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July 13, 1964

Lincoln-Marfan Debate...

JAMA. 1964;189(2):164-165. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070020092029

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To the Editor:—  An editorial entitled "Lincoln's Inheritance" (JAMA187: 530 [Feb 15] 1964) asks the question: "Was [the syndrome] inherited through his mother, Nancy Hanks, as Dr. Gordon suggests, or through his father, Thomas Lincoln, as Dr. Schwartz suggests?"The answer to this question is available and is a very simple one: Mr. Lincoln did not inherit Marfan's syndrome from either parent because he did not have Marfan's syndrome.Abraham Lincoln was, without the slightest doubt, the healthiest and the most versatile, able-bodied president the United States has ever had; in all probability there will never be another president possessing such a magnitude of physical and mental stamina.Judged by modern standards of athletes, Abraham Lincoln would easily qualify as a topflight all-American in several fields of sports and with proper training as a young man would have returned from the Olympics with several gold medals.I am not

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