NAME: Millard Fillmore. He was named after his mother, Pheobe Millard Fillmore.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: As a young man, Fillmore was strikingly handsome, 6 feet tall, well built, with wavy, somewhat unruly hair, light complexion, a high forehead, blue eyes, and determined expression. With age, however, he became heavy, and his hair had turned white by the time he became president. He dressed meticulously. His health generally was sound.
PERSONALITY: Fillmore was a likable fellow. He mixed readily. He was most persuasive in small groups; his stolid style did not play well before large audiences. He spoke slowly, deliberately, usually using simple expressions and short sentences. His speeches lacked the flourish typical of the great orators of the day. A practical, unemotional man, he relied on logic and common sense to make a point in argument. He appealed to the mind rather than to the heart. Although basically a pragmatist, he was capable of genuine idealism if the cause struck his sense of righteousness. “A spark of idealism smouldered in his mind,” biographer Robert J. Rayback has written. “Because his whole training had been aimed toward making or improving his livelihood, nothing could ever ignite the spark that would place him in that class of complete idealists who steadfastly cling to their visions no matter ho inimical to their interests. But the trait was there, seldom dominating, yet always helping to shape his values.”
SOURCE: DeGregorio, William A. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. 7th ed. Fort Lee: Barricade Books, 2009.
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