16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public

Steve - April 20, 2019

The American presidency, although lessened in recent years, has historically enjoyed fervent respect and admiration. The residents of the Oval Office are immortalized by their service, with the greatest among them enshrined into the secular pantheon of the American nation. Four are even depicted in gigantic sixty-foot high representations carved into a mountainside in South Dakota, rivaling the ancient Colossus of Rhodes as a symbol of their supposed greatness. However, whilst the great deeds of these men are recounted and retold over the centuries, their less admirable qualities are more commonly ignored. Elevating them into divine status in a manner not dissimilar to Julius Caesar, history depends upon the accurate remembrance of our forefathers – the recognition of flaws and complexities so that the past is not unduly tainted by unreachable nostalgia and clouded by bias.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
“The Inauguration of Washington”, by Ramon de Elorriaga (c. 1899). Wikimedia Commons.

Here are 16 American Presidents who had a much darker side they wanted to keep from the public:

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
A political cartoon (c. 1884) depicting the election scandal surrounding news of Grover Cleveland’s illegitimate son. Library of Congress Print and Picture Collection/Wikimedia Commons

16. As testified to in a sworn affidavit, Grover Cleveland “by use of force and violence and without consent” raped a woman in 1874, subsequently using his position as sheriff to cover up the event after it produced an illegitimate child

Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, served as the American head of state from 1885-1889 and again between 1893-1897. During his initial election in 1884, a particularly ill-tempered experience by all accounts, Democratic candidate Cleveland came under scrutiny for allegations he had fathered an illegitimate child ten years prior with a New York woman to whom he continued to pay child support. Acknowledging the fact, Cleveland explained the situation away, stating that, although he had had an affair, the woman had slept with several other married men and he had merely elected to pay for the child, despite not knowing if it was indeed his, out of concern for their well-being.

Characterized as “the courageous way”, Cleveland weathered the political storm. However, despite public acceptance, his laudatory account was simply a lie. In 1874, after months of harassment, Maria Halpin, a thirty-eight-year-old sales clerk in Buffalo, New York, went to dinner with then-Erie Country Sheriff Cleveland. Following their meal, Cleveland escorted her home where he violently raped her. Forced under pressure by Cleveland to give the child up for adoption, she eventually sought to retrieve him. Dragged by Cleveland’s lackeys to Providence Lunatic Asylum, they attempted to have her institutionalized. Released three days later, doctors determined her incarceration was “without warrant” and an abuse of political authority.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Portrait of President Richard Nixon (c. 1969). Wikimedia Commons.

15. An intensely paranoid individual, Richard Nixon was unable to let his guard down around even his closest relations, consequently seeing little of his young daughters and spying whilst President on his brother Donald

Although predating the Nixon presidency, spanning from 1969 until his resignation in 1974, Father’s Day – a day on which the contributions and efforts of one’s male parent(s) are celebrated – was signed into law as a permanent national holiday in 1972 by the 37th President of the United States. Whilst one might believe that this was due to the affections Nixon had for his own father, or that his children, Tricia and Julie, possessed for him, Richard Nixon was not the most paternal individual. Reportedly, Nixon rarely saw his own daughters during their childhoods, frequently sleeping at his office and spending little time with them during their formative years.

An immensely paranoid individual, with biographer Richard Reeves concluding “he assumed the worst in people and he brought out the worst in them”, Nixon’s relationship with his younger brother, Donald, was even worse. Having been loaned $205,000 by Howard Hughes in 1957 to bail out a drive-in restaurant in California, Donald’s debts and potential exposure to manipulation plagued Nixon during his political campaigns. After fearing Donald was being coerced into feeding information to the Watergate investigators, Nixon secretly hired a private investigator and even wiretapped his brother’s phone.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
“Portrait of James Madison”, by John Vanderlyn (c. 1816). Wikimedia Commons.

14. Despite being the “Father of the Constitution”, James Madison’s paternal relationship with his adopted stepson, John Payne Todd, was rather complicated

James Madison Jr., the “Father of the Constitution” and fourth President of the United States, governed the fledgling nation from 1809 until 1817, weathering the near-destruction of the American nation in the War of 1812. Marrying for the first time at the age of forty-three, Madison wed Dolley Payne Todd, a twenty-six-year-old widow, on September 15, 1794. Never having children of his own, Madison adopted Dolley’s only surviving son from the 1793 Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic: John Payne Todd. Born in 1792, Payne suffered the tragedy of losing both his father and older brother on the same day during the deadly outbreak.

