James K. Polk

Early Life and Family

What caused Polk to start his education relatively late in life?

As a child, James suffered from poor health. Because he was chronically ill, he did not attend regular school until a relatively advanced age. When he was seventeen, his parents took him to a doctor who performed surgery on James to remove urinary stones. Some speculate that it was this operation that later prevented James Polk and his wife from having children.


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