Died: July 23, 1885
High of His Life: Grant captured Vicksburg, Mississippi in July 1863 and secured Union control over the Mississippi River. He was appointed Lieutenant General and commander of all Union forces by President Abraham Lincoln later that same year. He was responsible for the capture of the important railroad town of Petersburg and subsequently Richmond, Virginia. Grant received Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. The former commander of all Union armies would then become 18th President of the United States after Andrew Johnson. He would serve two terms as President.
Low of His Life: After serving two very controversial terms as President that was marred by corruption and scandal perpetrated by many who served under him, Grant was swindled by a business partner from Grant & Ward and was forced to pay off all debts with his own personal savings as a matter of honor which left him and his family financially ruined. It was also around this time he found out he had throat cancer, most likely caused by his years of smoking cigars on and off the battlefield.
Thankfully this was not the end of an American hero. He would write a memoir entitled, The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant that was so popular and well-received that it restored his family’s fortunes.
Who See’s Him As A Hero: I dunno… guys with big beards? Alcoholics who want to be President. Chubby military men.