- The majority of US presidents were middle children.
- Firstborn kids made up the second largest group among the 44 commanders-in-chief.
- There’s hasn’t yet been a president who was an only child.
- Take a look at the birth order of all of the US presidents throughout history.
A lot of US presidents may have suffered from middle child syndrome.
Throughout history, the majority of out commanders-in-chief have been middle children. Firstborns make a decent showing as well. As for youngest children, only seven of them have ascended to the highest political office in the country. And no only child has ascended to the White House yet.
But does birth order really make someone more or less likely to become president?
From the looks of it, not really. Still, bragging rights go to all the middle children out there. Next time your siblings bug you, picture how embarrassed they will be once you’re the leader of the free world.
Here’s a look at the birth order – and family background – of each of the 44 US presidents:
First borns: 14 American presidents have been firstborn children
Firstborn children may often be natural leaders, but only 14 US presidents were the oldest children in their respective families – or, in the case of James Buchanan and Barack Obama, effectively raised as firstborns.
This might come as a surprise, given recent research into how birth order influences personality. Business Insider previously reported that oldest children often gravitate toward positions of power, and are more likely to become CEOs or found companies than their younger counterparts.
That being said, firstborn children also tend to be more risk-averse than their siblings. And running for the highest office in the land is a pretty big risk.
One of John Adams’s younger brothers died in the American Revolution
John Adams was the oldest of three boys born to John Adams Sr. and Susannah Boylston Adams. His two younger brothers were Peter and Elihu.
Peter Adams went on to serve as a captain during during the American Revolution, according to the Smithsonian Museum of Art. According to the website Find A Grave, he survived the war and died in 1823, three years before his older brother.
Elihu Adams, the youngest Adams boy, followed Peter’s footsteps and became a militia captain when fighting broke out in the colonies. He died of dysentery along the banks of the Charles River during the Siege of Boston in 1775, according to David McCullough’s “John Adams.”
James Madison was a leader among his siblings
Madison was the first of 12 children born to James Madison Sr. and Nelly Conway Madison. Six of those siblings survived childhood.
By 1779, Madison was still in close contact with his family, despite being busy with his burgeoning political career.
James K. Polk was born into a large, nomadic family
James K. Polk was the 11th president of the United States and the first of ten siblings.
Polk and his younger brothers and sisters faced a stern upbringing as they bounced around from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to Tennessee.
According to the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, Polk’s mother Jane “believed in raising her children according to the strict Presbyterian ‘gospel of duty.'”
James Buchanan was the oldest child in his family to survive infancy
James Buchanan was technically his parents’ second child born, but his older sister died shortly after being born.
As a result, he was raised as the oldest child of a large Pennsylvanian family. His parents James and Elizabeth Buchanan went on to have five daughters and four more sons.
According to historian Jean Baker’s biography of the 15th president, he “occupied a privileged but challenging position in his family” as he was “surrounded by younger sisters and an adoring mother who quoted Milton and Shakespeare to her children and engaged them in discussions about public affairs.”
Unfortunately, his mother’s best efforts to educate Buchanan didn’t translate into a particularly successful tenure in the White House.
Ulysses S. Grant was the only one of his brothers to ditch the tanning business
Ulysses S. Grant was the first child born to Jesse and Hannah Grant.
The couple went on to have three daughters and two more sons, according to “Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity: 1822-1865.” Grant’s younger brothers Simpson and Orvil followed their father into the tanning business.
Warren Harding was the firstborn son of a physician
Warren G. Harding was the first president born after the American Civil War, as well as the first child born to George Tryon and Phoebe Elizabeth Harding of Ohio.
Out of all of her eight children, Phoebe had a “special bond” with her oldest child, who she nicknamed “Winnie,” according to Elaine Landau’s biography on the president.
Calvin Coolidge was devastated by the loss of his younger sister
Calvin Coolidge had one younger sister named Abigail Grace.
Separated by just three years, the two “naturally grew up as playmates,” Claude M. Fuess wrote in the book “Calvin Coolidge: The Man from Vermont.”
According to The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, Abigail died from appendicitis while on break from school at the age of 15.
“Calvin was at her bedside in her last hours, and her loss was a source of grief to him to the very end of his days,” Fuess wrote.
