December 30, 2006

Presidential Passings

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of President Gerald Ford, who, as we all know, died on the day after Christmas.

I mean no disrespect, but his passing got me to thinking about the deaths of other U.S. Presidents. I remembered that another former President, Ronald Reagan, had also died recently, and in my unquenchable thirst to find ways to illustrate the failures of the Bush administration, I wondered if his term of office had seen the deaths of more former Presidents than any other.

Alas, this is not one that I can hang on President Bush. There have been three Presidents who each had three predecessors die during their term. Lincoln, Grant, and Nixon.

Now considering that one of the Presidents who died during Lincoln's term, was Lincoln himself, I don't think we can really credit him with three.

But Grant did have Andrew Johnson, Pierce and Fillmore die on his watch. And Nixon had Eisenhower, Truman, and Lyndon Johnson.

So, they are the ones who get into the book of records.

The media has pointed out that President Ford was the longest-lived President, dying at age 93. But he was not the longest to survive as former president. Ford was former president for 29 years, 11 months. But Herbert Hoover lived for 31 years, 7 months after leaving office. And, interestingly, way back in the beginning, President John Adams lived for 25 years, 4 months after leaving office.

President Carter who, happily, is still with us, has been a former President for 25 years, 11 months, and still counting. If Bill Clinton were to live to age 93, he will have been former President for 38 years, 7 months.

No President has ever died in May, and seven have died in July. Strangely, three of those July deaths were on the Fourth of July: Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe. The only other bad days for multiple Presidents were, March 8 when Taft and Fillmore died, and December 26 when Ford and Truman died.

Posted by jackhodgson at December 30, 2006 07:54 PM