President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was crippled by polio but the press respected an unspoken rule that he was never to be photographed from the waist down.
Roosevelt once told reporters, no movies of me getting out the machine boys, and the press would turn away until he got out of his wheelchair, adjusted his braces, and struck a pose.
But he did withhold an even more serious condition. He had severe hypertension and arteriosclerosis, and he died three months after being sworn in for a fourth term.
John f Kennedy had Addison’s disease, a failure of the adrenal glands, which he tried to keep secret. Revealing it might have thrown the tight election fight in 1960 to Richard Nixon.
It wasn’t confirmed until Kennedy’s autopsy record were released in 1992 that he had Addison’s.
But things started to change with Lyndon Johnson, proudly showing his gall bladder surgery scar, Ronald Reagan talking about beating colon cancer, and George bush with public updates on his thyroid problems.
Now it seems politicians can’t stop talking about their health issues. New Jersey governor Chris Christie telling us all about his lap band surgery in his ongoing battle with weight,
Just yesterday, mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn contacted the New York Times to tell her story: that at the age of 16 when her mother was dying of cancer, Quinn suffered from bulimia and alcohol abuse.
“I just want people to know you can get through stuff. I hope people can see that in what my life has been and where it’s going,” Quinn said.