Inspire A Friend — With Woodrow Wilson

I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.

People Who Kick Buts: Woodrow Wilson

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I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.

  • Born on December 28, 1856; Passed away on February 3, 1924
  • 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921.
  • A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913.
  • Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia on December 28, 1856 as the third of four children of Reverend Dr. Joseph Ruggles Wilson (1822–1903) and Jessie Janet Woodrow (1826–1888). His ancestry was Scottish and Scots-Irish. His paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland (now Northern Ireland), in 1807.
  • Wilson was over ten years of age before he learned to read. His difficulty reading may have indicated dyslexia, but as a teenager he taught himself shorthand to compensate. He was able to achieve academically through determination and self-discipline. He studied at home under his father’s guidance and took classes in a small school in Augusta. During Reconstruction, Wilson lived in Columbia, South Carolina, the state capital, from 1870–1874, where his father was professor at the Columbia Theological Seminary.
  • Wilson’s mother was possibly a hypochondriac and Wilson himself seemed to think that he was often in poorer health than he really was. He suffered from hypertension at a relatively early age and may have suffered his first stroke when he was 39.
  • In 1885, he married Ellen Louise Axson, the daughter of a minister from Rome, Georgia. They had three daughters: Margaret Woodrow Wilson (1886–1944); Jessie Wilson (1887–1933); and Eleanor R. Wilson (1889–1967). Axson died in 1914, and in 1915 Wilson married Edith Galt. Wilson is one of only three presidents to be widowed while in office.
  • He began his graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University in 1883 and three years later he completed his doctoral dissertation, “Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics”[33] and received a PhD in history and political science.
  • Then, on October 2, 1919, he suffered a serious stroke that almost totally incapacitated him, leaving him paralyzed on his left side and blind in his left eye. He was confined to bed for weeks, sequestered from nearly everyone except his wife and his physician, Dr. Cary Grayson. For at least a few months, he used a wheelchair. Later, he could walk only with the assistance of a cane. Edith Wilson and Joseph Tumulty helped a journalist, Louis Seibold, present a false account of an interview with the President.

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