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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
A 1993 Cigar Aficionado article, "Our Presidents and Cigars," pre-dated the Lewinsky scandal that would have given its subject a whole new spin, but serves as a useful guide to presidential tobacco preferences.
Grant is said to have smoked 20 cigars a day, Grover Cleveland chewed tobacco, and McKinley, while never allowing himself to be photographed or seen in public with a cigar, smoked them incessantly in private.
Coolidge also appreciated a good cigar, after his own fashion:
Even political philosophy was revealed in Coolidge's cigar habits. At the least, how he acquired his cigars and smoked them reflected his notorious thriftiness and conservative economic policies. According to Ike Hoover, Coolidge only "smoked the best quality of Havana cigars," but he rarely spent his own money for them. They were, "always given to him," Hoover said. And although the cigars were often as expensive as 75 cents a piece--in 1920s currency--Coolidge found it practical to always use his paper one cent cigar-holder, which he frugally saved, day to day.
For more on Silent Cal, see the tribute paid to him on his July 4 birthday by Southern Appeal, and a number of papers on the Coolidge legacy that were presented at a 1998 JFK Library symposium on the 75th anniversary of his accession to the presidency.