ABC-6 Reporter Mark Curtis: “The Sunday Political Brunch” February 16, 2014

by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

(Syracuse, New York) – The “Brunch” is on the road this Presidents
Day weekend. With the federal holiday Monday I figured it was time to
get away from serious politics and do a fun column this week. Enjoy some
Presidential trivia!

“Tallest vs. Shortest” – Many people assume that Abe Lincoln was our
tallest President, and he was. But tying him at 6 feet 4 inches was
Lyndon Johnson. The shortest U.S. President was James Madison, at 5 feet
4 inches.

“Weight” – William Howard Taft, at over 300 pounds was our heaviest
President, and, again, James Madison weighs in as the lightest, at less
than 100 pounds!

“Terms” – The longest term in office was Franklin Roosevelt at 12
years and one month. The shortest term in office was William Henry
Harrison at just 30 days. Harrison, who delivered the longest Inaugural
address – without a coat; out in the rain and cold – caught pneumonia
and died a month into his term.

“Education” – The most recent President who did not graduate from
college was Harry Truman. Five Presidents have undergraduate degrees
from Harvard; four from the College of William and Mary and three from
Yale. Harvard Law and Yale Law have produced two Presidents each, with
one MBA from Harvard. Eleven Presidents did not graduate from college,
but they include two of our best – Washington and Lincoln! Grant,
Eisenhower and Carter are the only military academy graduates to become
President. Woodrow Wilson was the only President with a Ph.D.

“Children” – The president with the most children was John Tyler with
15 kids. A number of Presidents had no children. Certainly the most
famous Presidential children were John Quincy Adams and George W. Bush,
both of whom became President after their dads. Robert Todd Lincoln,
Abe's son, became Secretary of War (now known as Secretary of Defense).

“Spouses” – President John Tyler had two wives who served as First
Lady. His first wife Letitia died in the middle of his term and two
years later he married Julia. Woodrow Wilson's first wife died in his
first term, and he married Edith a year later. James Buchanan was the
only unmarried President, so his sister served as First Lady.

“Location, Location, Location!” – If you want to be President the
best bet is Ohio, which produced seven. New York is next with six;
Virginia five, Massachusetts four. California, Tennessee and Texas
produced three each. In fact, the top four states produced over half of
our Presidents. It's no wonder that Gov. John Kasich (R-OH); Gov. Andrew
Cuomo (D-NY); former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY); former Gov. George
Allen (R-VA); and former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) are considering White
House bids this year. There must be something in the water of their
respective states!

“Occupation” – Eleven U.S. Presidents had law degrees, (three others
went to law school, but did not finish), making lawyer the most
prominent occupation. Since many of them never really practiced law, and
were elected from lower office, professional politician is perhaps the
real number one occupation of Presidents!

“Campaign Highlights” – I have covered parts of nine Presidential
campaigns, the most in depth being 2008. One of my favorite moments was
working with the CNN crew and broadcasting live from Mount Rushmore in
South Dakota on the final day of the primaries (photo above). It is
still one of the most treasured visits I have made anywhere in the
United States and made me so proud to be an American looking at those
four legends carved in the rock high above! Enjoy your Presidents Day!

What are your thoughts this Presidents Day? Just click the comment button at

© 2014, Mark Curtis Media, LLC.

Photo courtesy: Nimble Books, LLC/Mark Curtis Media, LLC.