Sent by Madison to a Catholic boarding school, Payne proved a difficult youth and unsuited for academic life. Becoming an alcoholic, Payne grew aggressive and malcontent, convicted repeatedly for shooting incidents, sentenced to jail for assaults and disruption of the peace, and sent twice to debtor’s prison. Attempting to be a dutiful father, Madison mortgaged his Montpelier plantation to cover his adopted son’s debts and grant him release. Forced to eventually sell the family home to pay off Payne’s debts, impoverishing his once-wealthy mother, Payne would die less than three years after his mother of typhoid fever.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Portrait of Gerald Ford, by David Hume Kennerly (c. 1974). Wikimedia Commons.

13. Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. was not biologically the son of Gerald Rudolph Ford Sr., but rather was originally named after his birth-father – Leslie Lynch King Sr. – until his mother fled her then-husband after suffering sustained domestic violence

Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., the only individual to have been both Vice President and President of the United States without winning election to either office, was elevated to the Oval Office in August 1974 following the resignation of Richard Nixon. Serving only 895 days as America’s head of state, Ford’s brief presidency was the shortest-lived to end without a fatality. A devoted father to four children, Ford’s own early childhood was unfortunately marred by abuse and immeasurable trauma which inspired a deep passion within the future politician to spare anyone else from enduring similar suffering.

Born Leslie Lynch King Jr. on July 14, 1913, his mother, Dorothy Ayer Gardner, separated from his father just sixteen days after giving birth. Whilst Ford himself never spoke on the subject publicly, those closest to him better understand the motivations behind his parent’s divorce. A violent and abusive individual, Leslie King Sr. possessed a long history of assaulting and tormenting his wife. Starting during their honeymoon, allegedly after Dorothy had smiled at another man, King had threatened to murder his wife and infant son with a butcher’s knife prior to her fleeing to her parents for safety. Remarrying two-and-a-half years later, Dorothy renamed her child after her more deserving husband.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Photographic print of Martin Van Buren, by
Mathew Brady (c. 1855-1858). Wikimedia Commons.

12. The first president born in an independent America, Martin Van Buren abandoned his children after the death of his wife in 1819, leaving them to be raised by his more compassionate relatives

Martin Van Buren, alternatively spelled Maarten Van Buren, served as the 8th President of the United States from 1837 to 1841. The first president to have been born in an independent America, being born on December 5, 1782, in Kinderhook, New York, Van Buren was one of the founders of the Democratic Party, serving also as Governor of New York, Secretary of State, Vice President, and would in later life become one of the leading proponents of abolitionism. Marrying Hannah Hoes, his childhood sweetheart and the daughter of his first cousin, on February 21, 1807, the couple begat five children, of which four lived to adulthood.

Sadly, just twelve years later, on February 5, 1819, Hannah died of tuberculosis. Never remarrying, Van Buren became the second resident of the White House to expand the office of First Lady to a person not his wife, following the example of his widowed predecessor Andrew Jackson. Mourning the loss of his beloved and lacking her personal charm with young children, Van Buren honored her memory poorly by abandoning his children. Leaving them to be raised with relatives, Van Buren would in later life express regret for his callous actions and attempt to form meaningful relationships with his adult children.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Rosemary Kennedy, three years before her lobotomy, about to be presented at the British Royal Court (c. May 11, 1938). Wikimedia Commons.

11. The sister of John F. Kennedy, who explained away her absence nonchalantly as her being highly reclusive, Rosemary Kennedy was forcibly lobotomized and institutionalized by her family

The younger sister of President John F. Kennedy, who served as the 35th President of the United States from 1961 until his assassination in 1963, Rose Marie Kennedy, commonly known as Rosemary, experienced complications during her birth in 1918. Forcing her head to remain in the birth canal for two hours, Rosemary suffered a harmful loss of oxygen causing intellectual disability. Carefully concealed from the public and even extended family, Rosemary, despite having a reportedly low IQ of just 70, was capable of living an ordinary life. Obtaining a diploma from a two-year community college, Rosemary even traveled with her father during his tenure as Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Becoming increasingly rebellious against her controlling father, at the age of twenty-three Rosemary became one of the first victims of the prefrontal lobotomy. Performed on her father’s consent only, with her mother not informed until after the fact, Rosemary was forcibly strapped to the surgical table. Instead of “curing” her mental illness, Rosemary suffered almost fatal brain damage. Reduced to the mental capacity of a two-year-old, she was rendered unable to walk or talk. Immediately institutionalized in a private hospital, she was never seen again by her father whilst John explained away her absence during his presidential campaign without mention to his family’s horrific actions.

