I was listening to a discussion today about John Edwards and whether the fact that his wife, Elizabeth, is in remission for breast cancer would have a negative effect on his presidency if he were indeed elected. Can someone be an effective leader if they have too much turmoil in their private life? Then someone brought up some other awful events that happened to some US presidents while they were in office, most of which I have never heard before.
President Lincoln lost a child during his presidency. Mary Todd's and his third son, William Wallace Lincoln, died of typhoid fever at the age of 12. Even at the time of Lincoln's death a few years later, he hadn't gotten over the lost.
President Kennedy's wife, Jacklyn, lost a child in childbirth during his presidency. Just 3 months before his assassination.
The most interesting one is that of Grover Cleveland. During his second term as president, he contacted jaw cancer. Due to the extreme financial depression of the country during the 1890's, Cleveland kept his surgery secret and had the tumor removed on his private yacht. While under nitrous oxide, his jaw was removed and never put back just right. This left him with speech problems there after.
Also, I knew that President Wilson had a stroke during his term and that his wife ran the country in secret for a while. If this had happened now, with the 25th amendment, he could have been removed from office.