The United States has had its fair share of incredible and ridiculous scandals throughout history, even the Presidents of this free country aren’t excused from a series of unfortunate events. Although the President is supposed to be seen as one that we look up to and one that doesn’t make mistakes, we still see incidents that prove they’re just as human as us (and maybe a bit crazier).
It’s pretty hilarious to think that these former President’s never would have thought they’d get caught, but it is pretty surprising to find out that some of these President’s managed to keep their secret until their death beds. Whether it was with their secretary, a call girl, or a famous actress, these President’s really knew how to pick ‘em.
When you become the President of the United States, you know you sign up for a life in front of the camera, and in front of the world. If you have a secret to hide that you know could possibly hurt your image or how you’re seen as the President, you might want to think twice about it. In this list, you’ll see the top most extraordinary Presidential scandals throughout history and maybe we can all learn a thing or two.
7. Woodrow Wilson
The 28th President of the United States was elected in the year 1912, certainly a different time of the ages compared to now. President Wilson was under attack, simply for finding another love. Woodrow Wilson’s wife of 29 years (Ellen Wilson) was the First Lady for 17 months before she passed away from a kidney malfunction. Seven months later, President Wilson had also met a widow named Edith Galt, and proposed to her the same year. During a time with high society “manners” people were appalled by his quick mourning. Either way, Edit and Wilson were married until Wilson’s death.
6. Warren Harding
President Harding was preceded by Woodrow Wilson, having President Harding become the 29th President of the United States. Warren Harding definitely got around; one of his affairs, Carrie Philips, struck gold when the campaign managers of Harding gave her $20,000 of quiet money during Hardin’s run for President. Another affair, Nan Britton, supposedly bore President Harding’s daughter during his Presidency. It was never proven, however, after Harding’s death, Britton came out with an autobiography publicly claiming his infidelity.
5. Franklin D. Roosevelt
President Roosevelt was the 32nd President, elected in the year 1933. His affair with 22 year old Lucy Mercer (who happened to be his secretary), was kept under incredible secrecy, until the time of his death. Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor, found love letters between the two and tried to file for a divorce. However, Roosevelt claimed he would break it off, halting Eleanor from continuing their separation. A turn out, Lucy Mercer was by Roosevelt’s death bed in 1945, so no lesson was learned there.
4. Dwight D. Eisenhower
The 34th President of the United States hadn’t learned his lesson from his previous successors. Eisenhower allegedly had an affair with his driver, Kay Summersby, while he was in Europe during the war. Eisenhower then brought Summersby over to America to become his secretary. It was later found out that Eisenhower was planning on divorcing his wife and marrying Summersby, until General George Marshall threatened to suspend him from the army if he didn’t end his affair. Summersby published her view of her affair with Eisenhower, Past Forgetting: My Love Affair with Dwight D. Eisenhower, while she was fighting through her cancer treatment.
3. John F. Kennedy
The ladies man of all Presidents, John F. Kennedy really had the tabloids running during his time. The 35th President of America was said to have already had handfuls of girlfriends before marrying Jacqueline (and poor Jacqueline really had her fair share of heartbreak during their marriage) in 1953. His two biggest claimed affairs happened to be Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe; let us not forget the very sultry singing of Monroe to Kennedy, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”—yes, a very happy birthday indeed.
2. Bill Clinton
Probably one of the most famous sex scandals happened to our 42nd President; Bill Clinton. Monica Lewinsky was a White House intern during the years of 1995 to 1997—as well as the same time span of their sexual affair. The affair finally became public in 1998, when Clinton was being sued by Paula Jones for sexual harassment while he was the Governor of Arkansas. Due to the affair, Clinton was acquitted, and Lewinsky had her year of fame. Lewinsky recently came out with her interview in Vogue, bringing up the past with her affair with Clinton.
1. George W. Bush
Our former President, the 43rd President George W. Bush, was also accused of a sex scandal. Margie Denise Schoedinger, a Texas woman, claimed that Bush had drugged and raped her (as well as other FBI agents). Unfortunately, Schoedinger’s lawsuit never got the media coverage it needed, and even stranger—she committed suicide. Either she claimed a lie, or the Bush administration covered up a pretty crazy story. Searching for Schoedinger on Google doesn’t bring up a whole lot of traffic; you can make your own opinion as of why.
It seems that power (and maybe a mix of good looks) can get to your head. These past Presidents have had their lives on lock, but seemed to be able to slip away for a couple of moments with their mistresses and going unnoticed. The First Ladies of these Presidents had a shared story of their own, and many can be read from their autobiographies (as well as the mistresses themselves creating their own point of view story). Whether what you decide to believe, and how you decide to believe it, these Presidents lived some pretty crazy lives on and off the political platform.
Throughout America’s history, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Mostly the ugly, but that is part of the contract with deciding to live in the limelight. These Presidents have had their fair share of fun, and unfortunately, at the cost of others. Hopefully our current President, and the future Presidents to come, can learn from these pretty juicy pasts.