In his autobiography, Coolidge wrote, “The memory of the charm of her presence and her dignified devotion to the right will always abide with me.”
Harry Truman had two younger siblings
Born to John and Martha Ellen Young Truman, Harry Truman had two younger siblings: John Vivian and Mary Jane.
David McCullough wrote in his biography of the president that, as a young boy, Truman once went behind his mother’s back and cut his baby brother’s hair.
McCullough also wrote that Mary Jane was the favourite of John Truman, while Martha favoured Harry.
One of Lyndon B. Johnson’s siblings worked on his staff
Lyndon B. Johnson had three younger sisters and a younger brother.
His younger brother Sam Houston Johnson went on to frequently work on his brother’s political staff, The New York Times reported.
Gerald Ford had six half siblings — but wasn’t aware of half of them until he was a teen
Gerald Ford didn’t have any full siblings, but he did have three younger half brothers and three younger half sisters.
Ford grew up with his three half brothers: Thomas, Richard, and James. But, for years, he didn’t even know about the existence of his half-sisters, Leslie, Marjorie, and Patricia.
Mary Mueller Winget wrote in her biography “Gerald R. Ford” that Ford’s biological father Leslie King physically abused his mother Dorothy Gardner early in their marriage. When the future president was just 16 days old, Gardner left her husband.
Gardner then remarried Gerald Rudolph Ford, who adopted her son. He was renamed after his adoptive father. The couple went on to have three sons together, while King went on to remarry and have three daughters.
According to the New York Times, Ford wasn’t aware of his biological father or half sisters until he was 17.
Jimmy Carter’s younger brother was no stranger to controversy
Jimmy Carter was the first US president from the state of Georgia, as well as the first child born to James Earl Carter Sr. and Lillian Gordy Carter.
He had younger siblings: Gloria, Ruth, and Billy. Carter was 13-years-old when Billy, the youngest of the bunch, was born, according to “Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter.”
Carter and his younger sister Gloria were competitive as children. According to “Jimmy Carter: A Character Portrait,” Carter once shot his sister with a BB gun as a kid, and she later retaliated by throwing a wrench at his head. Gloria Carter Spann later became a motorcyclist rights activist.
Carter’s other sister took a somewhat different path. Ruth Carter Stapleton became a Baptist evangelist.
During Carter’s political career, Billy was the subject of frequent IRS investigations and stirred controversy over his ties with Libya’s regime, The New York Times reported. He also promoted the now-defunct Billy Beer brand, which he reportedly hoped would make him “the Colonel Sanders of beer.”
“I refused to conform to an image that a lot of people thought a president’s brother should adopt,” Billy Carter said in testimony to the US Senate, according to The New York Times.
Bill Clinton has a younger half-brother who the Secret Service allegedly nicknamed ‘Headache’
Bill Clinton’s father William Jefferson Blythe Jr. died three months before he was born, leaving his mother Virginia Dell Cassidy to raise her firstborn child on her own.
She later remarried car dealer Roger Clinton Sr. and had a son with him, who was named after his father.
But all wasn’t well with the family. The future president reportedly had to intervene when his stepfather physically lashed out at Cassidy and Roger Jr., according to the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
And Roger Jr. would go on to frequently attract media attention and controversy during his brother’s political career, according to the book “The Clinton Years.”
While Clinton was serving as the governor of Arkansas, Roger was convicted for selling cocaine. During his brother’s presidency, the rhythm-and-blues musician also participated in a cultural exchange program with North Korea that was not sanctioned by the State Department.
Roger’s antics allegedly earned him the Secret Service nickname “Headache.”
As Clinton exited the White House in 2001, he issued a pardon for his brother, erasing his 1985 drug conviction, The New York Times reported.
George W. Bush grew up feeling overshadowed by Jeb
George W. Bush, the eldest child of former president George H.W. Bush, famously went on to follow his father’s footsteps all the way to the White House.
But Bush’s political success didn’t seem destined, or even likely, when he was a young man. The Bush clan’s firstborn son often felt “overshadowed” by both his father and his younger brother Jeb, according to Clarke Rountree’s “George W. Bush: A Biography.”
In addition to Jeb, the younger Bush children include Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy.