Related: 16 Examples of the Kennedy Curse.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Portrait of John Adams, by Gilbert Stuart (c. 1800-1815). Wikimedia Commons.

10. An absentee and authoritarian father, John Adams’ poor parenting contributed to the alcoholism and early deaths of two of his three adult sons

John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, served as the new nation’s first Vice President for eight years before becoming its second President from 1797 until 1801. Initially falling in love with Hannah Quincy during the 1750s, as John was about to propose the pair were interrupted by friends. With the moment lost, John never asked the question and the relationship floundered. Meeting fifteen-year-old Abigail Smith in 1759, the twenty-four-year-old lawyer was initially unimpressed. Gradually growing closer, sharing a deep love of books, in 1764 the pair were married despite the opposition of Abigail’s mother.

Fathering six children, of which two died young, John was known to possess an authoritarian streak. In fact, his leanings towards political authoritarianism, observable in the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts, was a major contributing factor to his failure to win re-election in 1800. Persistently absent from home due to work, Abigail was left to raise the children alone. Without a competent fatherly figure, with the exception of John Quincy Adams, his children developed poorly. Both Charles and Thomas became alcoholics, with Thomas dying in debt in 1805 and Charles from cirrhosis of the liver in 1800.

Also Read: Here Are 10 Members of the Adams Family Who Proved Their Worth.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Photographic print of James Buchanan, by Matthew Brady (c. 1850-1868). Wikimedia Commons.

9. The only bachelor president, surviving historical evidence strongly indicates that James Buchanan was a closet homosexual who spent more than a decade in a relationship with a Senator from Alabama

James Buchanan Jr., a lifelong politician, served as a Member of the House of Representatives, Ambassador to Russia and Great Britain, Senator from Pennsylvania, Secretary of State, and finally as the 15th President of the United States from 1857 to 1861. The only American president to never marry, also never producing offspring, questions have persistently been raised regarding Buchanan’s personal life. Whilst some biographers contend that Buchanan was merely asexual or celibate, an increasing consensus opinion among historians proposes that he was, in fact, America’s first homosexual head of state.

Initially engaged to Anne Caroline Coleman in 1819, the engagement was broken off at her request in the same year. Surviving letters between the pair indicate contextual rumors concerning her betrothed, with her father later refusing Buchanan permission to attend her funeral. Retaining a close relationship with William Rufus King, a United States Senator from Alabama and the 13th Vice President, the two men lived together in Washington between 1834 and 1844. Referred to by his contemporaries as “Aunt Fancy” and repeatedly described as Buchanan’s “better half”, there is strong evidence that the pair were engaged in a closet same-sex relationship.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Restored photograph of President John Quincy Adams (c. 1840s). Wikimedia Commons.

8. Expelled from Harvard, alcoholics, drug addicts, and dying in early adulthood, the children of John Quincy Adams continued to suffer from the Adams family’s poor parental approaches

John Quincy Adams, the eldest son of John Adams, served as a member of the House of Representatives and Senate, as Secretary of State, and finally as the 6th President of the United States from 1825 until 1829. Initially desiring to avoid following his father into politics, Quincy Adams sought instead to pursue his father’s original career: the law. Nevertheless, likely at his father’s persuasion, Quincy Adams was appointed Ambassador to the Netherlands in 1794. During this European sojourn, Quincy Adams met Louisa Catherine Johnson in London and, against his father’s objections, married her in July 1797.

