Five former US Presidents who had worse illnesses than Hillary Clinton

All the leaders who were sicker than the current Democratic nominee, and it was no big deal.

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John F Kennedy

A 2002 article in TIME magazine revealed a range of illnesses which plagued Kennedy:

J.F.K. had nine secret hospital stays during a 2 1/2-year period in the mid-1950s.

"When I read about the hospitalizations, my eyes widened," says Dallek. "We never knew about this." Another revelation was the sheer quantity of medications Kennedy took daily during his presidency. "Steroids for his Addison's disease," Dallek writes, "pain-killers for his back, antispasmodics for his colitis, antibiotics for urinary-tract infections, antihistamines for allergies and, on at least one occasion, an antipsychotic (though only for two days) for a severe mood change that Jackie Kennedy believed had been brought on by the antihistamines." Johnny, we hardly knew ye.

Ronald Reagan

Reagan was operated on for prostate cancer in 1987. His wife, Nancy, reported that the President worked from hospital.

Franklin D Roosevelt

When Roosevelt started out in politics, he was mocked in the press for being effiminate, with articles calling him a "Jane-dandy" and "Oscar Wilde" after the famous homosexual. He set out to create a persona which would portray him as powerful yet civilised, a radical self-fashioning that did much to assist in his rise to power.

A common myth states that the press had a "gentleman's agreement" to hide the extent of Roosevelt's disability (he was struck with debilitating polio) . In fact, they reported on it in detail, and photographs were published of him in his wheelchair.

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln is widely acknowledged today to have suffered from severe depression throughout his life, which his friends called "melancholia".

William Henry Harrison

Okay, this one is slightly cheating, because Harrison not only had pneumonia but died of it, after only 31 days in office.

Harrison refused to wear a coat to his inauguration in March 1841, despite the day being bitterly cold. He developed pneumonia soon after and died in early April.

Clinton, who does not live in the early nineteenth century, should not have this problem.

Stephanie Boland is head of digital at Prospect. She tweets at @stephanieboland.

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