Why this book?

        As Chairman of a Department of Medicine for 26 years, the author has observed the interactions between physical and mental illness in patients frequently. These have occurred  in times of environmental and professional stresses.
        A realization that United States Presidents have had mental and/or physical illnesses at critical times during their administration is very important for our country. This book, "Profiles of American Presidents in the Twentieth Century: Merits and Maladies", discusses these issues relating to all 17 U.S. Presidents in the twentieth century when over 70 million people died in military conflicts. The past failure to use the 25th amendment in such times of crises has implications for the future of the country. In addition to the text, there are over 120 pictures in the book.

        See below for highlights of issues about each 20th century President!


  • Thomas Woodrow Wilson – son of minister with denial of his physical illnesses; severe depression with death of wife; multiple strokes secondary to smoking and atherosclerosis; World War I, Versailles Treaty and League of Nations failure; nation with disabled President for final 16 months of Wilson Presidency

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt – polio at age 39 with lower extremity paralysis: degree of disability kept secret because FDR felt public would not respect a cripple as President; heavy smoker, hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart failure; multiple anonymous hospital admissions during World War II; division of Europe at Yalta Conference with Stalin and Churchill; U.S. represented by a terminally ill President at Yalta who died of stroke 8 months later

  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy – sickly childhood with low blood pressure, stomach and back pain; several health crises led to his receiving the last rites of the Catholic Church; diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency in London; PT boat 109 heroics; misrepresented to public during Presidential election campaign as healthy and vigorous young man; assassinated during final term

Click here for more highlights of other Presidents!

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Thomas Woodrow Wilson

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt

John Fitzgerald Kennedy