Almost immediately running into complications, with Louisa’s father fleeing England to escape his debtors and failing to pay the promised dowry, the couple’s relationship was unquestionably strained. They would reportedly not speak for weeks at a time, commonly taking separate vacations to avoid one another. In spite of this, the pair had three sons and a daughter. With the daughter dying aged one, their two eldest sons fared little better. The elder, George, a drug addict, committed suicide in 1829, whilst their second-born, John, previously expelled from Harvard in 1823, followed his brother into alcoholism and an early grave in 1834.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
“Portrait of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States”, by Ralph Eleaser Whiteside Earl (c. 1833). Wikimedia Commons.

7. Andrew Jackson, famously prone to anger, fought multiple duels throughout his life, including cheating in one to kill a man who had (correctly) called his wife a bigamist and adulterer

Andrew Jackson, an American politician and soldier, served as the 7th President of the United States from 1829 to 1837 after stints in both chambers of Congress. Possessing a fierce temper and not adverse to violence, beating his would-be assassin with his cane at the age of sixty-eight, Jackson was involved in multiple duels during his lifetime. Doing so for the first time at the age of twenty-one, in 1788 Jackson dueled fellow lawyer Waightstill Avery after, according to legend, the former had replaced the latter’s copy of Francis Bacon’s Elements of the Common Laws of England with an actual side of bacon.

Marrying Rachel Donelson Robards in 1791, two years later it became apparent Rachel’s divorce to her former husband, Lewis Robards had not been granted. Making her a bigamist and adulterer, the pair were forced to remarry in 1794 after a protracted legal process. This controversy would plague Jackson for decades and, in 1806, Charles Dickinson, a rival race-horse owner, would attack Jackson in the paper for it. Fighting a duel once again, Dickinson shot first and struck Jackson in the chest. In a flagrant breach of etiquette, Jackson returned fire. Misfiring his pistol, thus supposedly ending the contest, Jackson aimed and fired a second shot immediately killing Dickinson.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Photographic portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, taken on August 21, 1944, by Leon A. Perskie. Wikimedia Commons.

6. Franklin D. Roosevelt, often ranked among the greatest American Presidents, was a prolific adulterer who spent most of his married life living separately from his estranged wife Eleanor

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly referred to by his initials, was the 32nd President of the United States, serving from 1933 until his death in 1945 as the only individual to win four presidential elections. Initiating a relationship in 1902 with his fifth cousin once removed, Eleanor, whom he had known as a child, in October 1904 Franklin proposed. Married on March 17, 1905, against the ardent objections of his mother, despite Eleanor’s aversion to sexual intercourse with her husband the couple produced six children. Beginning in 1914, perhaps in part due to Eleanor’s contested homosexuality, Franklin began the first of many extra-marital affairs.

Starting with Eleanor’s social secretary, Lucy Mercer, the pair almost divorced in 1918 but eventually reconciled for political and social appearances. Living from then on in separate homes and operating independent of one another, the couple rarely talked. Never truly forgiving her husband, in 1942, whilst Franklin was in ill health, Eleanor refused his request to even visit him. Failing to uphold his promise to Eleanor to never cheat again, rumors of affairs with several other women, including Crown Princess Martha of Norway, remain hotly debated. Renewing contact in 1941, at Franklin’s deathbed in 1945 was Lucy, not Eleanor.

You May Interested too: FDR: The Greatest President Ever?

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Photograph of President Herbert Hoover (c. 1928). Wikimedia Commons.

5. Herbert Hoover cared so little for his children that he visited his critically ill son just once during a ten-month hospitalization with Spanish flu in 1918

Herbert Clark Hoover, an American businessman who served first as Secretary of Commerce during the 1920s, was the 31st President of the United States between 1929 and 1933. Presiding over the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Hoover imposed foreign tariffs and blamed migrants for the crisis whilst opposing federal relief efforts to disastrous effect. Emigrating to Western Australia in 1897 to work in the gold-mining industry, in 1899 Hoover briefly returned to the United States to marry his college sweetheart, Lou Henry. Producing two children, Herbert Charles Hoover in 1903 and Allan Henry Hoover in 1907, Hoover was notoriously absent from family life.

Continuing to travel for work, overseeing the humanitarian efforts of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, Hoover formed few meaningful bonds with his children. In one egregious incident, Hoover’s eldest son contracted influenza in 1918 during the global pandemic. Hospitalizing and almost killing the fourteen-year-old, rendering him hearing impaired for the rest of his life, Hoover Jr. spent more than ten months in recovery during which time his father visited just once. To the credit of their mother, and the children themselves, both sons resisted the vices which plagued the children of prior absentee presidents and became successful in their own right.

