NOW THAT’S FUNNY
John Tyler, our nation’s 10th president, was born in 1790. Two of his grandchildren are alive today. Not his great-grandchildren – his grandchildren.
How is this possible? Well, John Tyler’s second wife, Julia Gardiner, was 30 years his junior, and he fathered a child with her when he was 63.
DUUUUDE! Way to go!
That child, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, also had a younger second wife. Her name was Sue Ruffin, and with her Lyon fathered two children while he was in his 70s.
DUUUUDE! Chip of the old block!
Those two grandsons, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Jr., and Harrison Ruffin Tyler, were born in 1925 and 1928 respectively. You can check out the family tree here.
I had actually wondered if one of the grandsons might be Steven Tyler. He looks old enough.
Apparently trophy wives and older parenting was not invented in this century. Warren Beatty thought he was so cool, having babies and qualifying for social security at the same time, but it seems the Tyler family paved that road a long time ago.
John Tyler was elected Vice President under William Henry Harrison. Harrison had come to prominence by fighting the Indians in the famous Battle of Tippecanoe. He later won a decisive battle in the War of 1812 against combined British and Indian forces and killed Tecumseh, a powerful leader of the Indian confederacy. He was put forth as a candidate for president by the Whig party, and got elected because even though he was a rich Virginia planter, he portrayed himself as a simple man of the people, living in a log cabin and drinking cider. The voters bought it. Some things never change.
A month into his presidency, Harrison died of pneumonia and Tyler became the first Vice President to ascend to the presidency because of the death of his predecessor. His detractors called him “His Accidency.” Many claimed he should have the title and power only of “Acting President”, but he fought this idea and set the precedent for other presidents. Wasn’t that prescient?