Born in Early July: Four American Presidents with Cancer Zodiac Birth Signs

by DerdriuMarriner

Four American presidents have been born under the zodiac sign of cancer, which also serves as the zodiac sign for the United States of America.

July is a special month in the yearly calendar of the United States of America. The second-largest country on the North American continent famously celebrates independence as a nation on July 4th, the date in 1776 on which the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, in southeastern Pennsylvania, approved the Declaration of Independence of the American colonies from the British Crown.

As head of state and head of government of the United States, the President of the United States of America (POTUS) symbolizes the young country within its borders and beyond.
• Thus far, only one U.S. President, Calvin Coolidge (July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933), the 30th president (August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929), was born on Independence Day.

Three other presidents, however, share July as their birth month with their country:
• John Quincy Adams, July 11, 1767 - February 23, 1848,
• Gerald Ford, July 14, 1913 - December 26, 2006, and
• George W. Bush, born on July 6, 1946.

With births early in July, the trio also share the zodiac sign of Cancer (Greek: Καρκινος, karkinos, "crab") with their country as well as with Calvin Coolidge.

Cancer comprises the dimmest of the 12 zodiacal constellations.

Cancer, the crab constellation
Cancer, the crab constellation


Traditionally Western astrology ascribes the eminence of Cancer, as the fourth astrological sign, within the zodiac's annual time frames to the period from June 21 to July 22.

  • The Cancer constellation derives its creation from the Slaying of the Hydra of Lerna, the second of the 12 labors of Heracles (Greek: Ἡρακλῆς, Hēraklēs ~ Hēra, "Hera" + kleos, "glory"), Greco-Roman mythology's heroic epitome of strength.
  • Despite failing in its mission to distract Heracles from decapitating the multi-headed Hydra, a crab was rewarded by supreme goddess Hera with eternal placement in its eponymous constellation in the hallowed heavenly vault of space.


1st American president to be born under the sign of Cancer: John Quincy Adams

Glass collodion negative copy c. 1860 of a daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams in 1847 or 1848, attributed to Mathew B. Brady (May 18, 1822 – January 15, 1896)
Brady-Handy Photograph Collection
Brady-Handy Photograph Collection

John Quincy Adams: 6th President of the United States


John Quincy Adams was born on Saturday, July 11, 1767, in Braintree (now Quincy), on the southern outskirts of Boston, in eastern Massachusetts. His parents were Abigail Smith Adams (November 22, 1744 – October 28, 1818) and John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826).

  • John Quincy Adams' lineage was impeccable, with both maternal and paternal lines ensconced in the Massachusetts Bay Colony since the early mid-seventeenth century.

Both his maternal line, via his grandmother Elizabeth Quincy Smith's (1721 - October 1, 1775) membership in the politically prominent Quincy family, and his paternal birth into the intellectually and politically powerful Adams family, qualified John Q. as a blue-blood.

Ninety-three years after John Q.'s birth, physician-poet Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (August 29, 1809 – October 7, 1894) coined the phrase "Boston Brahmin" to describe descendants of the Massachusetts Bay Colony's elite epitomized by John Q. and his father.

John Quincy Adams: American Visionary by Fred Kaplan

Fred Kaplan, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Lincoln, returns with John Quincy Adams, an illuminating biography of one of the most overlooked presidents in American history.
John Quincy Adams biographies

John Q.'s father served as the second President of the United States for one term (March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801).

  • Defeated for a second term by his vice-president, Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826), John Adams retired to his farm, Peacefield (now part of Adams National Historical Park), in Quincy. 
  • John Adams' retirement last for 25 years four months, ending with his death on Tuesday, July 4, 1826, which was also the day on which his friend Thomas Jefferson passed away.

Emulating his father, John Quincy Adams attained his country's top political office, serving as 6th President of the United States (March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829).

  • John Adams passed away 16 months after John Q.'s inauguration.
  • As with his father, John Q. was a one-term president.

As with his father, John Q. suffered the loss of one of his sons in the last year of his presidency: the body of his oldest son, George Washington Adams (April 12, 1801 – June 9, 1829), washed ashore four days after his disappearance on a boat trip to Long Island Sound.

  • Charles Adams (May 29, 1770 – November 30, 1800), the middle son of John Adams' three sons, succumbed to alcoholism two+ months before his father left the Oval Office.

