In 1979, Dr. Whitacre married Ginger Gilbert, who he dated all through their high school and Ohio State college years. For almost four decades, she has been the "super glue" who held their family tightly together through the years when Mark was a busy Cornell Ph.D. student, his never ending business career with extensive international traveling, and their family living in Europe for almost four years. What is most remarkable about Ginger is how she stood by his side when Mark worked undercover for the FBI and when he served time in federal prison. Ginger moved to each state that Mark was located during his incarceration and visited him every weekend. During all of these unusual conditions, Ginger pursued her teaching career and was named the "2007 Teacher of the Year" at one of the K-5th grade elementary schools in Pensacola, Florida. Ginger and Mark have three grown children. In 1984, they adopted two older children when they were five and seven years of age and they received their third child within months of adopting the other two. Their youngest son was born in 1985 while they were living in Germany. They have two sons and a daughter.