Written by Grace Ibrahim
In honor of fourth of July I thought I would write about two things Americans love, scandals and presidents. So in true American fashion here is a list of presidents who have had affairs and there dirty details!
William Henry Harrison, President March 4-April 4 1841 William H. Harrison had an affair with one of his slaves named Dilsia and had six children by her. However when he was nominated for president he gave four of the children away to his brother who in turn sold them to a farmer in Georgia. His reason was a simple if dastardly one. “ he didn’t want any bastard slave children around” As horrible as this is the fates were watching over the children, and as poetic justice would have it his great-grandson was the famous black civil rights activist Walter Francis White who was president of the NAACP from 1931-1955
Abraham Lincoln President 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln one of the best loved presidents may have had affairs with two men. The first was Joshua Fry Speed who Lincoln met as a young lawyer they became very close friends sharing a room and a bed for four years. This is not really solid evidence since it was not unusual for bachelor men to live that way in the 19th century as it saved money, and space. The other man David Dickerson was Lincolns body guard and companion between 1862-1863. It is said that they shared a bed every time Lincolns wife was away. The only other evidence is a poem that Lincoln wrote it was published in the book Life of Lincoln it goes…
“ For Reuben and Charles have married two girls,
But Billy has married a boy.
The girls he had tried on every side,
But none he could get to agree;
All was in vain, he went home again,
And since that he’s married to Natty”
James Garfield president March 4 1881 – Sept.19 1881 James Garfield had an affair in 1862 in New York city with Mrs. Calhoun. Not much is known about his affair with Mrs. Calhoun except that she was the wife of a department store owner. When his wife discovered the affair he sent word to Mrs. Calhoun asking that all his love letters to be returned to him. She did return the letters which he had immediately destroyed, though he does make reference to them in is journal as far as we know the affair ended when the letters were returned
Grover Cleveland President 1885-1889, 1893-1897 Grover Cleveland was known to have numerous affairs however the most famous was his affair with a widow named Maria Halpin. He met her in Buffalo, New York where he was a prominent lawyer at the time, he met Maria at the church they both attended. Their affair began in 1873 and in September of 1874 Maria Halpin gave birth to a son by Cleveland whom she named Oscar Folsom Cleveland clearly naming Grover as the father. Cleveland however had no desire to marry Maria and after his political career began to take off he saw her as a liability. After growing tired of providing for her and the baby he had Maria forcibly committed claiming she was an unfit mother and alcoholic he had his son Oscar sent to an orphanage. When the story came out during his second campaign many of the members of the opposition took up the chant “ Ma, ma wheres my pa?, Gone to the Whitehouse ha ha ha.”
Warren Harding: president1921-1923 Warren Harding is remembered as one of the most inept presidents and it is believed his wife poisoned him while he was in office. The official reports state he died of heart attack after suffering from food poisoning. Carrie Philips was Warrens first affair. After she threatened to come forward and ruin his political career she received 50,000 dollars and was relocated to Japan with her family. She also received monthly payments for her continued silence, not a bad deal as far as I am concerned! He continued to write Carrie Philips his letters finally coming to light in 1968 here is an excerpt “I love you more than all the world. Possession wholly imploring. Mid passion I am oftimes whirled, oftimes admire-adoring. Oh God! If fate would only give Us privilege to love and live!” Nan Britton was Harding second affair also lasting years. Nan eventually had a daughter by Harding whom she named Elizabeth Ann.
Franklin D. Roosevelt president 1933-1945 FDR had a 30 year affair with his wife’s secretary Lucy Page Mercer, he wrote letters to Lucy that Elinor eventually found. With evidence in hand Elinor asked FDR for a divorce. Not wanting a scandal to mar his time in the whitehouse FDR promised to break all ties with Lucy however he did not do so continuing to meet with her every time he traveled in the Washington,DC area, Lucy was with him at death bed till the moment Elinor arrived. FDR also has to more shorter affairs one with Princess Martha of Norway while she was visiting during World war II the other with Missy LeHand not much is known about either of these affairs.
Dwight D. Eisenhower President1953-1961 Eisenhower had an affair during WWII with his chauffeur/secretary Kay Summersby their affair took place overseas. Eisenhower asked General George Marshal for permission to divorce Mrs. Eisenhower so he could marry Kay the General denied his request. Though the affair ended once back on American soil he never forgot Kay.
John F. Kennedy President 1961-1963 Perhaps the best well known philandering president is JFK, more impressive that who he was with is how many he was with. There are five well known women that he had affairs with had Blaze Starr, Judith Exner, Marilyn Monroe, and Kim Novak. He was also known participated in threesomes, and other sexual deviations quite scandalous for his time. JFK kept had an 8th floor suit at mayflower hotel always on reserve for rendezvous with mistresses and hookers alike. One of the best well known incidents with JFK was during his Presidential race against Nixon. JFK inquired if there were any girls waiting for him before one of their debates, and an hour and a half before they were supposed to go on the air, Kennedy was in a hotel room with a hooker. However his most well known affair was with Marilyn Monroe which was laid bare before the country in her unforgettable performance of Happy Birthday Mr. President which she sang in front of his whole family!There was one more well known affair that he had it was with a woman who was suspected of being a German spy at the time, named Inga Arvad.
Lyndon B. Johnson president 1963 -1969 LBJ had two affairs the first was with a Alice Glass a newspaper magnate’s wife she encouraged her husband to use their paper as a platform to further Johnson’s campaign until they had a falling out over civil rights. Madeline Brown was LBJ’s second mistress she gave birth to son they named Stephen. His affair with Madeline lasted 21 years he had her set up in an apartment close by the Whitehouse so they could rendezvous at will. It is said he had many other women but none of these are documented and remain speculation.
Bill Clinton President 1993-2001 Bill Clinton is probably the first president you thought of when you saw this article, and though he is bringing up the rear of my article it not a lack of sexual prowess that lands him here! His best known exploit is of course with Monica Lewinsky who was then a 21 year old intern her blue spooge spotted dress is now legendary. His other well known exploits are with Gennifer Flowers, and Paula Jones. To me the real story here lies not in who our esteemed slick willy has been with but how many! Several state troopers from Arkansas have told stories of being assigned to help with his extra marital affairs while he was Governor his total of women is said to be above 100 and so for me he gets this fourth of July award for doing an astounding job of filling so many with his very own brand of patriotic pride.