- NAME: Ulysses S. Grant
- OCCUPATION: General, U.S. President
- BIRTH DATE: April 27, 1822
- DEATH DATE: July 23, 1885
- EDUCATION: United States Military Academy at West Point
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Point Pleasant, Ohio
- PLACE OF DEATH: Mount McGregor, New York
- Originally: Hiram Ulysses Grant
- Full Name: Ulysses Simpson Grant
- Nickname: "U.S. Grant"
- Nickname: "Unconditional Surrender Grant"
- AKA: Ulysses S. Grant
- AKA: Ulysses Grant
Best Known For
Ulysses S. Grant served as U.S. general and commander of the Union armies during the late years of the American Civil War, later becoming the 18th U.S. president.
As a young, quiet man, Grant loved horses and excelled in equestrian events at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Unfortunately, a clerical error changed his name from Hiram Ulysses Grant to U.S. Grant.
In early April, 1862, Grant was surprised by Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard at the Battle of Shiloh. The sheer violence of the Confederate attack sent the Union forces reeling.
At the beginning of April 1865, Grant's relentless pressure finally forced Gen. Robert E. Lee to evacuate Richmond, and after a nine-day retreat, Lee surrendered his army at the Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
Lt. Grant served in the Mexican War under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, taking part in the battles of Resaca de la Palma, Palo Alto, Monterrey, and Veracruz.
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When he entered the White House the following year, Grant was not only politically inexperienced, he was—at the age of 46—the youngest president theretofore.
Though scrupulously honest, Grant became known for appointing people who were not of good character. While he had some success during his time in office, including pushing through ratification of the 15th Amendment and establishing the National Parks Service, his administration's scandals rocked both of his presidential terms,
and he didn't get the opportunity to serve a third.
After leaving the White House, Ulysses S. Grant's lack of success at civilian life continued once again. He became a partner of the financial firm Grant and Ward only to have his partner, Ferdinand Ward, embezzle investors' money. The firm went bankrupt in 1884, as did Grant. That same year, Grant learned that he was suffering from throat cancer, and though his military pension was reinstated, he was strapped for cash.
Grant began selling short magazine articles about his life and then negotiated a contract with a friend, famed novelist Mark Twain, to publish his memoirs. The two-volume set went on to sell some 300,000 copies, becoming a classic work of American literature. Ultimately, the work earned Grant's family nearly $450,000.
Ulysses S. Grant died on July 23, 1885—just as his memoirs were being published—at the age of 63, in Mount McGregor, New York. He is buried in New York City.
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The first U.S. president, former military leader George Washington, took his oath of office on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall. From that moment onward, the United States' highest office has been filled regularly by elected officials who aim to serve the people under the guidance of the U.S. Constitution. Learn more about the 43 men who have served as America's chief executive.
U.S. Presidents 43 people in this group