*The following story came from the May 2011 issue of Reader’s Digest and they got their information from Cracked.com. These are not my words, but simply me sharing the story with you*

The Actor and The President’s Son

In the 19th Century, Edwin Booth was recognized as America’s greatest actor. His reputation was described as mythic, and a statue of him stands in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park.

In his time, Edwin was as famous as George Clooney, as classy as Clive Owen, as lusted after as Johnny Depp, and as awesome as Josh Brolin. He even looked suspiciously like Robert De Niro. But there’s something else….


Booth performed a heroic act, one that would have gotten him into the history books under different circumstances. It took place during the Civil War at a train station in Jersey City. According to the young man Edwin Booth saved, the incident occurred when he was inadvertently knocked off the platform by the teeming crowd.

“I was twisted off my feet,” wrote the young man, “and had dropped into the open space and was personally helpless when my coat collar was vigorously seized, and I was quickly pulled up and out to a secure footing on the platform. Upon turning to thank my rescuer, I saw it was Edwin Booth.”

Imagine if you, as a kid, fell off a ledge and were caught by Chuck Norris. That’s what it was like for this kid.


Two weeks later, Booth received a letter of commendation from an officer on the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant. It turned out that the young man Edwin had saved was actually Robert Todd Lincoln, the son of President Abraham Lincoln.

That act of heroism would have gone down as the only, unlikely interaction between the Booth family and the Lincoln family, had Edwin’s brother, John Wilkes, not gone off the deep end several months later.


When I read this story recently, it was a shocker to me and I just knew I wanted to share it with those who may have not heard about this. Do you find this interesting? There were a few other stories shared that were also crazy like this one, but THIS really stood out as the most interesting to me. Do you have any crazy stories like this you would like to share? I would love to hear them! I find this sort of thing so fascinating! 


  1. That is a fascinating tale… and to think of the family karma of it… 🙂
    I like the twisted nature of the story… which mirrors real life; stories in real life are not always linear. TY! 🙂


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