Tenth U.S. president and the first to succeed a president because of the officeholder's death. He led the way for the annexation of Texas in 1845.
He was raised with his two brothers and five sisters on Greenway Plantation in Virginia. He started practicing law when he was 19 years old.
He was an adamant advocate of states' rights and supported the Confederate government during the Civil War, serving in the Confederate House of Representatives until his death.
He married twice, fathering eight children with his first wife and seven more with his second.
He succeeded William Henry Harrison, who served as president for only 31 days before dying of complications caused by pneumonia.