Tenth US president John Tyler’s grandson dies 179 years after his grandfather entered White House

 (The Washington Post via Getty Im)
(The Washington Post via Getty Im)
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Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr, one of the two remaining grandsons of the 10th president of the US, John Tyler, has died at the age of 95.

His daughter, Susan Selina Pope Tyler, told The New York Times that his death was caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

The lawyer and historian was the older of two surviving sons of Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr, who was one of president John Tyler’s 15 children and longtime president of the College of William & Mary in Virginia.

The 95-year-old was part of a “genealogical marvel” that saw three generations span almost the entire history of the United States.

John Tyler was born just after George Washington became president 231 years ago and served in the White House from 1841 to 1845.

As a lifelong slave owner and champion of states’ rights, Tyler was added to the ticket as whig candidate William Henry Harrison’s running mate to attract southerners who worried Harrison might lean towards abolitionist beliefs.

Not long after winning the presidency, Harrison died of pneumonia and Tyler became the first vice president to succeed a deceased predecessor.

During his presidency, Tyler annexed Texas as the 28th state as America expanded west. Some historians have called him principled and honest, but many say his presidency was ineffective.

Tyler retired to his Virginia plantation following the presidency and later sided with the Confederacy when the Civil War began. He was elected to the Confederate legislature but died in 1862 before taking his seat.

Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr was born on 3 January in 1925. He graduated from William & Mary and earned a law degree at the University of Virginia and he went on to practise law in Richmond and Charles City County.

He received a doctorate in history from Duke University in 1967 and taught history at the University of Richmond, the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel over the next two decades. He married Lucy Jane Pope in 1958 who died in 2001.

Lyon Tyler Jr is survived by his brother Harrison Ruffin Tyler, 91, and his daughter.

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