Read More: Historical Financial Markets Collapsed.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Portrait of President Thomas Jefferson, by Rembrandt Peale (c. 1800). Wikimedia Commons.

4. Thomas Jefferson not only owned six hundred slaves during his lifetime, but he also coerced and forced, under false promises, a teenage female slave to serve as his concubine after the death of his wife.

Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the most influential of the Founding Fathers, was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, the country’s inaugural Secretary of State, and the 3rd President of the United States, serving in the latter capacity from 1801 until 1809. Marrying his third cousin, Martha Wayles Skelton in 1772, frequent childbirths and illnesses contributed to her early death in 1782. Despite being the widowed father to six young children, soon after the death of his wife Jefferson initiated a sexual relationship with teenage slave Sally Hemings. Summoning her to France in 1787, Hemings, aged approximately sixteen, was impregnated during her 26-month residence in Paris.

Offered the choice to petition for her freedom under French law, Jefferson manipulated Hemings with the promise of freedom for her children should she return to Virginia and slavery. Whilst historically their relationship has been portrayed in a romantic light, recent examinations have shed a darker picture on Jefferson’s actions. Hemings, a teenager, could not have refused the advances of her 40-year-old master. Coerced through unfulfilled promises for her children, Hemings was repeatedly raped by the American civic leader, even if social norms surrounding African “property” at the time did not perceive his actions as such.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Official White House portrait of Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson. Wikimedia Commons.

3. Lyndon Johnson had so many affairs he would allegedly brag about the quantity of them whenever the subject of Kennedy’s infidelities was raised near him

Lyndon Baines Johnson, like his predecessor commonly referred to by his initials, was the 37th Vice President of the United States before becoming the 36th President following the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. One of only four individuals to have served in all four federal elected positions – Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President – Johnson was equally experienced in his private life. Marrying Claudia Alta Taylor, known colloquially as “Lady Bird”, in 1934, having proposed on their very first date, the couple begat two daughters, Lynda Bird and Luci Baines, who along with the family dog – Little Beagle Johnson – all bore Johnson’s initials.

Despite his wife offering him his avenue into politics, using $10,000 of her own inheritance from her family’s wealth to finance the start of his career, as well as suffering three miscarriages, Johnson repaid her loyalty and suffering with infidelity. Throughout their lifelong marriage, Johnson is known to have had multiple affairs with multiple women, of particular note with Alice Marsh, the daughter of an important Texan and well-connected member of the Democratic Party. Producing potentially a secret son, Johnson would reportedly boast he had had more women “on accident” than Kennedy had on purpose when the subject of Kennedy’s infidelities was raised.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Portrait of future President Warren G. Harding, by Harris & Ewing (c. 1920). Wikimedia Commons.

2. Warren G. Harding was a prolific adulterer, even fathering a daughter with one of his mistresses, Nan Britton, who was subsequently convicted of libel for telling the truth about the former president

Warren Gamaliel Harding, often ranked among the worst presidents in American history, served as the 29th President of the United States from 1921 until his death in 1923. Initially immensely popular, in the years since his death in office revelations concerning multiple major scandals, including the Teapot Dome, have diminished Harding’s appeal and perception. Most damaging, information disclosing Harding’s extra-marital activities has become indelibly attached to his legacy. Marrying Florence Kling in 1891, the confirmation of potential infidelities did not break until letters between Harding and Carrie Fulton Phillips were discovered in 1963.

Depicting an extensive affair and secret relationship, in the years since historians have uncovered evidence of a further affair with Nan Britton. In 1927, Britton first claimed that her daughter had been fathered by the late president. Publishing The President’s Daughter, the book contained highly controversial details including that the pair had had sex in a White House closet. Sued by the Harding family, who claimed the president had been infertile, Britton was convicted of libel. In 2015, modern DNA analysis confirmed Britton’s story, detailing a direct lineage between her child, Elizabeth, and the Harding family.

16 US Powerful Men Whose Darker Sides Were Kept from the Public
Photo portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office, by Arnold Newman (c. March 10, 1964). Wikimedia Commons.

