by Tom Emery -
It has been nearly eighteen years since efforts to remove President Bill Clinton for covering up an adulterous sexual relationship failed in the U.S. Senate. Three decades before, the dalliances of President John F. Kennedy were an open secret.
They were hardly the first chief executives to engage in illicit sex. Such behavior has been an issue in multiple administrations, though not always revealed to the public.
In several cases, sex scandals nearly derailed successful Presidential campaigns. In his first bid for the Presidency in 1884, Grover Cleveland was dogged with the revelation that he had fathered an illegitimate child a decade before.
The child’s mother, Maria Halpin, was a widowed mother of two who had enjoyed the company of several leading men in Buffalo, including Cleveland, then a bachelor. She bore a son in September 1874 whom she named for a close friend of Cleveland’s. Though Cleveland was less certain of the child’s paternity than Maria, he claimed responsibility, believing he had less to risk than the other possibilities, who were each married. Continue