Robin, another one of Bush’s younger sisters, died at the age of three from leukemia. The family tragedy forged an “enduring and powerful link between Barbara Bush and her oldest son,” The Washington Post reported.
Today, Jeb is the most famous of Bush’s younger siblings. The former Florida governor staged an unsuccessful presidential run in 2016, but lost out to Donald Trump. Neil and Marvin went into business. And Dorothy had a career in the non-profit fundraising sphere.
Barack Obama was a ‘laid back’ older brother
Barack Obama was effectively the oldest child in his family.
He was born to Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham in Honolulu. Later, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro and had a daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng. There was a 10 year age gap between the siblings.
In an interview with the BBC, Soetoro-Ng reminisced about growing up in Hawaii with her older brother.
“My brother was kind of a regular guy who loved his friends, who body-surfed, and who played basketball,” she said. “I think that Hawaii has given my brother a sort of laid back attitude and an ease within himself.”
However, if you want to get technical, Obama did have a number of older half siblings. Unlike other presidents with half siblings, however, Obama didn’t meet these relatives until much later in life.
Obama’s oldest half-brother is Malik Obama, an American citizen who resides in Kenya. The two half brothers met for the first in 1985, the Washington Post reported.
Lately, however, their relationship may be strained by Malik’s vocal support of US president Donald Trump.
Malik’s sister Auma, who was also born to Barack Obama Sr. and his first wife Kezia, has a PhD and works for a nonprofit dedicated to assisting Kenyan orphans.
Obama’s father also had two sons with his third wife, Ruth Baker.Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo studied at Brown, Stanford, and Emory, and lives in Shenzen, China, while his younger brother David died in a motorcycle accident in 1987.
Barack Obama Sr. also had a child in 1982 with Jael Otieno. George Hussein Onyango Obama lived in a slum in Nairobi for years, according to The Telegraph.
Obama also has two possible half-brothers, Abo and Bernard. The former president wrote in his memoir “Dreams from My Father” that family members speculated that the two may not have been Barack Obama Sr.’s biological children.
Middle children: the majority of presidents have been middle children
Here’s a claim to fame that middle children can wave over the heads of their siblings: just over half – 23, exactly – of US presidents have belonged to their ranks.
So, does that mean that most of our presidents have had raging cases of middle child syndrome?
Not exactly. Business Insider’s Lindsay Dodgson reported that middle child syndrome is a myth. Middle kids are, in fact, susceptible to peer pressure, open-minded, social, and excellent at negotiating.
Weakness in the face of peer pressure aside, those don’t sound like bad traits for a politician to possess.
George Washington idolized his older brother
George Washington may have been the first president of the United States, but he wasn’t the firstborn kid in his own family.
According to Mount Vernon’s official website, Augustine Washington Sr. and his first wife Jane Butler had four children. Their oldest child Butler died in infancy, and their youngest child Jane died in 1734 at the age of 12. Their two middle children, Lawrence and Augustine Jr., survived into adulthood.
With his second wife Mary Ball, Augustine had six children between 1732 and 1738: George, Betty, Samuel, John, Mildred, and Charles.
Lawrence, however, remained the de facto heir of the family. George “idolized” his older brother, according to Mount Vernon’s website. Their bond only strengthened after their father died when George was 11 and Lawrence was 25.
After Lawrence contracted tuberculosis, he travelled to Barbados and Bermuda with George in 1751. The trip failed to stave off the illness, and Lawrence died at his Mount Vernon estate the following year.
Washington’s other older half brother Augustine Jr. opted to stay at the family’s Popes Creek property, according to The George Washington Foundation. So, when Lawrence’s wife and daughter died, the estate went to the future president.
As for his full siblings, one younger sister – Mildred – died at the age of three in 1740. Betty, Washington’s only surviving sister, was ultimately a devoted supporter of her brother’s revolutionary cause.
Meanwhile, according to The George Washington Foundation’s blog, Samuel became his brother’s close confidante during the war. John Augustine also participated in the war effort, and raised a son named Bushrod Washington who went on to become a Supreme Court justice.
Charles Washington, the youngest brother in the family, didn’t get along with the nation’s first president, according to the George Washington Family Papers Project.
Thomas Jefferson was the third child of 10 siblings
Thomas Jefferson was the third child – and the oldest son – of 10 born to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph.
