James Madison (1751-1836)
Founding Father & 4th President of the United States (1809-1817)
He was preceded in the Presidency by Thomas Jefferson and after serving two terms in office for the Democratic-Republican Party he was succeeded in 1817 by James Monroe. His Vice-President during his first term was George Clinton and for his second term he chose Elbridge Gerry. While Madison was the smallest President in American history (standing at just 5'4"), he stood tall in American history: He was appointed to the Continental Congress, framed the Bill of Rights, and earned the sobriquet, "Father of the Constitution," all before being elected President. Coincidentally, Madison was a cousin of the 12th U.S. President, Zachary Taylor, through their mutual great-grandfather, Colonel James Taylor of Bloomsbury, Virginia. Although Madison and his wife had no children of their own, he adopted his wife's son by her first marriage, John Payne Todd. His last words were, "I always talk better lying down".
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 08/10/2018 and last updated on 19/12/2023.