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First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama

Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Registration is NOT required

First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama

Joshua C. Kendall

Every U.S. president has had some experience as a parent. Of the 43 men who have served in the nation's highest office, 38 have fathered biological children and the other five adopted children. Each president's parenting style reveals much about his beliefs as well as his psychological make-up. James Garfield enjoyed jumping on the bed with his kids. FDR's children, on the other hand, had to make appointments to talk to him. In this presentation, Kendall will discuss with the audience how the fathering experiences of American presidents have forever changed the course of the nation’s history.

Joshua C. Kendall is the author of The Man Who Made Lists, about the creation of Roget's Thesaurus, and The Forgotten Founding Father, a biography of Noah Webster, the lexicographer responsible for Webster's Dictionary. He is also an award-winning journalist, with work appearing in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Psychology Today, and BusinessWeek, among other publications. He is an Associate Fellow of Yale's Trumbull College.

Discover historical attitudes on parenting in the special and circulating collections. Titles include Essays on the Duty of Parenting and Children, System of Character, Training of Children, and It Takes A Village.

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Auto-generated captions are available for most virtual programs. To request live captioning or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Weisman at or 617-720-7617 at least four business days prior to the event.