John Tyler had 15 children, the most of any U.S. President.

  • John Tyler memorial
John Tyler memorial
Michael Beiriger/ Alamy Stock Photo

America’s 10th President, John Tyler, was born in 1790, and as of December 2023, still has one living grandchild. The reason that’s possible? Tyler had children at all stages of his adult life — 15 kids total, the most of any U.S. President. His first child, Mary, was born in 1815, when he was 25 years old. His youngest, Pearl, was born in 1860, when Tyler was 70, less than two years before his death.

Tyler and his first wife, Letitia Christian Tyler, had eight children together. The couple were both in their early 50s and already grandparents when Tyler took office in 1841, first as Vice President and then, after the death of President William Henry Harrison a month later, as President. Letitia wasn’t in good health, and passed away in 1842, making Tyler the first U.S. President to become a widower while in office. Two years later, Tyler married his second wife, Julia Gardiner Tyler — making him also the first U.S. President to get married while in office. Julia was just 24 years old at the time, 30 years the President’s junior. Together, they had seven more kids, for a grand total of 15. Tyler’s 13th child, Lyon, was born when his father was 63 years old, and later in life, Lyon also had a much younger second wife. Lyon had two very long-lived sons who were born in the 1920s when Lyon was in his 70s. The elder son, Lyon Jr., died in 2020. John Tyler’s last surviving grandson, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, is more than 90 years old today.

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