Unlike his father, however, John Quincy Adams did not retire from public office after the presidency. Instead, he successfully sought election for nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Serving for almost 17 years, beginning on March 4, 1831, John Q. died in office.

  • John Q. was the first U.S. president to serve in Congress after his presidency.

On Monday, February 21, 1848, John Q. suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage as he took the floor on a vote concerning veterans of the Mexican-American War (April 25, 1846 – February 2, 1848). He passed away two days later.


John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams, held the unique record of being the only father-and-son presidents for 175 years, until the presidencies of George H.W. Bush and of his son, George W. Bush added another father-son team to the list of White House occupants.


2nd American president to be born under sign of Cancer: Calvin Coolidge's tenure in the White House was marred by the devastating death of his younger son, Calvin Coolidge Jr., from blood poisoning ensuing from a blister.

Calvin noted in his Autobiography: "When he went the power and the glory of the Presidency went with him" (p. 190).
Calvin Coolidge Jr.
Calvin Coolidge Jr.

Calvin Coolidge: 30th President of the United States


Calvin Coolidge was born on Thursday, July 4, 1872, in the small east central Vermont town of Plymouth Notch. On the day of his birth, Calvin's country was observing 96 years of nationhood.

Forty-years four+ months later, on November 2, 1920, Calvin became a household name when he and Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 - August 2, 1923) won the top two positions -- vice-president and president, respectively -- in America's federal government.

After his swearing-in ceremony on March 4, 1921, Calvin served as vice-president for two years four+ months before succeeding to the presidency upon the sudden death of Warren Harding on August 2, 1923.


"Coolidge" by Amity Schlaes

Calvin Coolidge biographies

Receiving his party's nomination for president at the 1924 Republican Convention on June 10 - 12, Calvin and his vice-presidential running mate,  Charles Gates Dawes (August 27, 1865 – April 23, 1951), easily won election on November 4, 1924. 

  • Calvin displayed his commitment to his country by persevering with the election campaign, even though he suffered an unspeakable tragedy on July 7, 1924, three and one-half weeks after the nomination, with the death of his younger son, Calvin Coolidge Jr. (April 13, 1908 – July 7, 1924).

On December 10, 1926, one year nine+ months after the Republican ticket assumed office, Vice-President Charles Gates Dawes was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which he co-shared with Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain (October 16, 1863 – March 17, 1937), in honor of their involvement in World War I reparations.

Despite enjoying a popular presidency, Calvin famously announced in summer 1927: "I do not choose to run for President in 1928."

Calvin's retirement from public office, however, was short-lived. Three years nine months after leaving the Oval Office, Calvin suffered a fatal massive coronary thrombosis.


3rd American president to be born under sign of Cancer ~ President Ford and his golden retriever Liberty

November 7, 1974 photo by David Hume Kennerly (born March 9, 1947)
National Archives and Records Administration: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum
National Archives and Records Administration: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum

Gerald Ford: 38th President of the United States

Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was not the birth name of the tow-headed boy born on Monday, July 14, 1913, in Omaha, in east central Nebraska, to Dorothy Ayer Gardner (February 27, 1892 — September 17, 1967) and her husband, Leslie Lynch King, Sr. (July 25, 1884 — February 18, 1941).

  • The couple’s only son was named Leslie Lynch King, Jr., in honor of his father.

At the end of July, two weeks and two days after her son’s birth, frightened by her husband’s alcohol-fueled violent temper, Dorothy briefly relocated with her baby to the home of her sister Tannisse (March 4, 1887 - April 14, 1942) and her husband, Clarence Haskins James, in Oak Park, in northeastern Illinois.

  • Dorothy and her baby subsequently settled into her parents’ home in Grand Rapids, in west central Michigan.
  • The short-lived marriage, begun on Thursday, September 7, 1912, ended with a divorce decree, granted by an Omaha court on Tuesday, December 19, 1913.

Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life by James Cannon

Gerald R. Ford biographies

On Thursday, February 1, 1917, Dorothy married Grand Rapids native, Gerald Rudolff Ford (December 9, 1890 – January 26, 1962).

  • With the second marriage, Dorothy’s son became known as Gerald Rudolff Ford, Jr., although his stepfather never formally adopted him.
  • Eighteen years later, young Gerald legally changed his name, but with the substitution of Rudolph for Rudolff.


Young Gerald segued into politics after devoting four years to the service of his country during World War II (September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945). Commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on Monday, April 13, 1942, Gerald resigned, with the rank of Lieutenant Commander, on Friday, June 28, 1946.

