Ulysses S. Grant
April 27, 1822 - July 23, 1885
Born Hiram Ulysses Grant in Point Pleasant, Ohio to a tanner, he showed great skill in horseriding as a youth. However at age 17 he was nominated to the West Point Academy in New York as regimental quartermaster to infantry, managing supplies and equipment, and not the cavalry. While his political career is largely considered a mixed bag, he is celebrated for spreading a mentality of equal rights to all races.
Grant would meet his eventual wife, Julia Dent during his army service, and stayed clear of battle until 1846, when the Mexican-American War broke out. He achieved the rank of a temporary captain for his bravery and resourcefulnes, but would go on to later criticise the war as a means to expand slavery, an issue he would later oppose. Grant remained a soldier after his mandatory service, including time spent in the Pacific Northwest keeping peace between settlers and natives. Grant would later be lauded for both his anti-slavery and pro-native rights stances.
Promoted to Captain in 1853, Grant was soon caught amongst rumours of his excessive drinking, and was forced to resign by ultimatum in lieu of court-martial in 1854. Grant struggled financially in civilian life, but recognized as a military professional, he would be called upon by his country following the breakout of the Civil War. After training volunteer recruits, Grant was promoted to Colonel on June 14, 1861.
Grant would continue his military career through the end of the war and was soon after nominated the Republican Candidate in the election of 1868. At age 46, he was at the time the youngest president ever elected. In 1869 he lobbied Congress to pass the Fifteenth Amendment, guaranteeing no state could prevent someone from voting based on race. He would go on to a second term through 1877.
Following his presidential terms, he took a two-year world tour in whic he was warmly embraced by royalty across the globe and began writing articles about his war campaigns as well as his official memoirs. In October of 1884, Grant was diagnosed with throat cancer, and worked diligently to finish his memoirs from a cottage on Mt. McGregor. Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant was finished only a few days before his death, but was well-received and critically acclaimed.