Presidential Offspring: Seven Very Odd Outcomes of White House Fathers
Having a president for a father is not easy: The roster of children born to America's chief executives is rife with alcoholics, suicides and failures.
Chester Arthur III: Gay liberation leader and sex astrologer
Some, of course, thrive. But still, there are oddities. Here are five (Bonus: Two instances of presidential grandkid weirdness!!)
5. John Van Buren
The son of Martin Van Buren, JVB had three overriding interests in life: drinking, gambling and womanizing. He managed to combine these three on one spectacular night when, according to rumors that were never proven but which dogged him throughout his life, he managed to lose $5,000, his home, and his mistress in a drunken card game. Bonus: The mistress was Elena America Vespucci, a direct descendant of America's namesake, Amerigo Vespucci.
4. George Washington Adams and John Adams II
John Quincy Adams: Went one-for-three with his sons
John Quincy Adams had three sons; two died very young from alcoholism, one a suicide. (On the other hand, Charles Francis Adams had a distinguished career and might have been a third-generation president with a few breaks.) John is the only presidential son to be married in the White House, but it wasn't a pleasant affair. He married Mary Catherine Hellon, a family friend who had long dreamed of a White House wedding after hearing about James Monroe's daughter's ceremony.
You can't say she wasn't determined: She went out with both George and Charles before, apparently impatient to get on with being the star attraction at a wedding, she became engaged to John. Neither brother attended the event. George, a poetical type with a depressive personality, became increasingly lost in the bottle and eventually threw himself to his death off a ship in New York harbor.
John fared little better: He too became a severe alcoholic and died from it at 31.