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Letters: Age difference and marriage legitimacy

April 07, 2013

Re "Trying to prove their love," Column One, April 4

Your poignant story about Gerardo Herrejon and Ana Verdin-Hernandez — who fell in love when he was 63 and she was 22, but whose marriage is under question by U.S. immigration officials because Ana is an undocumented immigrant — brings to mind one of the most famous romances of the 20th century.

After three failed marriages, acclaimed actor Charlie Chaplin met the love of his life — Oona O'Neill, daughter of the playwright Eugene O'Neill — when he was 54 and she was 17. They had eight children and she never married after he died.

Research shows that age difference is a poor predictor of success in a marriage; who you marry is far more important than the age of that person.

Robert Epstein

Vista

The writer is senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology.

Hugh Hefner married his current wife, Crystal, on New Year's Eve. There is a 60-year difference between them. I don't recall that they had to petition anyone to approve their marriage. Convicted murderers Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez and both Lyle and Erik Menendez were all allowed to marry after their convictions. Bundy fathered a child while awaiting his execution.

Who can say why anybody loves anybody? If Ana and Gerardo have been lucky enough to find each other, who is harmed by their marriage?

Stacy Antler

Los Angeles

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