Portrait of President Chester A. Arthur

Chester A. Arthur

21st President of the United States
Years in Office: 1881-1885
Party: Republican

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President Chester A. Arthur, known for his extravagant facial hair, sported mutton chops and a bushy mustache, making him a distinctive figure in American history.

Chester A. Arthur

Chester A. Arthur served as the 21st President of the United States, holding office from September 19, 1881, to March 4, 1885. He assumed the presidency unexpectedly after the assassination of President James A. Garfield. Arthur, born on October 5, 1829, in Fairfield, Vermont, initially gained prominence as a New York lawyer and Republican political operative.

As President, Arthur surprised many by his commitment to civil service reform, which earned him the nickname "The Gentleman Boss." He signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act into law in 1883, aiming to reduce political patronage and establish a merit-based system for federal employment. Arthur's presidency was marked by economic growth and a focus on modernizing the Navy, laying the groundwork for its expansion in the years to come. Despite initial skepticism about his abilities, Arthur left office with a legacy that exceeded expectations, emphasizing the importance of principled leadership and government accountability. He succumbed to kidney disease on November 18, 1886, just a year and a half after leaving the presidency.

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