Jefferson had two older sisters, Jane and Mary. His younger siblings who survived into adulthood included Elizabeth, Martha, Lucy, Anna, and Randolph. One brother named Peter, and another unnamed brother, died in infancy.
According to Encyclopedia Virginia, Jefferson’s later written correspondence with his siblings “suggest that the family was, in fact, close and loving.”
James Monroe worked to support his siblings after the death of their parents
James Monroe was the second oldest child and oldest son in a family of five siblings. His mother Elizabeth Monroe died after giving birth to her youngest child, Joseph Jones Monroe. Monroe’s father Spence died two years later, in 1774.
Monroe and his older sister Elizabeth worked together in order to support their three younger brothers. Monroe even quit school in order to help out at home.
According to Harlow Giles Unger’s “The Last Founding Father,” Monroe didn’t get much assistance from his younger siblings. Spence was too “sickly,” Andrew was too “lazy,” and Joseph Jones was a toddler.
Fortunately for the family, their uncle Judge Joseph Jones swooped in and “all but adopted his sister’s family,” according to Unger.
Both of John Quincy Adams’s brothers became alcoholics
As the eldest son of John and Abigail Adams, John Quincy Adams was born into one of the earliest political dynasties in the US.
However, he was not the firstborn in his family. He had an older sister: Abigail “Nabby” Adams. She treated her younger brother “with adoration, seeking to assure him of his wisdom and destined greatness,” according to Paul C. Nagel’s “John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life.”
After a brutal battle with breast cancer, Nabby died in 1813 at the age of 48.
One younger sister named Susanna only survived for thirteen months before dying in 1770, and another younger sister named Elizabeth was stillborn.
Adams’s two younger brothers, Charles and Thomas, both suffered from alcoholism. The addiction also afflicted two of Adams’s own sons: George and John.
Nagel wrote that both of Adams’s brothers “were each well begun in their legal practices before alcoholism overtook them.”
Martin Van Buren was the ultimate middle child
Martin Van Buren’s birth was a “middling debut in every sense,” according to his biographer Ted Widmer.
Widmer wrote that Van Buren’s mother Maria Hoes Van Alen had three children with her first husband, before she married Abraham Van Buren.
Van Buren’s parents then had two children, Dirckie Van Buren and Jannetje “Jane” Van Buren before the future president was born in 1782.
Van Buren then had two younger brothers, Lawrence and Abraham.
John Tyler had seven brothers and sisters
According to Lyle Emerson Nelson’s “John Tyler: A Rare Career,” this future president was his family’s sixth child and second son.
He had five older siblings: Anne Contesse, Elizabeth, Martha, Maria, and Wat. Meanwhile, Christiana, the baby of the family, was born five years after Tyler in 1795.
Nelson wrote that his two oldest sisters “may have had major roles in keeping a domestic routine functioning” after the death of Tyler’s mother Mary Armistead Tyler in 1799.
Zachary Taylor was the third of seven surviving children
Zachary Taylor was the third of seven surviving children born to a Virginia planting family that ultimately settled in Kentucky.
He had two older brothers, two younger brothers, three younger sisters. Another brother died shortly after being born.
Millard Fillmore was the second of nine children
Millard Fillmore was the second child and oldest son in his family.
He had one older sister Olive, and seven younger siblings: Cyrus, Almon, Calvin, Julia, Darius, Charles, and Phoebe, according to “The Handy Presidents Answer Book.”
Franklin Pierce’s older brothers inspired him to join the military
Franklin Pierce was the sixth of eight children. His oldest sibling, Elizabeth, was a half sister from his father’s first marriage.
According to his biographer Michael F. Holt, Pierce was inspired to pursue a military career by his two older brothers, who fought in the War of 1812. While studying at Bowdoin, he even organised an unofficial militia known as the Bowdoin Cadets. He would later become a brigadier-general in the Mexican American War.
Both of Abraham Lincoln’s siblings died young
Neither one of Abraham Lincoln’s siblings lived to see him become president.
Lincoln’s older sister Sarah was two years older than him. Sarah “probably helped him learn his letters and numbers” and the two siblings shared “a deep affection,” according to the NPS. Sarah died in childbirth at the age of 21.
Meanwhile, Lincoln’s younger brother Thomas also died at a young age.
