Tenth US president John Tyler’s grandson dies 179 years after his grandfather entered White House
(The Washington Post via Getty Im)
Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., one of the two remaining grandchildren of 10th President of the United States, John Tyler, has died at the age of 95.
His daughter, Susan Selina Pope Tyler, told the New York Times that his death was caused by Alzheimer's disease.
The lawyer and historian was the elder of two surviving sons of Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr., one of President John Tyler's 15 children and long-time president of the College of William & Mary in Virginia.
The 95-year-old was part of a "genealogical miracle" in which three generations spanned almost all of United States history.
Born shortly after George Washington took office 231 years ago, John Tyler served in the White House from 1841 to 1845.
A lifelong slave owner and state rights advocate, Tyler was included on the ticket as Whig candidate William Henry Harrison's runner-up to attract Southerners who feared Harrison might lean towards abolitionist beliefs.
Shortly after winning the presidency, Harrison died of pneumonia, and Tyler became the first Vice President to succeed a deceased predecessor.
During his presidency, Tyler annexed Texas as the 28th state as America expanded west. Some historians have called him principled and honest, but many say his presidency was ineffective.
Tyler retired to his Virginia plantation after the presidency and later joined the Confederation when the Civil War began. He was elected to the Confederate legislature but died in 1862 before taking his seat.
Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. was born on January 3, 1925. He graduated from William & Mary and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. He then practiced in Richmond and Charles City Counties.
He received his PhD in history from Duke University in 1967 and taught history for the next two decades at the University of Richmond, the Virginia Military Institute, and the Citadel. He married Lucy Jane Pope in 1958 who died in 2001.
Lyon Tyler Jr. is survived by his brother Harrison Ruffin Tyler (91) and his daughter.
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