“Presidential Little-known, Medicine-related Interesting Facts: Number Two”
American Presidents are complex and interesting people. President Grover Cleveland underwent a secret operation aboard a yacht to remove a potentially cancerous lesion from his jaw. Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, the only one to serve two nonconsecutive terms. During his second term, he consulted a doctor about a sore inside his mouth, which was determined to be potentially cancerous. He decided to have the lesion removed but wanted the surgery kept secret to preserve the nation’s financial stability and his political position. Doctors aboard a yacht removed the tumor from inside his mouth, without using any external incisions, and then implanted a rubber prosthesis to correct his speech and appearance. A surgeon confirmed the story years later. A number of Presidents were known as “heavy drinkers.” Among those was Martin van Buren, the eighth president, and his alcohol consumption was linked to a variety of health ailments, including gout. President Franklin Pierce, on the other hand, was widely known as an alcoholic. When asked what he was going to do when his term ended, he reportedly replied, “There is nothing left…but to get drunk.” As the 14th president of the United States, he reportedly died from cirrhosis of the liver. President Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th US president, also was known to consume large quantities of alcohol. In 2001, George “W” Bush was inaugurated as the first president to openly admit to past alcohol abuse, but he quit in 1986.