1. Not only impressed with himself enough to include his initials in his daughter’s names, Lydon Johnson was also obsessed with the size of his genitals to the point he would expose himself to other members of Congress

Cultivating a unique personal style and persona, President Lyndon Johnson, like most politicians, was unquestionably a vain individual prone to moments of excessive narcissism. Not only naming his daughters and pets to mirror his own initials, Johnson went to great lengths to exaggerate his roots and character to the public. Often seen wearing a cowboy hat and boots, Johnson spent as much as twenty-five percent of his presidency on his ranch near Austin, Texas. Amassing a 2,700-acre estate with hundreds of cattle, Johnson obsessed over the purity of his breeds and his status as a rancher.

Although his pride in his cultural roots might be understandable, Johnson was equally impressed by the size of his own manhood. Nicknaming his testicles “Jumbo”, during a renovation of the residential bathroom at the White House Johnson argumentatively demanded a jet installed to shoot water directly at his appendage. An audio recording of a conversation between Johnson and his tailor likewise reveals this self-obsession, with Johnson crudely requesting his pants altered to accommodate his massive testicles. Perhaps worst of all, Johnson garnered a reputation in Congress for exposing his member to colleagues in bathrooms after finishing urinating, loudly praising his openly brandished penis’ size.


Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Grover Cleveland: A Rapist President”, Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vice Online (August 26, 2015)

“Grover Cleveland: The American Presidents Series: The 22nd and 24th President, 1885-1889 and 1893-1897″, Henry F. Graff, Times Books (2002)

“Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full”, Conrad Black, PublicAffiars Books (2007)

“President Nixon: Alone in the White House”, Richard Reeves, Simon & Schuster (2001)

“Strength and Honor: The Life of Dolley Madison”, Richard N. Cote, Corinthian Books (2004)

“James and Dolley Madison: America’s First Power Couple”, Bruce Chadwick, Prometheus Books (2014)

“Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life”, James Cannon, University of Michigan Press (2013)

“A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford”, Gerald R. Ford, Harper and Row (1979)

“Presidential Fact Book”, Joseph Nathan Kane, Random House (1998)

“An Epoch and a Man: Martin Van Buren and His Times”, Denis Tilden Lynch, H. Liveright Publishing (1929)

“Rose Kennedy and Her Family: The Best and Worst of Their Lives and Times”, Barbara Gibson, Birch Lane Press (1995)

“Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter”, Kate Larson, Mariner Books (2016)

“John Adams: A Life”, John E. Ferling, University of Tennessee Press (1992)

“The Character of John Adams”, Peter Shaw, University of North Carolina Press (1975)

“Affairs of State: The Untold History of Presidential Love, Sex, and Scandal 1789-1900”, Robert P. Watson, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers (2012)

“James Buchanan”, Jean H. Baker, Times Books (2004)

“The Lost Founding Father: John Quincy Adams and the Transformation of American Politics”, William J. Cooper, Liveright Publishing (2017)

“John Quincy Adams”, Lynn H. Parsons, Rowman and Littlefield” (1998)

“Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times”, H.W. Brands, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (2005)

“Young Hickory: The Making of Andrew Jackson”, Hendrik Booraem, Taylor Trade Publishing (2001)

“Eleanor and Franklin: The Story of Their Relationship Based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s Private Papers”, Joseph P. Lash, W.W. Norton and Company (1971)

“Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage”, Hazel Rowley, Frarrar Straus and Giroux Publishing (2010)

“Herbert Hoover: A Life”, Glen Jeansonne, Berkley Books (2016)

“Understanding Herbert Hoover: Ten Perspectives”, Lee Nash, Hoover Institution Press (1987)

“The Jefferson-Hemings Myth: An American Travesty”, Robert Coates Eyler, Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (2001)

“Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy”, Annette Gordon-Reed, University of Virginia Press (1998)

“Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President”, Robert Dallek, Oxford University Press (2004)

“President Kennedy: Profile of Power”, Richard Reeves, Simon and Schuster (1993)

“First Lady Florence Harding: Behind the Tragedy and Controversy”, Katherine A.S. Sibley, University of Kanas Press (2009)

“L.B.J. Demanded White House Shower Be Fitted With Nozzles Aimed At His Nether Regions, According To New Book”, Kia Makarechi, Vanity Fair (March 30, 2015)

“The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House”, Kate Anderson Brower, Harper Publishing (2016)