Meet the Most Scandalous Children of U.S. Presidents

No matter which history book you go through, there will be stories about some very scandalous and mischievous First Children who got their families into trouble. The children of American presidents have been involved in many controversies for centuries. However, let’s not ignore the fact that most of the ‘shocking details’ of their antics were blown out of proportion.

We couldn’t help but sympathize with the First Kids as they are so heavily and intensely scrutinized that most of them indulge in weird activities only out of frustration. Presidential clans are constantly under pressure, and usually, it gets to their children who end up paying the price of constant monitoring. So, today, we will introduce fifteen of the most scandalous and controversy-mongering First Kids. But, don’t think that any of them were bad people. They were just the victims of their circumstances. So, let’s get started.

President Joe Biden’s Son, Hunter Biden…. Oy vey!

Believe it or not, Hunter Biden, current US president Joe Biden’s son, had an affair with his sister-in-law-Hallie Biden. The two dated for several years after Hallie’s husband, Beau, died in 2015. At that time, Hunter had separated from his ex-wife Kathleen, and the latter had filed for a divorce. According to Hunter, the two got romantically linked in Los Angeles while he was “recovering from a weeklong crack binge,” and their relationship grew stronger during a trip to the Hamptons.

Hunter Biden also got dishonorably discharge from the U.S. Navy Reserve for testing positive for cocaine. He then went on to impregnant a stripper and tried to denied it until he was forced to take a paternity test. And then there’s the famous “laptop” that he forgot at the repair shop; bribes deals from Ukraine and China that allocated a 20% cut for “the big guy” and let’s not forget about all the photos of Hunter smoking crack with hookers. No wonder the media buried this “laptop” news weeks before the 2020 election.

Theodore Roosevelt’s Daughter Played with Pet Snake and Burned Voodoo Doll

Historians have a strong consensus that Alice Roosevelt, the daughter of US president Theodore Roosevelt, was the wildest First Kid they have ever seen or heard about. Her father once even said that it was too difficult for him to run a country and take care of Alice simultaneously.

“I can run the country or attend to Alice. I cannot possibly do both,” the president had remarked, hinting at how difficult it was to handle Alice’s mischiefs. When women fought for equal rights and voting rights, Alice Roosevelt was involved in anti-social activities such as gambling, playing with guns, and chewing gum in public gatherings. She regularly went about town holding her pet snake. She partied a lot but was also concerned about politics. Reportedly, she burned a voodoo doll in the White House to welcome First Lady Nelly Taft.

James Madison’s Stepson Left His Family Penniless

John Payne Todd was the stepson of James Madison, the fourth president of the USA, and Dolley Madison, from her first marriage to John Todd, Jr. Dolley brought him along after marrying James Madison, who did not have any biological children of his own. Though he generally had a positive reputation, John’s activities were far more repulsive than any First Kid. It is reported that John was continually a reason of embarrassment for his family.

His parents, the then-president and First Lady of the USA, repeatedly tried to send him to school or help him get vocational training, but he just didn’t pay heed and couldn’t study or work for long. Payne was an alcoholic, addicted to gamble, a womanizer who would go missing for months on end, usually ending up in debtor’s prison to which James Madison paid over $40,000 (over $1 million in today’s currency) to debtor’s prison. He continued to spend money, due to which his family’s financial position deteriorated and the Madisons had to spend their retirement in poverty. After James died, his widow Dolley had to sell some of his papers to Congress to prevent bankruptcy. The payment was delivered to Dolley as an annuity so that her son couldn’t waste his mother’s money. Talk about a blood sucking stepson.

James Garfield’s Son Drove Down The White House Steps on his Bicycle

The son of President James Garfield, Irvin McDowell Garfield, wasn’t too rambunctious and was like any average child. However, some of his notorious escapades caused concerns for the president.  Young Irvin was found riding his bicycle down the steps of the White House on multiple occasions. For an average kid or parent, this may appear to be a usual thing. However, for First Kids and White House residents, this was a strict no-no.

Irvin was the son of the twentieth President of the US. His dad, sadly, got assassinated in 1881, when Irvin was barely eleven years old. Irvin grew into a very responsible young man; he studied law and lived a long and prosperous life. Irvin Garfield died at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital when he was 80.

Abraham Lincoln’s Youngest Kids Pulled Pranks on White House Guests

Abraham Lincoln is perhaps one of the few presidents in the history of the USA who are still remembered for their services to the nation. The grace, charm, and presidential demeanor of Ab Lincoln are second to none. But, sources claim that when Ab was young, he was pretty wild. Maybe his kids got this wild lifestyle from him, or it could be in their genetics. No matter what’s the reason is, it is a fact that Ab’s kids were big-time troublemakers.

