May 3, 2016 Our Presidents As Parents

“First Dads” Covers Parents from Washington to Obama

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

All of the 43 men who have been president of the United States have been parents. Their styles of parenting are as varied as the men themselves. James Garfield enjoyed jumping on the bed with his kids; FDR's children had to make appointments to talk to him.

Journalist and historian Joshua Kendall has done research in archives nationwide, including at the Library of Congress, for his new book, "First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama" (Grand Central, 2016).

Kendall will discuss and sign his book, on Tuesday, May 17, at noon in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event, sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Kendall’s book shows presidential character in action. He shows readers how the presidents’ fathering experiences have affected the course of American history.

Joshua Kendall is the author of "The Man Who Made Lists," about the creation ofRoget'sThesaurus, and "The Forgotten Founding Father," a biography of Noah Webster, the lexicographer responsible for Webster's Dictionary. He is also an award-winning journalist, with articles in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Psychology Today and BusinessWeek, among other publications. He is an associate fellow of Yale's Trumbull College.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions.

The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit


PR 16-079
ISSN 0731-3527