The Medical Lives of History`s Famous People

The Clandestine Oral Surgery of President Grover Cleveland

Author(s): William James Maloney

Pp: 102-108 (7)

DOI: 10.2174/9781608059362114010019

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Grover Cleveland was the first, and only, president of the United States to serve two non-consecutive terms. During Cleveland’s second term the United States was experiencing a serious crisis which threatened the financial well-being of the nation. The magnitude of the crisis was not revealed to the public. Cleveland planned to ask Congress to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890. He thought that a powerful speech before Congress could help avoid financial disaster. Shortly before scheduling his speech, a life-threatening growth was discovered in the President’s mouth. A biopsy returned a diagnosis of cancer for the rough spot on the President’s palate and surgical intervention would be required. A clandestine surgical team was assembled and successful surgeries were performed aboard a boat belonging to Cleveland’s friend. Later, a prosthesis was constructed for the President to hide the physical effects of the surgery. Cleveland was able to make an eloquent speech before Congress, the Act was repealed and financial ruin for the nation was averted.

Keywords: Ackermanʼs tumor, alcohol, Buschke-Loewenstein tumor, cigarettes, florid oral papillomatosis, human papillomavirus, oral verrucous carcinoma, prosthodontics, Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, tobacco, verrucous hyperplasia.

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