As Republican congressman for Michigan's 5th district, Gerald served 13 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, for 24 years 11+ months, from Monday, January 3, 1949, to Thursday, December 6, 1973.

Beginning on Sunday, January 3, 1965, Republican representatives honored Gerald with selection as their House Leader, a position which he held until December 6, 1973.

On December 6, 1973, Gerald's appointment as 40th Vice President of the United States -- to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Spiro Agnew (November 9, 1918 – September 17, 1996) -- comprised the first invocation of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, which concerns presidential succession and vice-presidential vacancies.

  • The second invocation of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment occurred on Friday, August 9, 1974, with Gerald's succession to the presidency upon the resignation of 37th U.S. President Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994).
  • The third invocation of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment occurred on Thursday, December 19, 1974, with the appointment of Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 – January 26, 1979) as 41st Vice President of the United States.

On Sunday, September 8, 1974, Gerald issued Presidential Proclamation 4311 Granting Pardon to Richard Nixon.

The controversial pardon cast a long, dark shadow over Gerald's brief, 895-day presidency, which ended with his defeat by Democrat presidential candidate James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) on Tuesday, November 2, 1976.

As 38th President of the United States (August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977), Gerald holds the unique honor of being the only person serving in the top two positions without election by the Electoral College.

After taking his televised oath of office in the White House's East Room, Gerald acknowledged his position as an unelected president:

"I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your president with your prayers."


Gerald succumbed to age-related illnesses of arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease and diffuse arteriosclerosis on the day after Christmas, Tuesday, December 26, 2006, which was also the 34th anniversary of the death of a presidential predecessor, Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972), 33rd U.S. President (April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953).


To date, with a life spanning 93 years and 165 days, Gerald holds the record as the longest-lived president.

  • Surviving her husband by four years six+ months, Gerald's wife, Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Bloomer Ford (born April 8, 1918) passed away on Friday, July 8, 2011, at the age of 93 years 3 months.
  • To date, Gerald and Betty Ford hold the record as the longest-lived presidential couple.


Wednesday, April 29, 1992: President Bush walks up the South Lawn towards the Oval Office with his son, George W. ("W") Bush ~

With W's inauguration on Saturday, January 20, 2001-- 12 years after his father's inauguration on Friday, January 20, 1989 -- George W. broke the father-son presidential record uniquely set by John Adams' son, John Quincy Adams, in 1825.
April 29, 1992 photo by David Valdez (born June 1, 1949)
April 29, 1992 photo by David Valdez (born June 1, 1949)

George W. Bush: 41st President of the United States


George Walker Bush, known as “W (Dubya),” was born on Saturday, July 6, 1946, in New Haven, in southwestern Connecticut. He was the firstborn child of Barbara Pierce (born June 8, 1925) and her husband, George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924), who was a student in economics at Yale University.

An early tragedy in the Bush family occurred with the untimely death of the second-born child, Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush (born December 20, 1949), from leukemia, on October 11, 1953.

After serving as a campaign adviser and media liaison on his father’s successful 1988 and unsuccessful 1992 presidential campaigns, “W” decided to seek the governorship of Texas. On Tuesday, January 17, 1995, two years after W’s father exited from the White House, W took office as the 46th Governor of Texas. 

Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush (Focus on American History Series) by Eric Draper

George W. Bush biographies
  • Popularly re-elected on Tuesday, November 3, 1998, W was inaugurated on Tuesday, January 19, 1999, for his second term as Governor of Texas.

Six months later, though, at the 2000 National Convention of the Republican Party, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July 31 – August 3rd, W was honored with selection as his party’s presidential nominee.

  • On Thursday, December 21, 2000, eleven months after beginning his second gubernatorial term, W resigned as Governor of Texas in order to focus on the success of his campaign with his vice-presidential running mate, Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney (born January 30, 1941).

Following in the footsteps of his father, 41st U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924), George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946), became the 43rd President on Saturday, January 20, 2001.

W's first presidential election mirrored that of John Quincy Adams in that neither of them won the popular vote.

  • John Q's elevation to the presidency in 1825 was decided by the House of Representatives, in accordance with the applicable Twelfth Amendment's provision concerning failure of any candidate to receive a majority of the electoral vote.
  • W's attainment of the presidency in 2000 was decided by the Electoral College, in which he secured 271 votes versus 266 votes for Democratic opponent Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. (born March 31, 1948). The popular votes were tallied at 50,456,002 for W and 50,999,897 for the Democratic ticket.

