8. Warren Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1921, until his death. Although Harding died one of the most popular presidents in history, the subsequent exposure of scandals that took place under him, such as Teapot Dome, eroded his popular regard, as did revelations of an affair by Nan Britton, one of his mistresses. In historical rankings of the U.S. presidents, Harding has been rated among the worst.
Harding had an extramarital affair with Carrie Fulton Phillips of Marion, which lasted about fifteen years before ending in 1920. Letters from Harding to Phillips were discovered by Harding biographer Francis Russell in the possession of Marion attorney Donald Williamson while Russell was researching his book in 1963.
The allegations of Harding’s other known mistress, Nan Britton, long remained uncertain. In 1927, Britton published The President’s Daughter, alleging that her child Elizabeth Ann Blaesing had been fathered by Harding. The book, which was dedicated to “all unwedded mothers” and “their innocent children whose fathers are usually not known to the world”, was sold, like pornography, door-to-door wrapped in brown paper.