Sick presidents: Constitutional crises narrowly averted, website says


Washington had recurrent bouts of malaria. A migrating bullet caused Andrew Jackson so much discomfort, it was finally removed without anesthesia. Teddy Roosevelt had such bad myopia, he didn’t recognize his own kids without his glasses. Reagan had chronic hay fever.

No matter how common or rare the presidential malady, you’ll find it compiled on Dr. Zebra’s website. Doctor who? A self-proclaimed doctor (real name unknown) who has chronicled “the heavy burden of disease that has afflicted our presidents” because “the problem of presidential illness needs wider discussion.”

According to the good doctor,  “only luck has prevented a Constitutional crisis arising from presidential illness.” Jimmy Carter, the doctor says, was walking around with a “genetic time-bomb in his pancreas.”

Click on the president for more maladies:

George Washington · John Adams · Thomas Jefferson · James Madison · James Monroe · John Q. Adams · Andrew Jackson · Martin van Buren ·William Harrison · John Tyler · James Polk · Zachary Taylor · Millard Fillmore · Franklin Pierce · James Buchanan · Abraham Lincoln · Andrew Johnson · Ulysses Grant · Rutherford Hayes · James Garfield · Chester Arthur · Grover Cleveland · Benjamin Harrison · William McKinley · Theodore Roosevelt · William Taft · Woodrow Wilson · Warren Harding · Calvin Coolidge · Herbert Hoover · Franklin Roosevelt · Harry Truman · Dwight Eisenhower · John Kennedy · Lyndon Johnson · Richard Nixon · Gerald Ford · James Carter · Ronald Reagan · George Bush · William Clinton ·George W. Bush · Barack Obama

h/t Smithsonian’s Smart News blog