Unlike his father, W succeeded in winning re-election and served two terms as President of the United States (January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009).


W's election to the presidency qualified his father and him for inclusion in the elite club of father-son presidents hitherto enjoyed only by John Adams and John Quincy Adams.


Since exiting the White House, W also has followed his father's example of retirement from public office.


George W. Bush with the U.S. Senator from Illinois who succeeded him in the presidency and with the Arkansas governor who crushed W's father's presidential re-election bid:

George W. Bush jokes about Bill Clinton's comments about "W" in the Rose Garden: "I’ve already figured out how I can get him ['W'] to do some things that he didn’t sign on for."
Trio of American presidents, united in concerns over 2010 Haiti earthquake, Oval Office, White House, January 16, 2010
Trio of American presidents, united in concerns over 2010 Haiti earthquake, Oval Office, White House, January 16, 2010

Conclusion: Cancers in the White House


The United States of America was born on July 4, 1776, under the sign of Cancer.

Four of the forty-four presidents of the United States also have been born in July.

All four presidential births have occurred under the sign of Cancer:

  • John Quincy Adams, July 11, 1767 - February 23, 1848,
  • Calvin Coolidge, July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933,
  • Gerald Ford, July 14, 1913 - December 26, 2006, and
  • George W. Bush, born on July 6, 1946.

Of this quartet, only Calvin Coolidge was born on Independence Day.

Each century of the United States' existence has witnessed a presidential birth in July under the sign of Cancer.

Almost 179 years separate the first Cancer-signed presidential birth -- that of John Quincy Adams in 1767 -- and the latest Cancer-signed presidential birth -- that of George W. Bush in 1946.

Will this quartet comprise the United States' Cancer-signed presidents?

Or will future presidents be culled from the sign of the crab?


In the 20th century, John Calvin Coolidge Jr., known as Calvin Coolidge, shared with Gerald Ford a standout reputation for civility and integrity.

1932 oil on canvas by Charles Sydney Hopkinson (July 27, 1869 - October 16, 1962)
1932 oil on canvas by Charles Sydney Hopkinson (July 27, 1869 - October 16, 1962)



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


Last known public photo of Gerald Ford: Sunday, April 23, 2006, at his home in Rancho Mirage, southwestern California

Former President Gerald Ford and Betty Ford greet the media at the end of a visit from President George W. Bush
photo by George W. Bush's Chief White House Photographer
photo by George W. Bush's Chief White House Photographer

Sources Consulted


Bush, George W. Decision Points. New York: Crown Publishers, 2010. 

Cannon, James. Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life. Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan Press, 2013.

Coolidge, Calvin. The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge. New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, 1929.

  • Available via Internet Archive at:"

Dooley, Greg. "Honoring Freshman Ford (1932)." M Victors. October 10, 2012. Blog.

  • Available at:

Draper, Eric. Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush. Focus on American History Series. University of Texas, 2013.

Ford, Gerald R. A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.

"Gerald R. Ford Genealogical Information." Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum > President & Mrs. Ford > Gerald Ford. National Archives and Records Administration. Web.

  • Available at:

Holmes, Oliver Wendell Sr. "The Brahmin Caste of New England." The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, Issue 27 (August 1860).

Kaplan, Fred. John Quincy Adams: American Visionary. New York: HarperCollins, 2014.

Schlaes, Amity. Coolidge. New York: HarperCollins, 2013.

Walker, Douglas. "The Laws of Astrology: Principles of Mundane Astrology." Historical Astrology > Mundane Astrology. Historical Astrology. Web.

  • Available at:


Crab: symbol of Cancer, fourth astrological sign

15th century medieval book of astrology
15th century medieval book of astrology
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Corciova® 12 Signs of the Zodiac Cashmere-like Two-sided Two-color Scarf One Size Cancer

The 12 signs of the Zodiac scarf, made of nap cloth, is beautiful and warm. Owing to the composition of cotton and a little cashmere, it is anti-static, smooth, silky.
Cancer zodiac sign-themed apparel

Grand Ol' Gang by Andy Thomas:

Eight Republican presidents (front center left-right): A. Lincoln, GHW Bush, R. Reagan, GW Bush, D. Eisenhower, T. Roosevelt, R. Nixon, G. Ford.
Grand Ol' Gang
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Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 08/20/2014, DerdriuMarriner
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