Born on March 18, 1837 in Caldwell, New Jersey—Stephen Grover Cleveland was a Presbyterian descendant of English Ancestors. Cleveland spent most of his childhood in different parts of New York as his father needed to move around for work. Through this he was able to receive quite the prodigious education and went to Fayetteville Academy and the Clinton Liberty Academy. Following his education, he did various clerical and assistant teaching jobs. Later, Cleveland became interested in learning about the law and as years progressed, he decided to take a clerkship at Rogers Law Firm (a firm in New York)—and was later admitted to the New York Bar in 1859. Cleveland worked for Roger’s for a little over three years, before he decided to open his own firm. He essentially did a lot of pro bono (free of charge) work, and was able to successfully defended some members of the Fenian Raids (an Irish Republican organization trying to pressure the United Kingdom to withdraw from Ireland) and various libel law suits (specifically for advertising agencies). Cleveland took great joy in practicing law due to the immense help he was able to offer people.
Due to Cleveland’s passion for humanity and ability to aid in the bettering of humankind, politics seemed like the next best step for him. As a result, Cleveland began to slowly integrate within the democratic party. He decided to run for district attorney and lost by only a few votes to his republican competition. However, Cleveland was able to secure the democratic nomination for the sheriff of Erie County. After finishing his two-year term, he went on to serve as the Mayor of Buffalo then shortly after made the transition to New York governor. It wasn’t until 1884 that Cleveland announced his candidacy for president and was among the top-rated candidates early on in his campaign—with his main campaign goal being to end the corruption in politics. Following the election process, Cleveland was able to achieve the majority of popular votes and won by just one-quarter of a percent.
Grover Cleveland was sworn in on March 4, 1885 and focused his initial efforts primarily on reform. Cleveland vowed to rid corruption and did not appoint or promote anyone based on political affiliation. Another huge milestone for the nation under President Cleveland was the Interstate Commerce Act, which monitored railroads to ensure lower rates, eliminated discrimination, and regulated other forms of transportation as well. Cleveland also greatly strengthened the U.S. defenses by putting $120 million of the nation’s budget towards coastal fortification and militaristic improvement. Shortly after, Cleveland finished his first term in office and did not go up for re-election, but four years following decided to run again and became the first preside to serve a second term not in succession. Unfortunately, Grover Cleveland’s second term second term was marked by serious economic depression, but he still persevered to the best of his ability—he became well known for taking his classic libertarian principles to the production of government, and through this was able to halt political corruption for the course of his two terms.
After his last term, Cleveland retired from active political life, but still aided various other democrats in their campaign efforts. Sadly, Cleveland passed away in 1908 from a heart attack at the age of 71 years old. Grover Cleveland was a notable man, president, and lover of humanity who will certainly never be forgotten within the course of U.S. history.