No President Has Ever Been from Brooklyn

Presidents none.

Walk down the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Celebrity Path, and you’ll find the names of ballplayers, entertainers, writers and politicians who were all born in Kings County. But you won’t find the name of any American president. Only one POTUS was a born New Yorker—Teddy Roosevelt came into the world in a Gramercy townhouse, and lived with his family there on E. 20th Street until he was 14, and they moved uptown.

As the birthplace of presidents, New York State is tied with Massachusetts for producing the third most; only Ohio (?!) and Virginia have made more commanders in chief. Franklin Roosevelt and Martin van Buren were born in the Hudson Valley; Millard Fillmore was born in the Finger Lakes region.

And three more presidents had their primary residencies in New York, though they’d been born elsewhere: Dwight Eisenhower (the onetime president of Columbia University), Grover Cleveland (the sheriff of Erie County, the mayor of Buffalo, and the governor of New York), and Chester A. Arthur, who grew up upstate and became a lawyer in the city, where he desegregated the streetcars.


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