PRESIDENT Bill Clinton celebrated his 47th birthday...

salmagundi

August 20, 1993

PRESIDENT Bill Clinton celebrated his 47th birthday yesterday. He is the third person to turn that age while president.

The first was Ulysses S. Grant. He was born April 27, 1822. He was 46 when he took office on March 4, 1869, and became 47 seven weeks later. The second president to turn 47 in the White House was Theodore Roosevelt. TR was born Oct. 27, 1858. He became president upon the death of William McKinley on March 13, 1901. So he celebrated his 43rd, 44th, 45th and 46th birthdays while president.

Unlike those presidents, Bill Clinton is a Democrat. Also unlike them he never served his country in uniform. Grant was, of course, general of the Army during the Civil War. Roosevelt was a colonel and commander of the famous Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War.

John F. Kennedy was born May 29, 1917, and so was 43 years old when he was inaugurated president on Jan. 20, 1961. He celebrated his 44th, 45th and 46th birthdays as president, but was assassinated in November, 1963, and thus did not live to 47.

The biggest-number birthday for a president was Ronald Reagan's 79. He was born Feb. 9, 1911, and turned 80 just three weeks after he left office after his two terms.

We think that his record is not likely to be beaten any time soon. Don't tell Bob Dole we said that. The Kansas senator turned 70 last month. He's vacationing in New Hampshire this month. (Get it?) If he were elected president in 1996 and re-elected in 2000, he'd break the Gipper's record in the summer of 2003.

Three previous presidents were born in August. None was elected to a second term. Lyndon Johnson (Aug. 27, 1908) retired because of the Vietnam War. Herbert Hoover (Aug. 10, 1874) was defeated because of the Depression. And Benjamin Harrison (Aug. 20, 1833) was defeated on the basis of a trade issue.

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