 His youngest sons, Tad and William, were quite infamous in Washington as the duo regularly pulled pranks on White House guests. Unfortunately, William died at a young age, and Tad had to lead on the legacy, so he kept making mischief. In one of his many memorable stunts, Tad organized a yard sale out of the White House where he tried to sell his parents’ clothing, and another time, he tied goats to a sled and forced them to pull him through an official reception. It was Tad who started the tradition of pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving every year.

John Quincy Adams’s Son Stole His Brother’s Girlfriend

You may find it hard to believe, but it is indeed true that there have been such First Kids who were jealous of their own siblings and even eyed their brothers’ girlfriends. John Adams II, the son of John Quincy Adams, the grandson of John Adams, and a third-generation presidential child, adopted a completely different, somewhat notorious path compared to other family members.

According to sources, John Adams II was known as a coward as he refused to fight back when slapped at a White House party by a political rival. Later, the continuous harassment that followed suit drove him crazy, and he became addicted to alcohol. He regularly fought with his brothers because he was interested in marrying their first cousin. After winning the battle for her hand with his brothers, John Adams II married her in a lavish ceremony at the White House. But, only a few family members attended that ceremony, and the rest refused to attend.

Theodore Roosevelt’s Son Broke The White House Furniture

Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt’s son Quentin inherited many of his father’s signature traits. Since the age of four, Quentin Roosevelt had remained a public figure, as at that time, his father was the president of the United States. Like Theodore, Quentin was also fearless and never cared much about what people thought of him.

Reportedly, Quentin loved to roller skate around the White House, and sometimes he wrapped pet snakes around his arms, a sight most diplomatic guests at the president’s residence found abhorring. Along with his White House Gang, Quentin carved a baseball diamond into the law of the historic building, broke furniture, and even threw snowballs at the Secret Service Guards. Eventually, Quentin grew up into a fine young gentleman and died at age 20 during WWI. On July 14, 1918, the war hero went missing while serving for the U.S. Army Air Service’s 95th Aero Squadron.

Ronald Reagan’s Daughter Appeared on Playboy Cover

Patti Davis was witty, quirky, eccentric, and rule-breaker right from the beginning. She was so different from her dad, Ronald Reagan, that she even gave up his name. She believed that her hippie lifestyle didn’t get along with her father’s reputation, the then-US president. But, nothing affected her father’s reputation as drastically as her posing for Playboy. “I didn’t have the balls to go against my father. Looking back on it, I should have done it differently. But back then I just chickened out,” Patti Davis shared.

Throughout the time of Reagan’s reign, Patti openly criticized her father’s domestic and foreign policies. She actively participated in the anti-nuclear movement, which stirred controversy and made her father’s position uncomfortable after he gained control of the nuclear codes. She refused to move into the White House. Patti even published a book about her family spilling the beans over what happened behind closed doors. Patti posed for Playboy when she was 58. Interestingly, although she didn’t support her father’s policies, she did vote in his favor during elections. 

George H.W. Bush’s Son Had a Nomadic Lifestyle

George H. W. Bush’s son George Walker Bush was a president in the making while he stayed in the White House during his father’s presidential tenure. Not just during his presidency, Bush Jr. was a controversial figure throughout his youth. Reportedly, he was a wild child and followed a nomadic lifestyle when he was a young adult. During this period, he chased many women and also did drugs.

Apart from his wayward lifestyle, Bush Jr. also skipped out on his National Guard duties and indulged in controversies before and after becoming the president. He was the 43rd president of the USA and led the country during the Iraq War, initiated in 2003 after the devastating September 9, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. Bush Jr. is the eldest of George Sr.’s six children. When he turned 40, Bush Jr. revealed that he had given up drinking alcohol- “I realized that alcohol was beginning to crowd out my energies and could crowd, eventually, my affections for other people,” he later explained.

Martin Van Buren’s Son Lost Everything In One Night Due to Gambling

As a child, John Van Buren, US president Martin Van Buren’s son, was a prominent politician already, but he also has his fair share of controversies. Being the president’s son definitely takes a toll on your psyche as the media and public constantly scrutinize you. Reportedly, JVB had a profound liking for drinking, womanizing, and gambling. He combined all three passions in one night, and rumor has it that he lost everything.

He lost $5,000, his mistress, and his home in a drunken card game one night. The most significant setback that night, according to rumor mills, was that he lost his mistress. For your information, his mistress was none other than Elena America Vespucci- a direct descendent of America Vespucci. JVB partied hard and was known as a die-hard socialite. He even got the nickname “Prince John” after dancing with Queen Victoria in 1838.

Jimmy Carter’s Daughter Was Arrested For Being Disorderly

Jimmy Carter, as a president, was pretty liberal. However, his daughter Amy Carter was several steps farther from her dad when it came to liberalism. While her father was the president, and Amy stayed at the White House, she was an extremist. Later, she grew into a very politically active individual and was a supporter of the left-wing. Amy used to protest regularly and participated in sit-ins conducted to end apartheid and America’s growing intervention in Central America.

