnight to tell wonderful jokes that make me laugh.”

Mary’s father, Max Fisher, who died in 2005, was a gasoline magnate and leading Republican Jewish activist. An unofficial advisor to Republican presidents beginning in the 1950s, he was the founder in 1985 of the group now known as the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Fisher also headed a handful of major Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee and the Council of Jewish Federations, now the Jewish Federations of North America.

Mary Fisher, now 64, is an artist and speaker.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.