President John Tyler’s grandson, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., dies 175 years after his grandfather left the White House

For many Americans, going two generations back takes them to World War II.



a group of people sitting at a table using a laptop: Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. signs his name on the inside of a desk drawer with other descendants of past presidents who gathered in Washington in August 2018.


© Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. signs his name on the inside of a desk drawer with other descendants of past presidents who gathered in Washington in August 2018.

For Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., who died September 26, two generations stretched to a century earlier, when steam locomotives ruled the land and his grandfather was 10th president of the United States.

Tyler, 95, was the grandson of John Tyler, who served as president from 1841 to 1845.

He died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. A younger brother is among his survivors.

That someone in the 21st century could have a grandfather who knew Thomas Jefferson can be attributed to late-in-life paternity, second wives and longevity in his family: Three generations of Tyler men spanned an incredible 230 years.

While Tyler, a World War II veteran, lawyer and history professor at the Virginia Military Institute and The Citadel, was proud of his ancestor and spoke about him, it was not what defined his life.

His daughter, Susan Selina Pope Tyler, said Thursday that her father was a humble and compassionate man of faith who mentored others.

“He was kind and loving to everyone, even the marginalized,” Susan Tyler wrote in remarks planned for a memorial service next week, which she shared with CNN.

“I’ve had many share with me how my father affected their lives, through his advice or his practical help.”

Tyler lived in Franklin, Tennessee, at the time of his passing. He grew up in Virginia. His younger brother, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, 91, is now the last surviving grandson of the president.

John Tyler was elected vice president in 1840, but he was thrust into the role of commander-in-chief when President William Henry Harrison died just one month into office. His detractors consequently called him “His Accidency.”

While most historians don’t place him high in the pantheon of presidents, Tyler’s family said he should be remembered for his honesty and integrity — even if it cost him politically.

President Tyler, who served one term, fathered 15 children. His first wife, Letitia, had eight children before dying in 1842, and second wife Julia had seven. John Tyler was 63 when son Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. was born.

Lyon Sr., who went on to become president of William & Mary, was 71 when Lyon Jr. was born to his second wife.

The younger Lyon was a lawyer before turning to an academic career.

While John Tyler was a slave owner, his great-granddaughter Susan Tyler said her father and late mother, Lucy Jane Pope Tyler, championed civil rights.

Lyon Tyler Jr. himself had a bit of humor about being related to a US president.

“I heard too much about presidents growing up,” he wrote in one speech he delivered. He related that when he was three or four, a woman asked, “Are you going to be President when you grow up?” He answered, ‘I’ll

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President John Tyler’s grandson, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., dies at 95

For many Americans, going two generations back takes them to World War II.



a group of people sitting at a table using a laptop: Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. signs his name on the inside of a desk drawer with other descendants of past presidents who gathered in Washington in August 2018.


© Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. signs his name on the inside of a desk drawer with other descendants of past presidents who gathered in Washington in August 2018.

For Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., who died September 26, two generations stretched to a century earlier, when steam locomotives ruled the land and his grandfather was 10th president of the United States.

Tyler, 95, was the grandson of John Tyler, who served as president from 1841 to 1845.

He died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. A younger brother is among his survivors.

That someone in the 21st century could have a grandfather who knew Thomas Jefferson can be attributed to late-in-life paternity, second wives and longevity in his family: Three generations of Tyler men spanned an incredible 230 years.

While Tyler, a World War II veteran, lawyer and history professor at the Virginia Military Institute and The Citadel, was proud of his ancestor and spoke about him, it was not what defined his life.

His daughter, Susan Selina Pope Tyler, said Thursday that her father was a humble and compassionate man of faith who mentored others.

“He was kind and loving to everyone, even the marginalized,” Susan Tyler wrote in remarks planned for a memorial service next week, which she shared with CNN.

“I’ve had many share with me how my father affected their lives, through his advice or his practical help.”

Tyler lived in Franklin, Tennessee, at the time of his passing. He grew up in Virginia. His younger brother, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, 91, is now the last surviving grandson of the president.

John Tyler was elected vice president in 1840, but he was thrust into the role of commander-in-chief when President William Henry Harrison died just one month into office. His detractors consequently called him “His Accidency.”

While most historians don’t place him high in the pantheon of presidents, Tyler’s family said he should be remembered for his honesty and integrity — even if it cost him politically.

President Tyler, who served one term, fathered 15 children. His first wife, Letitia, had eight children before dying in 1842, and second wife Julia had seven. John Tyler was 63 when son Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. was born.

Lyon Sr., who went on to become president of William & Mary, was 71 when Lyon Jr. was born to his second wife.

The younger Lyon was a lawyer before turning to an academic career.

While John Tyler was a slave owner, his great-granddaughter Susan Tyler said her father and late mother, Lucy Jane Pope Tyler, championed civil rights.

Lyon Tyler Jr. himself had a bit of humor about being related to a US president.

“I heard too much about presidents growing up,” he wrote in one speech he delivered. He related that when he was three or four, a woman asked, “Are you going to be President when you grow up?” He answered, ‘I’ll

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My grandson has given me back my garden | The Canberra Times

news, latest-news, mark thomas, gardening, grandson, canberra times

Among his many gifts, my grandson has given me back my garden. In past years I performed all those unskilled routines fit for an untutored Australian gardener. I swore at the cord on the lawnmower, burned piles of leaves in the gutter, prayed for a drop of rain, delighted in the early arrival of jonquils, and fretted about trees entangled with power lines. Time moves on. Now the family takes turns to chide me whenever I am tempted to climb ladders to clear gutters. Balancing on uneven ground on a rickety wooden stepladder, hanging on to the bough you are about to cut, that is a job best done without any family scrutiny. My knees and back shame me after a couple of hours’ weeding or planting. My purchases from nurseries sometimes thrive, but often wither and die. Rudimentary Latin studies never induced me to show off by reciting the botanical names of plants. I have been taught to prune, but my pruning nowadays resembles a search-and-destroy operation. Then my grandson, Theo, focused and charmed every facet of my work outside. From Virgil to Jamaica Kincaid runs a long tradition of soppily banal writing about gardening. Those authors insist that gardening is both vocation and recreation. Working in the garden is meant to be spiritually therapeutic, physically beneficial and mentally clarifying. However overblown, not all that advice is silly. During lockdown, staying in the open air, earning your keep, revelling in a light wind or gentle shower and seeing the results of your labour are all serious, stabilising defences against melancholy. Adding a grandson to the mix, however, gives every task zip and fun. I had never expected a young helper in the garden. I suspect that, if Millennials will not iron their clothes, they are also unlikely to weed the garden. Screen time is not compatible with attentively observing a flower bed. A 10-year-old, though, is still forming habits and working out what to love. MORE MARK THOMAS: Even if you are only 10, you can know exactly what you want. Instead of my few token bloomers near the front door, Theo lobbied for clumps of pansies mingled with the early jonquils. Under his direction, we have potted and trained raspberry canes. Purchases and placements of saltbush and kumquats have been matters for debate. I lose. A new worm farm is revelling in our kitchen refuse. A sweet pea has filled a gap at the front. Progress with each plant is meticulously monitored, first perused, then touched and smelled. In the process, any shortcomings in my care are politely noted and implicitly deplored. The garden responds. After drought, the hailstorm and bushfires, Theo has timed his entrance perfectly. He has brought rain. In addition, he comes with an intense eagerness to learn. Finally, I have someone to teach how deep and wide to dig a hole for a new plant. Skipping a generation, I have found a new gardener who aches

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