Since Amy was always participating in anti-government protests, once she got arrested too for being disorderly. Ms. Carter was just 19-yeard-old and was arrested along with 75 other students at Brown University. Four of the students pleaded innocent. They all were accused of blocking police from placing other protestors the cops had removed from the University of Massachusetts building at Amherst into buses. Around 32 people were later released, including Carter, on their personal recognizance.

Abraham Lincoln’s Oldest Son Did Not Want to Join The Civil War

Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s oldest son, is the most unfairly criticized president’s child in US history. The Lincoln family is already marked by tragedy since two of Ab Lincoln’s children, Tad and William, died young. Therefore, the president wanted to keep his firstborn safe from the perils of war. Hence, Robert Todd kept attending university during the Civil War. But, the public criticized this decision so much that Robert Todd had to bow down to public demand.

The reason given by president Lincoln for not allowing his oldest son to take part in the war was his concern for the mental state of his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, in case Robert gets harmed. Grover Cleveland had to hire a substitute to represent Robert in the war. Robert graduated from Harvard in 1864. Reportedly, his mother always worried about his life and insisted that he be hidden away in Harvard Law School during the war. But public pressure got to him, and he fought briefly on the Union Side. Luckily, he made it through unscathed.

Donald Trump Jr.’s Controversial Safari Trip

Donald Trump fathered five children from three marriages. At the time of his inauguration as the president of the USA, his children aged between 10 and 40 years. Former President Trump’s oldest child, Donald Trump Jr., graduated from Wharton, and rumor has it that he was briefly estranged from his father and spent time skiing, camping, fishing, bartending, and living in a van in Aspen, Colorado. Then he moved back to New York and started taking an interest in his father’s business.

Trump Jr. is an avid hunter. Along with his brother Eric Trump, Trump Jr. was at the center of a controversy back in 2012 when he went on an African hunting safari. Reportedly, the Trumps received immense public backlash after photos of the Trump kids posing beside an endangered leopard and carrying a bloody tail of an elephant surfaced on the web. The safari, although, was legal, but the hunting and those pictures did not go down well with the public. Resultantly, one sponsor of Donald Trump’s reality show Celebrity Apprentice backed out.

Barak Obama’s Eldest Daughter Toking

Barak Obama, who is a chain smoker and a known pot head, especially in his early years was against legalizing marijuana… it is not good for the economy he said. And there in lies the truth. Marijuana may be “harmless,” so to speak. Never in history has anyone died from overdosing on marijuana. It may be just as bad as alcohol some may argue…. yet there have been plenty of people who have died from alcohol poisoning.

They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Obama’s eldest daughter went off to college and in her first year at Harvard University, she’s caught in the background smoking. Granted, it’s not the worst thing ever but this happened when marijuana still illegal in all states and under the federal law is still considered a Schedule One which means no one should have it unless it is prescribed for medicinal use.

Donald Trump’s Daughter is the Queen of Controversies

The second born of former Us President Donald Trump, and his oldest daughter, is well known as an integral part of her father’s business. However, before formally joining the Trump conglomerate, she made a name for herself as a fashion designer. Ivanka introduced several retail lines, including clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories, and jewelry. In 2011, she received a cease-and-desist letter from designer Derek Lam for allegedly copying his designs.

Moreover, Ivanka Trump was blasted by PETA as well for using rabbit fur in some of her items. When Donald Trump got elected, she stirred up another controversy when she made an appearance on the TV show 60 Minutes flaunting a bracelet from her fashion line, and her company marketed it after the show. According to critics, Ivanka tried to take advantage of her father’s position. Later, her company had to issue an apology. The Guardian reported that employees at her fashion label’s factory in Subang, Indonesia, complained about receiving the lowest minimum wages in Asia and were tasked with unbelievably high production targets, which stirred yet another controversy.

George W. Bush’s Daughters Were a Nightmare for The Secret Service

President George W. Bush’s daughters, Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush, made life hell for the White House staff, particularly the Secret Service agents during their father’s tenure. The girls were heavily criticized for indulging in drinking at the age of 19, while they weren’t legally allowed to drink. Furthermore, the girls received severe backlash for their efforts to ditch the Secret Service when they wanted to party.

Ignoring the fact that it was for their own safety, Barbara and Jenna used to run red lights to escape the security and drank in front of several Secret Service guards. They were referred to as a Secret Service Nightmare. The twins tried every possible trick in the book to lose protection. Jenna used to jump in her car without informing the security where she was headed. In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect, Ronald Kessler wrote that in 2005, Jenna’s friend, who’s her husband now, had to be rushed to the hospital as he drank too much at a Halloween Party.

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