If you're not startled by that fact, consider this: Obama is America's 44th president.
And if that doesn't get your attention, how about this?
Harrison Tyler's grandfather, John Tyler, who was president from 1841 to 1845, died in 1862.
Is that even possible?
From Virginia Tech Magazine, a few years ago:
Tech degree, not ancestry, key to success
By Christopher J. Leahy
As a boy, Harrison Tyler (chemical engineering '51) never gave much thought to his grandfather, John Tyler, the 10th president of the United States. "I grew up during World War II," he told Subaru Drive Magazine in 2002, "and surviving the war and the shortages was what was on everybody's mind. Being related to a president was never a thought."
Such a view may seem astonishing, but President Tyler died in 1862, 66 years before his grandson was born. In fact, Harrison Tyler's father, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, was born in 1853 and died in 1935, so there were very few first-hand accounts of the president to inspire Harrison. [link]
Let's figure this out.
John Tyler was born in 1790 and died in 1862.
His son, Lyon Gardiner Tyler was born in 1853 and died in 1935.
Harrison Tyler was born in 1928 and still lives.
So President Tyler was 63 when his wife gave birth to Lyon.
And Lyon was 75 when Harrison was born.
Harrison Tyler is in his 81st year. If his grandfather were able to attend his next birthday party, former President Tyler would be 219 years old.
I thought, when I first read this, that there was no way.
But ... way.
- - -
By the way, our tenth president actually has another living grandson. A photo can be found here.
Hat tip to Mark Krikorian.