Who Is Nikki Haley's Husband? All About Michael Haley

Nikki Haley met her husband Michael in college and the pair share two children

<p>Nikki Haley Instagram</p> Nikki Haley and Michael Haley in 2022.

Nikki Haley Instagram

Nikki Haley and Michael Haley in 2022.

Nikki Haley and her husband, William Michael Haley, have been married since 1996.

They first met in college seven years prior and went on to have two children together: daughter Rena and son Nalin. Nikki — who was a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination — has been open about how much her husband and family mean to her.

"I would be lost without him," Nikki wrote about Michael in her 2012 memoir, Can't Is Not an Option: My American Story.

Throughout their decades together, the couple have weathered both triumphs and challenges, including Michael's deployment during Nikki's tenure as South Carolina governor. Michael, a major in the National Guard, served another yearlong deployment in Djibouti, Africa, that began in June 2023.

After campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, she dropped out of the race in March, telling a South Carolina crowd that she was "filled with gratitude" for their support.

So who is Nikki Haley's husband? Here's everything to know about Michael Haley and his relationship with the politician.

Michael was adopted as a child

<p>Nikki Haley Instagram</p> Nikki Haley and Michael Haley in 2021

Nikki Haley Instagram

Nikki Haley and Michael Haley in 2021

Michael was born in Ohio. According to Nikki’s memoir, Michael’s biological father “was an alcoholic who had trouble with the law,” and the home his family shared didn't have electricity or running water. When Michael was a toddler, he and his four siblings were placed in foster care. Their mother was set to regain custody until she got into a car accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury that left her unable to care for the children.

Michael and his siblings were placed once more in foster care. Bill Haley, a steel mill manager, and Carol Haley, a teacher, adopted 4-year-old Michael and his younger sister Lee Anne. Michael's other three siblings were adopted by different families.

The Haleys eventually moved from Ohio to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where Michael graduated from high school. Nikki wrote that Michael didn't reconnect with the rest of his siblings for more than 15 years after his adoption.

Nikki has credited Michael's story with influencing her anti-abortion political stance.

"In politics people assume that if you're a Republican you're prolife because the party tells you to be," she wrote in Can't Is Not an Option. "I'm prolife because I get a chance to spend every day with the love of my life knowing that I am blessed that someone saved his life."

They met in college while he was dating someone else

<p>Nikki Haley Instagram</p> Nikki Haley and William Michael Haley celebrating Valentine's Day in 2024.

Nikki Haley Instagram

Nikki Haley and William Michael Haley celebrating Valentine's Day in 2024.

In 1989, Nikki, then 17, began school at Clemson University; Michael, then 19, was enrolled at nearby Anderson University. Michael's roommate, John, happened to be Nikki’s friend from her hometown and introduced the pair. They hit it off right away and became fast friends, spending almost an entire weekend together. After Michael told Nikki he had a girlfriend, however, she didn't pursue him.

The next weekend, they saw each other at a party. Even though Michael attended with his girlfriend, he kept going over to talk to Nikki. "I wanted no part of it, but I thought it was funny that every time she walked away he came over to check on me," she wrote in Can't Is Not an Option. "Boys."

The following week, Nikki heard that Michael and his girlfriend had split up. "I can't say I was heartbroken by the turn of events," she recalled.

They started hanging out, and Michael impressed Nikki with his honesty and gratitude — and his honesty may have saved their fledgling relationship. Michael told her he was interested in dating her and another girl at the same time, to which she responded, "I don't date people who also date other people,” and wished him luck with the other girl.

That was all that she needed to say: He never dated the other girl, and Nikki and Michael were inseparable from that point on. Michael even transferred to Clemson University to spend more time with her.

Nikki changed Michael's nickname

<p>Win McNamee/Getty</p> Nikki Haley and her husband Michael Haley attend the third day of the 2012 Republican National Convention

Win McNamee/Getty

Nikki Haley and her husband Michael Haley attend the third day of the 2012 Republican National Convention

Before college, Michael was called Bill, short for his first name, William. However, after he and Nikki began dating, she didn't think "Bill" fit him. When she learned his middle name, she began calling him Michael.

"Everyone who knows him before I did knows him as Bill," she wrote, "and everyone who met him after I did knows him as Michael."

Nikki converted to Christianity for Michael

<p>Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times/Getty</p> Nikki Haley along with her husband Michael Haley paying obeisance at Golden Temple in 2014

Sameer Sehgal/Hindustan Times/Getty

Nikki Haley along with her husband Michael Haley paying obeisance at Golden Temple in 2014

Born to Ajit Singh and Raj Kaur Randhawa, two immigrants from India, Nikki was raised in the Sikh faith. When she and Michael married in 1996 — after initially postponing their wedding because of Hurricane Fran — they had two ceremonies: one Sikh and one Christian at St. Andrew By-the-Sea, a Methodist church in Hilton Head.

In 2010, Nikki told The New York Times that she was baptized at St. Andrew By-the-Sea before their wedding; their children Rena and Nalin were also baptized in the Methodist Church. She also said her family attended both Methodist and Sikh services.

Michael is in the National Guard

<p>Kim Foster-Tobin/The State/Tribune News Service/Getty</p> Nikki Haley and Michael Haley in 2015

Kim Foster-Tobin/The State/Tribune News Service/Getty

Nikki Haley and Michael Haley in 2015

Michael is a major in the South Carolina National Guard and served a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan in 2012 while Nikki was serving as governor, making him one of the first spouses of a governor to enter active duty in a war zone.

"This deployment is the reason I joined the National Guard," Michael said in a statement at the time, according to The Augusta Chronicle. "The only thing that gives me pause is the yearlong deployment away from family. But in the end, I can't help but to think giving one year along with my fellow soldiers, as many have done before me, to secure a life of freedom for my family is well worth all that comes with it."

In June 2023, Michael was deployed to Djibouti for a year. "It's so many mixed emotions,” Nikki told reporters after his deployment ceremony, per ABC News. “There's so much pride. As a wife, a military spouse, this is when we start the yearlong prayer of making sure they go there, they do their job effectively, they do it in a way that's strong, and that they come home safely."

While Nikki was still running in the presidential primary, her campaign said Michael was the first spouse of a candidate to be deployed during a presidential run. "I am just one of many military spouses that are watching their loved ones leave today, and we feel an amazing sense of pride," she added. "We feel an amazing sense of service. And we may feel an amazing sense of sadness. But at the same time, we could not be happier to see them going and doing what they in their blood are meant to do. And so we're proud."

They share two children together

<p>Nikki Haley Instagram</p> Nikki Haley with her husband Michael Haley and their kids, Rena and Nalin

Nikki Haley Instagram

Nikki Haley with her husband Michael Haley and their kids, Rena and Nalin

Nikki and Michael welcomed their first child, daughter Rena, on June 8, 1998, two years after tying the knot. Their second child, son Nalin, was born on Sept. 6, 2001, in South Carolina.

While neither of her children have an interest in following her career into politics, they were both supportive of their mother's race. Rena showed up for her GOP debates in her father's absence, while Nalin worked on Nikki's campaign.

In an interview with FOX News' Harris Faulkner, the two kids opened up about how Michael and Nikki raised them to have an appreciation for their country while still creating a sense of normalcy despite their father being in the National Guard and their mother working in public service.

"They always taught us how to love and respect this country and really understand what it means to be blessed to live in America," Nalin said.

Rena added, "They worked very hard to keep it very normal for us, we weren't in TV a lot and they made it very home."

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