9 White House Kids Who Embarrassed Their President Fathers

Being the president of the United States is no easy task. You are responsible for what happens to the entire country, not to mention a key player on the international stage. But apart from having presidential duties, you also have father duties you need to attend to.

Some presidents succeeded in keeping their children out of trouble while others couldn’t stop their offspring from making the headlines with their rebellious behavior. Read on to find out the sons and daughters of American presidents who have been at the center of scandals and managed to embarrass their fathers.


B. M. Clinedinst/via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Theodore Roosevelt’s Daughter Practiced Voodoo and Had A Pet Snake

Alice Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt’s oldest child, was the most eccentric first daughter to ever set foot inside the White House. She was beautiful witty and defied all conventions at a time when women were not yet considered equal to men. She smoked, gambled, chew gum and was a favorite topic of the press because of her rebellious acts. “Princess Alice”, as she was named by her contemporaries, even had a pet snake that she mischievously carried with her.

Her father, Theodore Roosevelt once admitted, “I can run the country or attend to Alice. I cannot possibly do both.” But, in spite of her headstrong and rebellious attitude, Alice was also interested in politics. As a matter of fact, it was because of politics that she allegedly burned a voodoo doll of incoming First Lady Nelly Taft in the White House.



James Garfield’s Son Rode His Bicycle Down the White House Steps

Irvin McDowell Garfield was the son of President James Garfield, the twentieth president of the United States, assassinated in office in 1881. As a child, Irvin would often ride his bike down the White House grand staircase and play in the diplomatic rooms. After all, what was a kid to do in the White House?

His antics were not necessarily more unusual than those of an average child but being the president’s son made them seem more rambunctious. Irvin later attended Harvard Law School and became a lawyer.


Mathew Brady/via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Abraham Lincoln’s Youngest Sons Were Real Troublemakers

Abraham Lincoln may have been a serious, reflective man during his presidential years, but he was apparently quite wild when he was younger. And since the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, his two youngest sons, Tad and William, seemed to have inherited his wild trait.

The boys would often prank their parents and their White House guests. Even after the premature death of William, Tad continued with his mischiefs. One time, he organized a yard sale with his parents’ clothes, in front of the White House and during a reception organized by his father, he had some goats pull him with a sled in front of the guests. Some say he is responsible for starting the presidential tradition of pardoning a turkey every Thanksgiving.


Unknown/via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

John Quincy Adams’s Son Was Always Looking for Trouble

John Adams II was the son of John Quincy Adams and the grandson of John Adams, two important figures in the history of the United States. As a third-generation presidential child, he was expected to follow in his father and grandfather’s footsteps. Unfortunately, John had different ideas.

He got involved in all sorts of fights but started being considered a coward after the refused to defend himself against a political opponent who beat him during a White House reception. He became an alcoholic because of the constant bullying and teasing he received afterwards.

John also had a rivalry with his brothers for the affection of their first cousin. He ended up marrying her in a White House ceremony, to the dissatisfaction of several family members who did not attend the event.



Ronald Reagan’s Daughter Became a Playboy Pin-Up

President Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, was labeled the “black sheep” of the family. Her ideas and behavior were so different from the serious and conservative ones of Ronald Reagan or his wife Nancy, that she even gave up the Reagan family name.

Patti embraced the hippie life and rebelled against both her parents, disclosing personal information and family secrets in a book published in 1992. In 1994, at 42 years old, she decided to pose for Playboy and, despite the criticism she got, Patti bared it all again at age 58 for More magazine.



George H.W. Bush’s Son Was A Hard-Drinking Party Animal

George W. Bush, son of George H.W. Bush, was quite the party animal in his youth. Long before he became the 43rd president of the United States, Bush Jr. went through a wild phase, where he drank a lot, partied with his clique and slept around. He was also rumored to have been caught under the influence of drugs.

Apart from him being a party animal and womanizer, he also caused quite a controversy for skipping an entire year of duty for the National Guard. His attendance in the guard in the 70s, or lack thereof, resurfaced when he ran for president in 2001.



Jimmy Carter’s Daughter Was Arrested for Activism

US President Jimmy Carter, who took office in 1977, was considered quite liberal, compared to his predecessors. He passed on his liberal ideals and aspirations to his daughter Amy, but she took them to a whole new level. Quite an extreme one, if we were to judge by the number of times she was arrested for protesting.

Her childhood at the White House was uneventful but later on, she became a politically active left-winger and would often attend protests and sit-in against apartheid and the American operations in Central America. After one of her arrests and trials, former President Jimmy Carter said in an interview he was very proud of her and that “Amy is a very shy girl… but she believes very strongly in what she’s doing.”


Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Donald Trump, Jr.’s Safari Trip Cost Him His Father’s Reality Show Sponsors

Donald Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., had an estranged relationship with his father after he graduated Wharton. During his “nomadic” years, he lived in Aspen, Colorado, spent time skiing, fishing, and even working as a bartender. At one point, he decided to join his father again and became involved in the Trump family business.

In 2012, Donald Jr. made the headlines when photos emerged of him and his younger brother, Eric Trump on an African hunting safari, posing with a dead leopard and holding the bloody tail of an elephant. Needless to say, people were outraged, even if the safari had been legal. Because of all the public outrage, several sponsors of Celebrity Apprentice, the show where he appeared alongside his father, called it quits.



George W. Bush’s Daughters Hid from the Secret Service

George W. Bush was not the only party animal in the family. His daughters, Barbara and Jenna attended their fair share of parties and events which involved underage drinking. The duo was always trying to ditch their Secret Service agents in order to go to parties unsupervised. In one such incident, the sisters reportedly ran red lights to escape their escorts. We could say they were chips off the old block!


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