Eight men who might have
Eight sons of presidents might have, themselves, been president. Here is a list of sons who either ran for the office or were often mentioned as likely contenders.
1.) Charles Francis Adams
Charles Francis Adams was the son and grandson of presidents and might have become one himself. He was fluent in several languages, graduated from Harvard at age seventeen and was elected to the House of Representatives. As Ambassador to the Court of St. James during the American Civil War he is credited with many for keeping England from supporting the Confederacy.
2.) John Van Buren
Many said he was a better lawyer, businessman and politician than his father. But when "Prince John" as he was called, was elected to the House of Representatives he kept fighting his fathers old battles.
3.) Robert Todd Lincoln
After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, his eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln rose to prominence in America. After graduating from law school, every major corporation looked to his services and many offered him positions on their board of directors. Within decades he became one of the richest men in America and was a cabinet officer and an ambassador. Heads of State who visited America, often stopped to call on Mr. Lincoln as well. But many were concerned that his political rise was unhealthy. At one point, no less than Joseph Pulitzer, himself, railed against the possible presidency of Mr. Lincoln "simply because he is the son of a president."
4.) Jesse Grant
Jesse Grant, son of President Ulysses S. Grant, joined his mom and dad on their famous round the world trip during their retirement years. Jesse fell in love with the lavish lifestyle foreign potentates showered on the son of a former head of state and succumbed to their flattery. Failing to understand how American elections worked, and living in cultures where power rested in a few families, many foreign leaders anticipated that Jesse Grant, himself, would one day be an American president. It all apparently went to Jesse's head. He eventually returned to America and announced he was running for president but the press and the public largely ignored him and his campaign fizzled.
5.) Theodore Roosevelt , Jr.
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. was on the fast track to the presidency. His father had been appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy on his way to the White House, and so had his cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt. So when TR, Jr. received the same appointment many expected the pattern to be repeated. But fate did not comply. Ted served as governor of Puerto Rico and the Philippines. He was a hero in World War II but recent disclosures show a jealous FDR restricted his press coverage. TR, Jr. was the only General to land with his own troops on the first wave, on the first day of the Normandy D Day invasion during World War Two. He died shortly afterward and was awarded the Medal of Honor in absentia.
6.) Robert Taft
Senator Robert Taft, son of President William Howard Taft, is considered by many to have been one of the top five greatest lawmakers in American history. He ran for president three times and very nearly won the Republican nomination in 1952.
7.) John Eisenhower
John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower, son of President Dwight Eisenhower, is one of America's greatest military historians. He served as U. S. ambassador to Belgium in the Nixon administration. In the 1960's, the Democratic National Committee commissioned a private poll which showed John Eisenhower as their most formidable Republican opponent for president, beating out both Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller but Eisenhower was not tempted. He is in retirement and is the oldest living child of a president.
8.) John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Many observers believed that JFK, Jr., son of John F. Kennedy, had the best chance to retrace his father's steps and win back the White House for a Kennedy family member. Kennedy never traded on those expectations and wisely kept his own counsel about any political ambitions. His sister made a brief appearance in public life, jockeying for appointment to the Senate. It did not go well. JFK, Jr. died in a plane crash in 1999. He was 38 years old.
Two sons of president became president themselves.
John Quincy Adams, son of the second American President, John Adams, was the first son born to a president. (George Washington had no biological children.) John Quincy became the sixth president of the United States.
George W. Bush, the 43rd president, was the son of George H. W. Bush, the 41st president.
Two sons were elected Governor
Only two offspring of presidents were elected governors of states. George W. Bush, who was elected governor of Texas in 1994 and his brother Jeb Bush, who was elected governor of Florida. They were both sons of President George H. W. Bush.
It is not an easy task. FDR, Jr. sought election as governor of New York two times. He lost both. Many other sons and daughters of prominent political families have tried. A Mondale in Minnesota, a Kennedy in Massachusetts and Maryland. a Cuomo in New York and several times a Taft in Ohio. All lost, until another Taft descendant finally won in Ohio.
Two sons were elected to the Senate
John Quincy Adams and Robert Taft were both elected to the U.S. Senate.
Many other presidential children tried. Three times presidential children ran for the Senate from California and all three, U.S. Grant, Jr., James Roosevelt, and Maureen Reagan, lost. Most recently, in 2006, Jack Carter, son of president Jimmy Carter, ran in Nevada and lost.
Eight Sons of presidents
were elected to Congress
1.) John Quincy Adams (Son of John Adams.)
2.) Charles Francis Adams (Son of John Quincy Adams)
3.) John Van Buren (Son of Martin Van Buren)
4.) John S. Harrison (Son of William Henry Harrison)
5.) David Tyler (Son of John Tyler)
6.) Robert Taft (Son of William Howard Taft)
7.) Jimmy Roosevelt (Son of Franklin D. Roosevelt)
8.) Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. Son of Franklin D. Roosevelt)
Two Sons were elected
Mayor's of cities.
Charles Taft, II, son of President William Howard Taft, was elected the mayor of Cincinnati.
James Roosevelt, son of FDR, was elected mayor of Los Angeles.
Only presidential child to become chairman of a major political party.
Maureen Reagan, daughter of President Ronald Reagan, was the only presidential offspring to become the Chairperson of a major political party. She was co-chairman of the Republican Nation Convention from 1987-1989.