- Only five presidents have ever
worn facial hair when they sought the office. The last was over a century ago, in 1889; Benjamin Harrison.
- There have been seven left-handed
presidents, including three of the last four (Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan).
- The first president to smoke
a cigar in office was James Madison. In fact, Madison regularly smoked cigars until his death in 1836
at the age of 85. Madison was also the shortest president
at five-feet four-inches tall.
- George W. Bush, 43rd president
of the United States, and his wife Laura
got married just three months after meeting each other.
- 40th president of the United
States Ronald Reagan broke the so-called "20-year curse," in which every president elected in a year ending in 0 died in office.
- Military leader and 34th president
of the U.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower loved to cook; he developed a recipe for vegetable soup that is 894 words long and includes
the stems of nasturtium flowers as one of the ingredients.
- The letter "S" comprises the
full middle name of the 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. It represents two of his grandfathers, whose names both had "S" in
- 32nd president of the United
States Franklin D. Roosevelt was related, either by blood or by marriage, to 11 former presidents.
- Herbert Hoover, 31st U.S. president, published more than 16 books, including
one called Fishing for Fun-And to Wash Your Soul.
- Calvin Coolidge, 30th president
of the United States, had chronic stomach
pain and required 10 to 11 hours of sleep and an afternoon nap every day.
- Warren Harding, 29th U.S. president, played poker at least twice a week,
and once gambled away an entire set of White House china. His advisors were nicknamed the "Poker Cabinet" because they joined
the president in his poker games.
- William Taft, 27th president
of the United States, weighed more than
300 pounds and had a special oversized bathtub installed in the White House.
- The teddy bear derived from
26th U.S. president Theodore ("Teddy") Roosevelt's refusal to shoot a bear
with her cub while on a hunting trip in Mississippi.
- Grover Cleveland,
22nd and 24th president of the United States,
underwent a secret operation aboard a yacht to remove his cancerous upper jaw in 1893.
- Both ambidextrous and multilingual,
20th president of the United States James Garfield could write Greek with one hand while writing Latin with the other.
- Ulysses S. Grant, 18th president
of the United States, died of throat cancer.
During his life, Grant had smoked about 20 cigars per day.
- 17th U.S. president Andrew Johnson never attended school. His future wife, Eliza McCardle,
taught him to write at the age of 17. (Bonus fact about Andrew Johnson: He only wore suits that he custom-tailored himself.)
- Often depicted wearing a tall
black stovepipe hat, 16th president of the United States Abraham Lincoln carried letters, bills, and notes in his hat.
- 15th U.S. president James Buchanan is the only unmarried man ever to be elected president.
Buchanan was engaged to be married once; however, his fiancée died suddenly after breaking off the engagement, and he remained
a bachelor all his life.
- Sedated only by brandy, 11th
president of the United States James Polk survived gall bladder surgery at the age of 17.
- John Tyler, 10th U.S. president, fathered 15 children (more than any
other president)--8 by his first wife, and 7 by his second wife. Tyler
was past his seventieth birthday when his 15th child was born.
- 9th U.S. president William Henry Harrison was inaugurated on a bitterly cold day and
gave the longest inauguration speech ever. The new president promptly caught a cold that soon developed into pneumonia. Harrison
died exactly one month into his presidential term, the shortest in U.S.
- In warm
weather, 6th president of the United States John Quincy Adams customarily went skinny-dipping in the Potomac
River before dawn.