Lincoln’s father Thomas later remarried the widow Sarah Bush Johnston, who had three children of her own.
Chester Arthur was the oldest son in his family
Chester Arthur’s birth was the cause for great celebration on the part of his father.
According to Zachary Karabell’s biography, his father Revered William Arthur “danced around the room” after getting the news that his fourth child had been born.
Arthur ultimately had seven siblings who lived to adulthood.
Benjamin Harrison was a bit overwhelmed by his large group of siblings
To escape the ruckus, he’d often sneak off to read at his grandfather’s neighbouring estate.
Grover Cleveland was sometimes tasked with babysitting his younger siblings
Grover Cleveland was the fifth of nine children born to Reverend Richard Falley Cleveland and Ann Neal.
Cleveland and his older siblings were “sometimes enlisted to take care of the younger ones, often having to sacrifice playtime with friends,” according to Henry F. Graff’s biography of the first and only US president to serve two non-consecutive terms.
William McKinley was one of eight siblings, and didn’t receive any special treatment
William McKinley was the seventh of eight children born to William McKinley Sr. and his wife Nancy.
The McKinleys wanted all of their children to “rise above” their station in life, and sought to foster a “normal and happy” childhood, Howard Wayne Morgan wrote in “William McKinley and His America.”
Morgan also noted that the future president was not “doted on” by his parents more so than his other seven siblings.
Theodore Roosevelt was the second of four children
Theodore Roosevelt was the second oldest child and first son born to Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and his wife Martha.
Roosevelt’s older sister Anna, who the family nicknamed “Bamie” and “Bye,”was the future president’s “confidante and caretaker,” according to the blog About Theodore Roosevelt.
The future president and his younger brother Elliot were intensely competitive with one another. Elliot’s daughter Eleanor went on to marry Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The future president’s youngest sister Corinne went on to become a successful poet.
William Howard Taft was exceptionally close with his brothers
William Howard Taft a middle child with five siblings – two half brothers from his father’s first marriage, two full brothers, and a sister.
Taft was reportedly close with his siblings, and even sought their input on political affairs.
According to “William Howard Taft: The Travails of a Progressive Conservative,” “Throughout their lives, the five Taft brothers – Peter and Charles (from their father’s first marriage), William, Henry, and Horace – formed with their wives the nucleus of a surprisingly close family network.”
The brothers all attended Yale, studied law, and, for the most part, voted Republican.
Woodrow Wilson was the third of four children
Woodrow Wilson was the third of four children, and a bit of a “mama’s boy” by his own admission, according to the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
Wilson had two older sisters and a younger brother.
Herbert Hoover had an older brother and a younger sister
Jesse and Huldah Hoover died when their three children – Theodore, Herbert, and May – were young.
According to the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, the orphaned siblings were subsequently “passed around among relatives for a few years.”
Like his younger brother, Theodore went on to become an engineer. He worked in gold, silver, copper, and lead mines around the world, according to Britannica. Later on, he became a prominent Stanford professor of engineering and a conservationist.
As for May, rifts arose between her and her brothers.
Kenneth Whyte wrote in “Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times” that they were frustrated by their sister’s marriage to a young tradesman. Hoover also wrote that May “sufficiently alienated any regard I might have for her” by spreading rumours about his love life.
Dwight Eisenhower’s brothers were also nicknamed ‘Ike’
Dwight Eisenhower’s six brothers must have rolled their eyes when the former WWII commander rolled out his “I like Ike” slogan for the 1952 presidential campaign.
All seven of the Eisenhower boys were called “Ike” at some point. Dwight, the third of seven boys, was originally known as “Little Ike,” according to Tom Wicker’s biography. The future president’s nickname, however, lingered as he grew up.
The Eisenhower boys proved to be a occasionally rowdy bunch. In “Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life,” Carlo D’Este summarized each of their personalities.
Arthur, the oldest, was the least raucous. He became a Kansas City banker.
Next up was Edgar, a millionaire lawyer with whom Eisenhower shared a bitterly competitive relationship. D’Este wrote that Eisenhower, at the age of 66, once told family members that he could still beat his older brother in a fight “anytime.”
