John Tyler Biography

John Tyler has the distinction of being the first vice president, who went on to become the U.S. President, due the death of the predecessor. This biography takes an in depth look at his profile, childhood, life and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: March 29, 1790

Nationality: American

Famous: Political Leaders American Men

Died At Age: 71

Sun Sign: Aries

Born in: Charles City County

Famous as: 10th U.S. President

political ideology: Independent (1841–1862), Democratic-Republican (Before 1825)


Spouse/Ex-: Julia Gardiner Tyler (m. 1844–1862), Letitia Christian Tyler (m. 1813–1842)

father: John Tyler Sr.

mother: Mary Marot (Armistead)

children: Alice Tyler, Anne Contesse Tyler, David Gardiner Tyler, Elizabeth Tyler, John Alexander Tyler, John Tyler, Julia Gardiner Tyler Spencer, Lachlan Tyler, Letitia Tyler Semple, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Mary Tyler, Pearl Tyler, Robert Fitzwalter Tyler, Robert Tyler, Tazewell Tyler

Died on: January 18, 1862

place of death: Richmond

Notable Alumni: College Of William And Mary

More Facts

education: College of William and Mary

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John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States of America is best remembered for approving the annexation of Texas and bringing Florida into the folds of the Union. Before he became the President of the United States, he essayed several roles in the field of public service, beginning from a state legislator, to becoming a governor. Later he was selected as a U.S. representative and then as the U.S. senator and finally went on to become the Vice President. He has the distinction of being the first vice president, who went on to become the U.S. President, due the death of the incumbent President, William Henry Harrison in this case. Tyler had a tough run in the presidential office, as his actions were not supported by either of the major parties present in American politics at that time. His detractors dubbed him as “His Accidency”. As a result, today his presidency is not really remembered as a success story. Despite best of intentions, due to the widespread political opposition, Tyler was not able to make any phenomenal contributions in American politics.

Childhood & Early Life
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  • From 1811 to 1816, Tyler served as the member of Virginia House of Delegates.With the outbreak of the War of 1812 and later capture of Hampton Virginia by British troops in 1813, he organized a small militia group to defend Richmond but was not involved in any military action.
  • Later in 1816, he was elected as the Democratic-Republican candidate to the House of Representatives, a position he held till 1821, after being selected for a second term.
  • After completing his stint in the Congress, he went back to serving as the member of the Virginia State House of Delegates, where he was elected as the governor of the state in 1825 and continued in that position till 1827.
  • As a governor, he came to be known as the supporter of states' rights and a staunch non believer in any form of focused federal power.
  • Due to his political beliefs, Tyler sided with the newly established Whig party, which was formed by Henry Clay and Daniel Webster and wholeheartedly opposed the policies of President Andrew Jackson.
  • In 1840, William Henry Harrison decided to run for the presidency and Tyler was nominated by the Whig Party as his running mate. They were successful and went into office in March 1841.
  • On April 4, 1841 just after a month President Harrison died due to pneumonia, leaving behind a vacant presidential chair, which was occupied by Tyler.
  • Through his actions, Tyler set forward the precedents concerning Presidential succession.
  • His presidency was full of perils, as he did not abide by the Whig Party beliefs and tread his own line; he was expelled from the party for vetoing the bill that aimed to revive the Bank of the United States.
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  • Next year in 1842, he once again vetoed the tariff bills, This made him further unpopular among the congress and led to initiation of impeachment proceedings against him; however, the matter did not pick up momentum.
  • Throughout the administrative upheavals during his term, Tyler did manage to hit some important political homeruns, like bringing an end to the war of Second Seminole in 1842.
  • In 1844, he brought in the Treaty of Wanghia, which allowed Americans to carry trade at Chinese ports and also granted them extraterritorial rights.
  • In the same year, i.e. in 1844 he agreed to the annexation of Texas, as part of the Union and in November he withdrew his candidacy from the presidential re-election in support of James Polk.
  • After this he retired from the electoral politics, he returned to the public life, as head the Peace Convention, which was organized in 1861.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • His first wife Letitia Christian, was the daughter of Colonel Robert Christian, a wealthy planter. The couple together had eight children.
  • Letitia passed away in September 1842, in the White House and two years later Tyler tied the knot with Julia Gardiner with whom he fathered seven children.
  • John Tyler suffered from ill health all his life and finally succumbed to death at the age of 72, after suffering from a stroke.
  • His legacy lives on in number of places and public institutions that have been named after him; these include the city of Tyler in Texas, John Tyler High School, John Tyler Community College in Virginia etc.
  • Several books and biographies have been written about him, which include, ‘And Tyler Too: A Biography of John and Julia Gardiner Tyler’ authored by Robert Seager II, in 1963, ‘The Republican Vision of John Tyler’ published in 2003, and ‘John Tyler, the Accidental President’ written by Edward P. Crapol in 2006.
  • He took the presidential oath at his hotel room on April 6, 1841 in the presence of the cabinet.
  • He was the first American President against whom the impeachment process was initiated. But the process did not go through and he was able to hold on to the presidency.
  • He fathered fifteen children, more than any other U.S President.
  • He was a gifted violinist and often played at his parties to entertain guests.
  • Despite being the former President of the united Sates, it was only in 1915, almost 63 years after his death that US congress allowed a memorial stone to be placed on his grave.
  • He was the great great great uncle of Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the United States of America.

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