Ulysses S. Grant Biography

Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States (1869–77). This biography of Ulysses S. Grant provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline

Quick Facts

Nick Name: Sam, Hero of Appomattox,

Birthday: April 27, 1822

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Ulysses S. Grant Presidents

Died At Age: 63

Sun Sign: Taurus

Also Known As: Hiram Ulysses Grant

Born in: Point Pleasant

Famous as: President of the U.S.A

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males

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political ideology: Political party - Republican


Spouse/Ex-: Julia Grant

father: Jesse Root Grant

mother: Hannah Grant

children: Ellen Wrenshall Grant, Frederick Dent Grant, Jesse Root Grant, Ulysses S. Grant Jr.

Died on: July 23, 1885

place of death: Wilton

Personality: ISFP

Ideology: Republicans

More Facts

education: United States Military Academy

awards: Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Legion of Honour
Croix de Guerre

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Ulysses S. Grant was a U.S. general and commander of the Union armies who went on to serve as the 18th President of the United States (1869–77). He played a very active role as an army officer during the later years of the American Civil War and worked in close collaboration with President Abraham Lincoln to defeat the Confederates following a very difficult battle. Born as the son of a businessman, he was expected to follow his father into his tannery business. But since he displayed no interest in the business, his father made him enter the United States Military Academy at West Point. However, he did not perform well there and earned only average grades though he was good in mathematics and geology. He proved himself to be exceptionally skilled at handling horses and gained a reputation as a proficient horseman. Following his graduation, he fought in the Mexican-American War and retired from army life. Post his retirement he tried his hands at a number of businesses but failed to find success. When the American Civil War erupted, he returned to his army career and impressed President Lincoln with his abilities. Eventually Grant entered politics and served as the president for two consecutive terms.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Following his graduation Grant was assigned as a brevet second lieutenant in the 4th U.S. Infantry. When the Mexican–American War broke out in 1846, he served under General Zachary Taylor in the Army of Observation. He led a cavalry charge at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma and displayed great courage and bravery in the campaigns.
  • He was eventually promoted to first lieutenant and captain on account of his gallantry. He resigned from the army in 1854.
  • Over the next few years he struggled to build a life for himself and his family as a civilian. He became involved in a series of businesses that failed miserably and he was not able to successfully establish himself in any profession as a civilian.
  • The American Civil War broke out in 1861 and Grant decided to join the army again. President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers and recruitment drives were organized. Grant, as an experienced army man, was asked to lead the efforts and he helped recruit a company of volunteers and accompanied the regiment to Springfield.
  • Grant was appointed brigadier general and soon gained command of the District of Southeast Missouri, headquartered at Cairo, Illinois. He achieved the first major Union victory of the war, when Fort Donelson, which dominated the Cumberland River, surrendered with about 15,000 troops, in February 1862.
  • Grant was promoted to major general of volunteers and he moved his army into enemy territory in Tennessee in April 1862. This campaign, which would later be known as Battle of Shiloh, was a major and fierce battle fought between the Confederate commanders and Grant’s army in which Grant was finally able to the defeat the Confederates.
  • He continued displaying his valor throughout the war and after the war ended in 1865, Grant was promoted to full general and was made responsible for overseeing the military portion of post-war Reconstruction. He was promoted to the newly created rank of General of the Army of the United States in July 1866.
  • During this time he also became very active in politics and was chosen by the Republicans as their presidential candidate on the first ballot at the 1868 Republican National Convention. He faced former New York Governor Horatio Seymour in the elections which Grant ultimately won.
  • Grant was sworn in as the 18th President of the United States on March 4, 1869. Aged just 46 at that time, Grant was not only the youngest ever man to be elected president, he was also politically inexperienced.
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  • He signed his first law, pledging to redeem in gold the greenback currency issued during the Civil War, within days of taking the office. He advocated systematic federal enforcement of fundamental civil rights regardless of race and pushed for the ratification of Fifteenth Amendment that guaranteed that no state could prevent someone from voting based on race.
  • In order to establish peaceful relations with Native Americans, he appointed Ely S. Parker, a Seneca Indian and member of his wartime staff, as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He also signed a law establishing a Board of Indian Commissioners to manage spending and reduce corruption in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Grant proved to be a popular president in his first term and was easily re-elected when he stood for presidency again in 1872. However, his second term was fraught with difficulties. The Panic of 1873 descended upon the American economy, setting off a long depression that lasted for more than five years.
  • He signed the Specie Payment Resumption Act in 1875 in order to restore the nation to the gold standard in an attempt to reverse the inflationary government policies promoted directly after the American Civil War.
  • During Grant’s second term a congressional investigation exposed corruption in the Treasury Department. He also faced charges of misconduct in nearly all federal departments. In spite of being an honest man himself, he was criticized for failing to detect and curb corruption within his administration. Once a popular president, he now became increasingly unpopular. He stepped down from presidency on March 4, 1877.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He fell in love with his friend’s sister, Julia Dent, in 1844 and became engaged to her. The couple got married on August 22, 1848, amid opposition from both sets of parents. They faced many adversities in their marriage but remained steadfast in their love and commitment to each other till the very end. They were blessed with four children.
  • After stepping down as president in 1877 he, along with his wife, embarked on a long world tour that lasted over two years. He was received warmly everywhere they went and got the opportunity to meet Queen Victoria, Pope Leo XIII and Japanese Emperor Meiji. They finally returned to the U.S. in 1879.
  • In 1884 Grant was diagnosed with throat cancer. Despite his illness, he worked on his memoirs, which were published as ‘Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant’ in 1885, shortly after his death. The book was a commercial as well as a critical success.
  • After battling cancer for several months, Ulysses S. Grant died on July 23, 1885. His tomb in the General Grant National Memorial, also known as "Grant's Tomb", is the largest mausoleum in North America.

See the events in life of Ulysses S. Grant in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Ulysses S. Grant Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- July 25, 2017
Ulysses S. Grant

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