Presidential History Blog

George Washington died in late 1799, two months shy of his 68th birthday.

The Health of George Washington

Anyone who had seen George Washington a few weeks before his death would have remarked how well the General looked. They would have been right.

The General.

With little exception, Washington enjoyed robust health throughout his lifetime. He survived the normal childhood ailments. He contracted and survived a mild case of smallpox when he was in his late teens. He managed to avoid contracting tuberculosis (consumption), a highly contagious disease, despite close contact with his afflicted older brother, Lawrence, whose Mount Vernon estate came to George after the older man died.

The eight years he spent in the Virginia militia toughened him inside and out, and left him relatively free of injury or recurring camp fevers. Fifteen years later, during the eight years Washington spent as General of the Continental Army…

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