Born in Ohio in 1822, 19th President Rutherford B. Hayes was educated at Kenyon College and Harvard Law School. He fought in the Civil War and was wounded in action.
While he was still in the Army, Cincinnati Republicans nominated him for the House of Representatives, and he was elected by a strong majority. Later, he served three terms as Ohio governor.
In 1876, he was the Republican candidate for President. After months of dispute in the Electoral College, he won the election by one Electoral College vote despite having lost the national vote.
President Hayes insisted that the people he appointed to government posts be chosen on the basis of their job qualifications rather than their political ties. Still, he outraged many Republicans because one member of his cabinet was an ex-Confederate and another had left his party as a Liberal Republican.
First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes delighted the Woman's Christian Temperance Union by carrying out her husband's orders to banish wine and liquor from the White House.
Hayes had announced in advance that he would serve only one term as President. He retired to Spiegel Grove, his home in Fremont, Ohio, in 1881. He died 12 years later, in 1893.