INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Every blogger who has posted for some years has a few “sugar plum” posts that have been a big hit among his or her readers. I have a few, but one has risen far above any other. This one, from exactly three years ago, was somewhat outside my normal theme but continues to garner readers every day as they discover it in the archives. There has never been a day in three years that my stats didn’t show several views of this post. So, I thought I would re-post it in case you missed it.
A seemingly nondescript millennial nurse in Ambler, Pennsylvania, has a distinction, shared by his two sisters, unmatched by anyone else in the history of America. He is the grandson and great-grandson of two unrelated U.S. Presidents. He and his two children are in-line descendants of not one, but two of the most powerful men in the history of the world in their day. Yet, Alex Eisenhower, 37, lives a quiet, shift-work life caring for behaviorally challenged children at a psychiatric clinic. Below is a wedding picture of Alex and his bride, Tara, and a recent picture of Alex.
During a visit to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library recently, I was intrigued by this president’s accomplished, but conflicted, presidency. My interest was also stirred by the bond between the Nixon family and the family of the man he served as VP, President Dwight Eisenhower. That bond was forged through an unprecedented marriage. When President Eisenhower’s grandson, David, married President Nixon’s daughter, Julie, in 1968, they started a blood line that would forever bring distinction to their descendants.
As the family tree above shows, the marriage of David Eisenhower and Julie Nixon produce three children, Jennie, Alex (actually Alexander), and Melanie. Melanie just recently married. Christopher Cox is a cousin in their generation from the marriage of President Nixon’s other daughter, Tricia, to Edward Cox. However, Alex is the only grandchild/great-grandchild of the two presidents who continues the Eisenhower name. His father, David, born in 1948, was in the Navy Reserve and is now a professor of public policy at the University of Pennsylvania. His grandfather, John, born in 1922, was a brigadier general in the Army Reserve, an author, and a political appointee. John died in 2013. Pictured below are David and Julie (left) and John and second wife, Joanne (right).
President Eisenhower’s son, John, had a successful military and political career, and I believe both David and Alex could have easily lived in the limelight as well. With even average intelligence and reasonable people skills, they could have ridden the heritage of the Eisenhower name into the flag ranks of the military or the top seats in Washington, D.C. Alex, with both presidents in his recent ancestry could have written his own ticket to fame and fortune. Instead, he cares for children whose parents likely don’t even know who he is in Pennsylvania’s Horsham Clinic that few have ever heard of. You know, there is just something really classy about that. If your heart doesn’t match the expectations of everyone else, follow your heart.
Oh, but remember there is yet another generation. Alex and Tara have two little Eisenhowers–a daughter, Kaia, 10, and a son, Kaeden, 4. Who knows, 30 years from now America might hear the breaking news, “Congressman Kaeden Eisenhower, great-great-grandson of President Dwight Eisenhower and great-grandson of President Richard Nixon, has just announced his candidacy for President. His sister, Kaia Eisenhower, just recently became the youngest general officer in the U.S. Army.”