5 Facts About Grover Cleveland – The Reformer

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The world has witnessed many Presidents of the United States and among them Grover Cleveland stands out beside names like President Washington, Lincoln and President Kennedy. He served as the 22nd and 24th President of the U.S. He was famous as a political reformer.

Fact 1 Grover Cleveland’s early years

Grover Cleveland was born on March 18th, 1837 in Caldwell, New Jersey. His father was Richard Farley Cleveland who was a Presbyterian minister and mother was Anne Neal Cleveland. He was their 5th child of nine other kids. Due to his father’s work they moved to New York in 1841. But Cleveland had to quit school following his father’s death in 1853 and he started working to support his family. College education was also denied to him due to poor condition and he took up job in a blind school in New York City as a teacher. Before starting his own law firm in 1862, he worked as a clerk in Buffalo for quite some years and then Cleveland successfully passed state bar examination in 1859.

Fact 2 Mystery behind his name

Grover Cleveland’s first name was Stephen. But he started calling himself Grover. The reason was unknown and some think that since he was a large man, if people called him “Big Grover” it would not sound good. Rather “Big Steve” would be a better name. His weight was more than 250 pounds.

Fact 3 Cleveland’s Political Career

Grover Cleveland first entered the political field as the Sheriff of Erie County, New York in 1871. He was asked to take charge as the Mayor of Buffalo in 1881 in order to set things right in the government of a corrupted city. His reputation grew rapidly and after assuming office in 1882 as mayor, he was thereafter asked to stand as a Democratic candidate for governor of New York.  The voters favored him but people within his party especially Tammany Hall became his enemy. However, he was successful in the election and became a member of the assembly. He won great support from President Roosevelt and other Republicans and in 1884 he won the Democratic Presidential election. He favored the lowering of protective tariffs which was the cause of his later loses.

Fact 4 His Personal Life

Frances Folsom was a student at Wells College in New York. Cleveland married her 1886 although she was 27 years junior to him. The wedding ceremony was arranged in the White House which was the first time ever that such a thing happened in the White House. Frances, only 21 years became the youngest first lady in the history of New York.

Fact 5 His downfall

In the Presidential election in 1888, he lost in his home state. He returned to New York City and started working in a law firm like before for the next 4 years. The financial condition was the worst at the time when Cleveland came to power for the second time with the Panic of 1893, bank failures, credit crisis and stock market crashes nationwide. He refused to continue office for the third term and left the White House in 1897 and lived in his own home in Princeton, New Jersey and remained a trustee of the Princeton University from 1901 till the end. Gradually his health deteriorated and in 1908, at the age of 71 he died of a cardiac arrest on 24th June. He had always tried to do what is right throughout his life. Cleveland had always been just and hard-working. But his ideas were not realistic. However, he is still remembered for strengthening the position of the executive side of the federal government and a righteous man who became the President of the U.S. twice in his lifetime.

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