Secret illnesses of the presidents

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FDR standing and posing with two other men

Would you have voted for a presidential candidate if you knew that for the last 16 years he had suffered strokes capable of interfering with his decision-making ability?

What if during an election year, the president’s physician kept saying that the president’s health was good—but in fact, the president was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure and dangerously high blood pressure and his aides were certain he would not survive another term?

What if a presidential candidate had a serious health disorder which required medicine to be implanted every three months and required him to keep supplies in safety deposit boxes around the country? Even more, what if this condition had nearly killed him just a few years before the election?

These are not the plots of political thrillers; these are stories of U.S. Presidents who kept their health problems from the public. They are the subjects of this online exhibit, launched at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Library in February 9, 2007.

Included in the exhibit is information on the illnesses of the following presidents: