Golden Nuggets from U. S. History

The Blue Quill Series
Concord Learning Systems

Presidents who had the longest and shortest marriages.

George H. W. Bush passed John Adams on January 10, 1999 when he beat the previous best of 54 years and 3 days. For the shortest see below.

The top eleven lasting marriages as of January 2001: (We only figure this stuff out once per year).

  1. George H W Bush 57 years *
  2. Jimmy Carter 55 *
  3. John Adams 54
  4. Gerald R Ford 53 *
  5. Dwight D Eisenhower 53
  6. Richard M Nixon 53
  7. Harry S Truman 53
  8. John Quincy Adams 51
  9. Ronald Reagan 49 * (Second marriage)
  10. Andrew Johnson 48
  11. William H Harrison 46
  • 34 - William J Clinton 26 *

The five shortest:

  • 44 - John F Kennedy 10
  • 45 - Woodrow Wilson 9 (Second marriage)
  • 46 - Ronald Reagan 8 (First marriage - Jane Wyman)
  • 47 - Benjamin Harrison 5 (Second marriage)
  • 48 - Theodore Roosevelt 4 (First marriage - The shortest)
* = Still counting.

Incidently, Teddy Roosevelt's first wife and his mother died on the same day -- in the same house -- from totally unrelated causes. Teddy ran from room to room trying to care for them as his wife was giving birth and his mother died of consumption (TB).

Just for your information:

Only President divorced: Ronald Reagan.

Only President never married: James Buchanan.

Presidents who had a second marriage -- (See note 1):

Theodore Roosevelt - When he was 28 after death of first wife.
Ronald Reagan - When he was 41 after divorce from Jane Wyman.
John Tyler - When he was 45 after death of first wife. (See note 2)
Millard Fillmore - When he was 58 after death of first wife.
Woodrow Wilson - When he was 59 after death of first wife.
Benjamin Harrison - When he was nearly 63 after death of first wife.

(Note 1) Andrew Jackson's marriage in 1791 when he was 24 turned out to have been invalid as his intended wife, Rachel Robards, was not properly divorced, though they were both unaware of the fact. They went through a second marriage ceremony on January 17, 1794 just before he turned 28.

(Note 2) 1st wife died in the White House and the 54 year old Tyler eloped to marry the 24 year old Julia while he was still President. Julia, was not an intern :) but after Tyler's death the ex-First Lady became a spy for the South during the Civil War.

By the way.

Two Presidents had marriages in a foreign country.

John Quincy Adams married Louisa Catherine Johnson in London while he was stationed there as a Diplomat. The only First Lady not born in the USA. In fact, it was four years after the wedding before she ever set foot on American soil.

Two years after the death of his first wife, Teddy Roosevelt took his girl friend, Edith Kermit Carow, on a trip abroad (no pun intended) and married her in London on December 2, 1886.

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