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Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 18 March 1837Caldwell, New Jersey, USA
Date of Death 24 June 1908Princeton, New Jersey, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameStephen Grover Cleveland
Nicknames Big Steve
Grover the Good
Ugly Honest
The Buffalo Hangman
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Grover Cleveland is the only man to serve two, non-consecutive terms as President of the United States, occupying the Oval Office from 1885 to 1889 and from 1893 to 1897. He was the sole Democrat to serve as First Magistrate of the Republic from 1861 through 1913, when Woodrow Wilson, also a Democrat, was inaugurated as the 28th President.

Born Stephen Grover Cleveland on March 18, 1837 in Caldwell, New Jersey to a Presbyterian Minister, the future President was a successful lawyer in Buffalo, New York. In 1870, he was elected sheriff of Erie County, New York, in which capacity he personally oversaw the hanging of condemned prisoners. With a reputation for honesty, Cleveland subsequently was elected Mayor of Buffalo in 1880, as a reform candidate, and Governor of New York two years later. He then secured the Democratic nomination for President in 1884, 1888 and 1892.

Grover Cleveland is one of only three men to win the popular vote for President three times or more, sharing that distinction with Andrew Johnson (who lost the Electoral College vote in 1824) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (who won both the popular and Electoral College votes in 1932, '36, '40 & '44). He lost the election of 1888 to Republican nominee Benjamin Harrison, who won the Electoral College vote but lost the popular vote. Like another incumbent (albeit, as serving Vice President) who lost a Presidential election by losing the Electoral College while winning the popular vote, Al Gore, Jr., Cleveland lost his home state, and thus the Presidency.

When leaving the White House on March 4, 1889, Mrs. Frances Cleveland, the erstwhile First Lady, told the staff to keep things as they were, as the Clevelands would be back four years later. She was right. After four years as a lawyer in New York City, Cleveland faced Harrison in a rematch. This time he won.

Grover Cleveland was urged by conservative Democrats to seek a fourth nomination for the Presidency in 1896, but he declined. His conservative, pro-gold standard economic policies were rebuffed when his Democratic Party rebuffed him and gave its nod (the first of three) to William Jennings Bryan, a populist who ran on a free silver ticket. In 1904, he also was considered a front-runner for the Democratic nomination, but declined to run, as did Bryan. The party nominated Cleveland's fellow New Yorker Alton B. Parker-- the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals -- who was defeated by the popular incumbent Teddy Roosevelt, also of New York.

Grover Cleveland died on June 24, 1908. He was 71 years old.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Frances Folsom (2 June 1886 - 24 June 1908) (his death)

Trivia (30)

Daughter Esther was the first (and, to date, the only) child to be born inside the White House (1893).
His daughter, Ruth Cleveland (1891-1903) was the source of the name of the Baby Ruth candy bar, not the Babe Ruth of baseball fame.
His son Francis (1903-1995) lived to age 92 which was 158 years after his father's birth.
President of the United States, 1885-1889 and 1893-1897.
Remains to date the only President to have ever been elected President of the United States twice out of succession. He was President from 1885-1889 and then re-elected to office after Benjamin Harrison's single term and served from 1893 to 1897.
Pictured on the 22¢ US postage stamp in the Presidential Series, issued 22 November 1938.
Pictured on a US 12¢ regular-issue postage stamp issued 20 March 1923.
First US President to be photographed by a motion picture camera. It was on the occasion of William McKinley's inauguration on 4th March 1897, and thus records Cleveland's final hours as President.
Children: Ruth (3 October 1891 - 6 January 1904); Esther (9 September 1893 - 1980); Marion (7 July 1895 - 1977); Richard Folsom (28 October 1897 - 1974); Francis Grover (18 July 1903 - 1995)
Was named guardian of his future wife, Frances, upon the death of her father, his law partner, Oscar Folsom. Frances later became the youngest First Lady in history (21).
Mayor of Buffalo, New York [1882]
Admitted to the New York State bar [May 1859]
Known as "Big Steve" during his tenure as Sheriff of Erie County, New York [1870 - 1873]
Quit school at the age of 14 to help out his family.
The 5th of nine children.
Named after Stephen Grover, whose church Stephen's father, the Rev. Richard Falley Cleveland, had taken over.
First and only president to be married in the White House.
A staunch enemy of bloated government, Cleveland vetoed more bills than all the previous 21 presidents combined.
Sixth cousin once removed of President Ulysses S. Grant.
His failure to get a nomination from his party for a third term was due in large part to his inability to understand the impact of the industrial revolution as the country was moving into the 20th century. Cleveland was seen as such a laid-back man that those around him feared he wouldn't be able to keep up with the rapid changes that were propelling the United States forward. After his second term he left the office in disgrace, but in time his administration came to be seen as one of the most effective of the 19th century.
When he was elected to his second term term of President, it was not clear whether he was officially the twenty-second or twenty-fourth President because the two terms he served were non-consecutive. A special Act of Congress resolved the issue by officially designating him as both the twenty-second and twenty-fourth President of the United States.
Governor of New York (1883-1885).
During his second term in office it was discovered that he had developed a sarcoma on his upper jaw. Not wanted to make it public, he had surgery aboard a ship, tied to a chair which was tied to the mast. He was operated on for 41 minutes and had a major portion of his right upper jaw removed and replaced with a rubber prosthetic. He spent the next several months teaching himself to talk again and returned to his office having fully recovered.
During his time as governor of New York, the press gave him the nickname "Ugly Honest" because he had a reputation for always telling the unvarnished truth.
As sheriff of Erie County (Buffalo), New York, he personally oversaw all of the hangings carried out. This led to his nickname "The Buffalo Hangman".
One of only three men to win the popular vote for the Presidency three times. Like Andrew Jackson before him, Cleveland lost one of his three presidential bids by coming up short in the Electoral College (in 1888, when he was up for re-election; Jackson had lost his first bid for the presidency in 1824, losing the Electoral College vote to John Quincy Adams). The other man to win the popular vote for the presidency more than twice was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who also won the Electoral College vote in his four presidential bids (1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944).
His portrait first graced the $20 Federal Reserve Note issued by the Federal Reserve System, Series 1914, and also Series 1918, at a time when the design and portrait on U.S. currency were frequently changed. These were the old large-sized "horse-blanket" notes, and when U.S. currency was downsized to its present dimensions, Cleveland was replaced by Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. However, he was switched to the $1,000 bill, both the Gold Certificate and Federal Reserve Note of Series 1928, and the Federal Reserve Note Series 1934. The $1,000 bill was officially discontinued by the Federal Reserve System in 1969.
At his death, he left an estate valued at $250,000.
The personal desk he used while President of the United States ended up in the collection of law firm Semmes, Bowen, and Semmes in Baltimore, Maryland because his son, Richard F. Cleveland, an attorney and partner at the firm, died while an emeritus partner (still working part time) at the firm in 1974.
He was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2013 for his historical services.

Personal Quotes (4)

[to five-year-old Franklin D. Roosevelt] My little man, I am making a strange wish for you. It is that you may never be president of the United States.
[his last words] I have tried so hard to do right.
Honor lies in honest toil.
From our ancestors come our names; from our virtues, our honors.

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