Martin Van Buren, the first American by birth to become the US president, is also considered the first professional politician to hold the office. He was called ‘the Fox’ for his crafty political stratagem.
William Henry Harrison had kept a billy goat at the White House. Unfortunately, Harrison couldn’t stay in the White House for long as he died of pneumonia within one month of his tenure, which is the shortest for any US president.
Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the US, was a tailor by profession. He used to make his own suits even after becoming the president. Johnson married a shoemaker’s daughter who taught him mathematics and helped him improve his writing.
Chester Arthur was one of the best-dressed presidents, and was said to own 80 pairs of pants. His penchant for flamboyance made him hire a stained-glass artist to redo the state rooms of the White House.
Theodore Roosevelt’s mother and first wife Alice, both passed away on the Valentine’s Day in 1884. Another tragedy befell him when he went blind in one eye after participating in a boxing match.
William Howard Taft used to weigh 330 lbs and had an over-sized custom bathtub built for him in the White House. On one occasion, he got stuck in his bathtub and had to be extricated by the staffers. Taft lost 70 lbs after leaving the White House.
Warren Harding was known as a “good fellow,” despite the fact that he had a severe gambling problem. He had allegedly lost an expensive set of White House china in a poker game.
Lyndon B. Johnson loved riding helicopter so much that his desk chair in the Oval Office was turned into a vinyl helicopter seat. He had a rare experience of escaping death as he was only two cars behind John F. Kennedy when the latter was assassinated.
Gerald Ford was once featured on the cover of the “Cosmopolitan” as a model. The 38th President of the US was also one of the most renowned athletes to have ever graced the Oval Office.
George Bush Sr. is best remembered for publicly puking on Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa in 1992. This incident inspired the word “Bushusuru”, which in Japanese means “to do the Bush thing.”
George W. Bush had an eventful life even before he became the president of the US. He used to be the head cheerleader in his high school. During his university days, he was arrested for stealing a Christmas wreath.
Barack Obama, the 44th president of the US, used to collect comic books of Spiderman and Conan the Barbarian during his growing-up years. As a teenager, he even worked at Baskin-Robbins.
James Madison was not only the shortest American president at 5’4″, but also the only one weighing just about 100 lbs. He was also the first president to wear trousers, breaking away from the tradition of wearing breeches.
George Washington, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, lacked the ability of leading in the battlefield. He lost more wars than he won. As a consequence, he refused to accept payment as Commander-in-Chief for those years of war.
Richard Nixon is remembered as the only US President to have resigned from office. He was known for silencing his detractors, and in fact, planned to kill reporter Jack Anderson, who tried to expose him.
John Quincy Adams, believed to be the fittest president in American history, was not quite versed in his knowledge of our Planet Earth. Adams used to believe that the earth is hollow and actually allocated funds for the exploration of Earth’s core.
President Bill Clinton was perhaps the only US President to have lost codes required to launch a nuclear attack. The otherwise prudent and persistent Clinton had once “muscled” his way to meet President John F. Kennedy and shake hands with him at the age of 16.
Herbert Hoover wanted his White House staff to be “invisible”. Instructions were given to the clerks to hide inside the closet or other hiding spots whenever he and/or first lady would enter the room.
Thomas Jefferson was quite a coy leader and hence, he refrained from making public speeches. However, he was a prolific writer with about 19,000 letters to his credit. He used a machine called a polygraph to create copies of what he wrote. The inventor in him, gave the world its first swivel chair.
Ronald Reagan was deeply interested in astrology. He used to consult his astrologer Joan Quigley to set the dates for his speeches and even take-off and landing times of his flight. In fact, his astrologer claimed having convinced him to soften his stand on the Soviet Union.
Woodrow Wilson is the only US President to have earned a Ph.D. Not many would know that he didn’t learn to read till he was 10. Exuding wisdom in his daily conduct, Wilson had famously said, “The seed of revolution is repression.”
John Tyler, mockingly referred to as “His Accidency”, claimed himself as the President after the death of William Henry Harrison. Although he was the most hated US president, Tyler was a doting father to 15 children, the highest ever fathered by any US president.
President Kennedy was infamous for his liaisons with women. He was the first president to dance with black women during an inaugural ball. Kennedy had once admitted getting “terrible headaches” if he had “no woman for three days.”
Grover Cleveland allegedly raped a woman and sent her to an asylum when she got pregnant. He had put the surrogate child in an orphanage. A one-time offender, Cleveland became the only US President to serve as a hangman and carry out executions.
Once a licensed bartender, Abraham Lincoln not only had a high-pitched voice, but also had a love for booming sounds. He used to test-fire rifles outside the White House. Hours after creating the US Secret Service, he became a prey to a secretly hatched conspiracy and got assassinated.