Eisenhower’s younger brothers were Roy, a social, sports-loving pharmacist; Earl, a quiet electrical engineer; and the scholastic Milton, with whom Eisenhower was quite close.
Several of John F. Kennedy’s siblings also met with tragic fates
John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, but he wasn’t the only one of his siblings to meet a tragic end.
Kennedy was the second child born to Joseph Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Ultimately, the family would swell to include nine children.
According to Kennedy biographer Alan Brinkley, the politically ambitious Kennedys initially pinned their hopes on their oldest child, Joseph Jr. The two oldest brothers were competitive with one another, but Joseph Jr. always seemed to excel where Kennedy struggled.
Everything changed in 1944, when US Navy pilot Joseph Jr. was killed while flying a secret mission. After that, Brinkley wrote that the second Kennedy son became the “carrier of the family’s hopes.”
Joseph Jr. wasn’t the only Kennedy sibling to die in a plane accident. Kennedy’s younger sister Kathleen – who went by the nickname Kick – died in 1948 in a crash in France.
Another one of Kennedy’s younger sisters, Rosemary, was born with a mental disability. When she was 23, her parents had her lobotomized, leaving her barely able to walk or speak, according to Irish Central.
Kennedy’s two younger brothers both found success in the realm of politics. Robert worked as his older brother’s campaign manager and attorney general. He was considered a serious presidential contender before he was assassinated in 1968.
Ted, the youngest Kennedy sibling, was one of the longest-continuously-serving US senators in history. He became embroiled in controversy in 1969 after he drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island. He escaped from the car while his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned.
As for Kennedy’s other siblings, Eunice went on to become an advocate for those with intellectual disabilities and was an integral figure in founding the Special Olympics. Patricia married actor Peter Lawford and, personality-wise, was notably less competitive than her siblings, according to The New York Times.
Jean Kennedy, the youngest daughter in the family, served as the US ambassador to Ireland. She also wrote a book about her childhood as a Kennedy: “The Nine of Us: Growing Up Kennedy.”
“Growing up in a big family of nine children is a less common experience today than it was in those days, and it certainly left its mark on each of us,” she wrote.
Richard Nixon was crushed by the deaths of two of his brothers
Richard Nixon was the second son in a family of five boys.
He had an older brother Harold, and three younger brothers Donald, Arthur, and Edward.
Nixon’s biographer Conrad Black described Harold and Donald as “playful, gregarious boys,” while the future president was “serious” and “bookish.” Nixon was close with Arthur, even pushing him around in a child’s wagon when he was a baby.
But tragedy would strike the Nixon brothers several times over the years. In 1925, Arthur died of illness at the age of seven. Eight years later, 23-year-old Harold succumbed to tuberculosis.
Edward, who was born when Nixon was 17, described asking the future president about their two deceased brothers.
Black wrote that Nixon became emotional and left the room. According to Edward, “He just decided to sink those tragedies deep in his mind and never to talk about them again.”
George H. W. Bush grew up worshipping his older brother Prescott
George H.W. Bush was the second of five children. He had one elder brother, Prescott Bush Jr. The future president also had three younger siblings, Nancy, Jonathan, and William.
Biographer Timothy Naftali wrote that the siblings were taught to “take responsibility for themselves early on.” He also wrote that the future president “adored” his older brother Prescott, and followed him to the exclusive prep school, Phillips Academy.
Donald Trump had a contentious relationship with his older brother
Donald Trump wasn’t always the heir apparent to his father’s real estate business.
He was the fourth of five children born to Fred and Maryanne Trump.
He grew up with his three older siblings Maryanne, Fred Jr., and Elizabeth, as well as his younger brother Robert.
Fred Trump Sr. initially viewed his namesake as his potential successor, but Fred Jr. was more interested in pursuing a career in aviation.
The current president and his father reportedly took a low view of his career choice. Trump told The New York Times tha the would confront his brother about his choice of occupation, saying “I was too young; I didn’t realise. Now I give speeches on success, and I tell people, ‘You’ve got to love what you’re doing.'”
Fred Jr. became an alcoholic and died at the age of 42.
Meanwhile, Trump’s oldest sister Maryanne also achieved a successful career in the realm of government – although she made her mark in the judicial, not executive, branch.
