13 presidential facts about blood

February 16, 2015 at 1:55 pm


  1. The presidential state car is equipped with a supply of the president’s blood type; it’s currently rumored to transport AB negative blood.
  2. President Nixon designated January as National Blood Donor Month in 1969.
  3. Jimmy Carter has donated gallons of blood in his lifetime — he even donated while serving in the White House. Carter has A negative blood.
  4. Former presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan had O positive blood.
  5. An “atomic radiation-resistant” plastic tag presented to Harry S Truman in 1950 identified him as type O, but did not specify positive or negative. 
  6. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has type A blood, which he disclosed in his memoir about his heart transplant.
  7. Reagan received packed red blood cells, plasma, and platelets after losing 40% of his blood volume in the 1981 attempt on his life.
  8. In 2012, an anonymous seller tried to auction off a vial containing Reagan’s blood. The auction was cancelled.
  9. Gerald Ford’s golf skills were so bad that Bob Hope quipped, “I’m comfortable playing with him as long as my caddie and I have the same blood type.”
  10. In a 1953 speech, President Eisenhower recognized the role of donated blood in saving lives during World War II and called on Americans to donate blood to help children “avoid the horrible paralysis caused by polio.”
  11. In 1994, a blood specialist in the White House medical unit preparing for a foreign trip gave host hospitals the wrong blood type for Bill Clinton — the doctor was fired for this.
  12. DNA testing of samples taken from the bloodstained pillowcase Abraham Lincoln’s head rested on after being shot in 1865 show that he may have had a genetic disease that would have likely killed him in the next few years had he not been assassinated.
  13. Bloodletting was a common treatment for diseases through the 18th century. George Washington died after asking doctor’s to bleed him to treat a throat illness; though they removed five pints of blood in one day and he died soon after, modern doctors don’t think the bloodletting itself killed him