The Early Life of Grover Cleveland

Christian Penichet-Paul


Stephen Grover Cleveland’s life up to the age of forty-two transformed his character and defined the path of the United States during his two non-consecutive presidential terms. Through a number of primary and secondary sources, it is possible to reconstruct Cleveland’s early life and note the development of his politics and worldview. The first democrat elected to the presidency after the Civil War, Cleveland was never recognized as a man of superior intellect. However, he was known for his strong work ethic and personal integrity. Cleveland managed to become one of the most prominent lawyers in Buffalo, New York, and began to move up the political ladder with his election as sheriff of Erie County and, consequently, to the mayoralty of Buffalo. Cleveland’s two presidencies symbolized reform and honesty, which were influenced by the teachings and experiences in his early life. In turn, the examination of Cleveland’s life to the age of forty-two years is important because it transformed him into the statesman who would become the President of the United States.


Grover Cleveland; American Presidents; American History

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