Maryanne was a district judge in New Jersey, and also served on the Third Circuit’s Court of Appeals before retiring in 2011. According to The New York Times, she is close with Donald, who said of her: “She feels that women are very smart and can be very tough and can be at least equal to men, and that women can fight very hard.”
The New York Times also reported that Trump’s lawyer and ally Roy Cohn may have advocated for the Reagan administration “to put his sister on the bench.”
According to the IB Times, Trump’s other sister Elizabeth worked as an executive at Chase. Like Maraynne, she and the baby of the family, Robert, keep a lower profile than their brother. Robert worked for the family’s real estate business as an executive, and told Page Six that he thought his older brother was doing “a great job” as president.
Only 7 presidents were the babies of their respective families
All of those traits can make for an attractive presidential candidate, but only seven of the 44 presidents have been the their family’s last-born kid.
Andrew Jackson had two older brothers who died during the Revolutionary War
By the time the Revolutionary War was over, Andrew Jackson had lost his entire family.
According to the Hermitage, Jackson was the youngest of three brothers. His two older brothers, Hugh and Robert, had been born in Ireland to Andrew Jackson Sr. and his wife Elizabeth.
The Jackson brothers became rebels against the British Crown during the American Revolution.
Hugh, the eldest, succumbed to heat stroke during the Battle of Stono Ferry in 1779. Jackson and Robert served as couriers for the rebels. They were captured by the British in 1781.
The Jackson brothers caught smallpox before they were set free as part of a prisoner exchange. Robert never recovered and died from the disease shortly after their release.
William Henry Harrison’s older brother served in the US House of Representatives
William Henry Harrison wasn’t the only person in his immediate family to make a splash in the realm of national politics.
His older brother Carter Bassett Harrison was a member of the US House of Representatives. Harrison had five siblings altogether.
Andrew Johnson once ran away from home with his older brother
Andrew Johnson grew up impoverished. He had two older siblings, but his older sister Elizabeth died at a young age.
William didn’t live to witness the entirety of his brother’s widely controversial tenure in the White House.
He succumbed to an infection after accidentally shooting himself during Johnson’s first year in office, according to Annette Gordon-Reed’s biography on the president.
Rutherford B. Hayes was the youngest surviving child in his family
Rutherford B. Hayes had an older sister named Fanny who eventually died in childbirth, according to “The Handy Presidents Answer Book,” as well as older brother named Lorenzo who drowned as a young child.
James Garfield was the baby of the family — and his mother’s favourite
James Garfield was the baby of his family and the apple of his widowed mother’s eye.
Garfield grew up with three older siblings. One other brother, also named James, didn’t survive childhood. And Garfield’s father Abram died when he was just a toddler.
Eliza Ballou Garfield was reportedly especially close with her youngest child.
So it’s not surprising that she was “the first mother of a president to attend her son’s inauguration,” according to the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. She also lived at the White House before her son was assassinated a few months into his term.
There was a 28 year age gap between Franklin D. Roosevelt and his older half-brother
Franklin D. Roosevelt had a sibling, but he was essentially raised as an only child.
The reason why lay in the 28-year age difference between the future president and his half-brother James “Rosy” Roosevelt.
Rosy had been born to James Roosevelt I and his first wife Rebecca Brien Howland, who died. The elder Roosevelt went on to marry Sara Ann Delano, with whom he had Franklin.
According to Patrick J. Maney’s “The Roosevelt Presence: The Life and Legacy of FDR,” Rosy “was a typical product of old wealth.” The New York Times described Rosy as an “aimless if charming member of New York society’s sporting set.”
Despite the age difference, Maney wrote that FDR cared deeply for his much-older half brother.
Ronald Reagan was ‘competitive but close’ with his one older brother
Neil Reagan had a lot in common with his more famous younger brother.
Despite the fact he was the older of the two by three years, Neil followed Ronald Reagan to Eureka College, got a radio gig through his brother, and even directed him in the TV series “Death Valley Days.”
Neil subsequently pursued a career in advertising. According to “Reagan: A Life In Letters,” Neil’s firm – McCann Erickson – handled his younger sibling’s first gubernatorial campaign in California. Reagan prevailed in the 1966 race and became governor of California.
The Reagan brothers maintained a “competitive but close” relationship throughout their lives, according to “Ronald Reagan’s Journey.”
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