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Career Paths to the Presidency

U.S. House of Representatives
How can the U.S. House of Representatives be a path to the presidency?

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John Quincy Adams
U.S. Representative from Massachusetts

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Gerald R. Ford
U.S. Representative from Michigan

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John Quincy Adams served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 17 years, and is the only president to be elected to the House after the presidency. While representing Massachusetts in the U.S. House, John Quincy Adams was nicknamed "Old Man Eloquent" due to his speeches from the House floor, particularly on the issues of slavery and abolition. In 1848, he suffered a stroke on the House floor and died two days later in the Speaker's office.







Gerald R. Ford first ran for Congress in 1948 in Michigan and was not expected to win. In his first day in the House he befriended a colleague from California, Richard M. Nixon. He also became a good friend of another member, John F. Kennedy, from Massachusetts, who had an office across the hall. Among the committees that Ford sat on were those responsible for CIA and NASA oversight; he was also part of the Warren Commission that investigated the death of President Kennedy.

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